There are many benefits to instituting green initiatives at the office. Besides the notion that it is the right thing to do, going green can save the company money and raise its reputation among a new generation of sustainability-conscious customers. A report in 2012, found that hospitals that reduce energy consumption would save $15 billion over ten years. A UCLA-led study from the same year found that companies who voluntarily adopted international green practices have employees who are 16 percent more productive than average. Customers are also more willing to pay more for companies that show themselves to be sustainable according to a 2013 Nielson study. So, the benefits of going green are plenty, but shifting to a green office may seem overwhelming and expensive. This article outlines eight affordable and straightforward ways offices can embrace a culture of sustainability.

Install Real Plants Throughout the Office

Not only are they pretty to look at, but plants can be a healthy addition to the work environment. Plants act as filters that can absorb a lot of the pollutant air and dust in the office. They also can naturally cool their surroundings through the process of transpiration. A great way to possibly keep the AC bill down.

Make Duplex Printing the Default Setting

This can greatly reduce the cost of paper around the office, as well as how much of it is used. A bonus to this one would be to locate paper companies that sell recycled paper for an extra green benefit.

Set Up More Recycling Bins Than Waste Bins

Companies can reduce the tendency to throw away items that can easily be recycled by installing recycling bins. These can be used to recycle paper, plastic bottles, and even cans. The ambitious office can also collect food matter to compost for an outdoor garden.

Install Low-Flow Toilets

This might be one of the most expensive acts on this list, but the money saved can offset the cost. Installing low-flow toilets reduces water waste while also putting a huge dent in the office’s water bill. Sharing the amount of money saved may even inspire workers to adopt the same practice at home.

Replace Fluorescent Light-Bulbs with LEDs

The upfront cost for LED light bulbs might be expensive, but over time the savings from these bulbs add up. They last at least ten years longer than traditional bulbs, give off less heat, and cost under 20 dollars after ten years —almost $40 less than conventional bulbs.

Encourage Employees to Turn Off All Electronics

A simple reminder can save a lot on energy costs. Managers can leave reminders around the office and even send out an email at the end of the day telling employees to remember to turn off their computers and desk lights. Also going around the office to turn off those who may have forgotten is not a bad idea.

Cut Down on Printing with File-Sharing

In today’s society, there is not as much need for printing as in the past. Instead of printing out a presentation or document to share with colleagues or clients, workers can instead share information using file-sharing sites like Google Docs, Dropbox, or Microsoft One Drive.

Recycle Empty Ink and Toner Cartridges

Instead of throwing out cartridges and contributing to landfills, businesses can instead recycle them with office supply companies like Office Depot or Staples for potential cash incentives. Companies can save money while also making some on the side.

Installing solar panels, energy-efficient windows, and ceiling fans are fantastic steps that companies can take, but these changes can be expensive up front. Therefore, the list above shows companies how they can make the transition toward more significant changes with smaller steps. The savings from a low-flow toilet or toner cartridge recycling can then fund more substantial sustainability steps. Companies should also let their customers know about their efforts to “go green,” so they know this is a change they are helping to support. Instituting eco-initiatives can be a win-win for everyone involved.

Sources:

30 Ways to Go Green at Work Now, www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/30-ways-to-go-green-at-work-right-now/

Companies are going green and reaping rewards on their bottom line, www.marketwatch.com/story/from-household-trash-to-jet-fuel-how-companies-are-going-green-2015-07-27

Employees at ‘green’ companies are significantly more productive, study finds, newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/study-certified-green-companies-238203

Green Your Office, www.nature.org/greenliving/gogreen/everydayenvironmentalist/green-your-office.xml

Household savings: LED bulbs gaining in cost efficiency, www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/06/09/household-savings-led-bulbs-gaining-cost-efficiency/375699001/

New Research Collaborative Study Shows that Going Green Saves Money, healthierhospitals.org/media-center/spark-blog/new-research-collaborative-study-shows-going-green-saves-money

Why businesses should turn their food waste into compost, www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/business-food-waste-compost-landfill

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