How to create a sustainable office
In a week that saw National Earth Day and as we all focus on the impact that human action has had on the world, we look at the ways individuals and companies can ensure they have created a sustainable office -it isn’t just about choosing fixtures, fittings and flooring with sustainable credentials.
1. Set clear, precise goals
Designing and building a sustainable office is one thing, but if office staff aren’t aligned to those goals, resources can be wasted. The first step is perhaps to create a ‘sustainability vision’ for the company. This is where you set out your goals and methodology for creating your sustainable office. This can include things like where rubbish recycling goes within the office, usage of equipment/fittings and the staff behaviours you might expect.
These ideally need to written in an official policy document that can be distributed to staff and be available at all times as a reference point.
2. Design the office with sustainable actions in mind
Basically, if you want people to recycle more then you need to make it easy for them to do so. Is there easy access to recycling bins and enough of them, or do you need to change the layout of the office?
Office’s aesthetics may also help. Natural colours might be better at promoting a sustainable mindset than dull colours like white, grey and beige. Greens and blues are natural choices. For more information on the effect of these colour on the office environment read our blog on the subject.
3. Involve all staff
Like with any project, there are going to be some who are more eager to participate in sustainability policies than others. You need to identify these people and bring them onboard as influencers within the business.
It will be important however to train all staff on how they can help make the office more sustainable. The key thing here will be involvement and getting initiatives that everyone buys into.
We found this article on 15 ways to promote sustainability in the office – as well useful tips it highlights the employee benefits as well as cost saving associated with creating a sustainable office environment.
4. Measure results and feedback
Try to find ways to measure results. You could monitor the usage of electricity, gas and even rubbish bins.
Don’t just leave it at that. Always feedback to employees how their work is helping to turn your company into a sustainable business. Feedback is a vital part of any culture shift – without it, you can’t break the cycle.