5 Simple Ways to Make Your Office Greener Today

Posted  April 24, 2018  by  Shred-it

Spring is a great time to add more ‘green’ to the workplace. 

While green initiatives are all about better protecting the environment, they can also improve both the reputation of an organization and the productivity levels of employees (because they feel positive about what they are doing). Some sustainable practices support information security too.

5 Sustainable Office Solutions

Reduce Use of Printers

A lot of paper is still being used – and sometimes wasted – in the office. For example, one document can get copied  9 to 11 times in its lifetime, according to thepaperlessproject.com. Furthermore, almost half of the paper printed in offices ends up being trashed by the end of the day.   

  • Make printing a more conscious decision. Replace individual printers with printer stations, and set up ‘pull printing’ so the user has to activate each print job at the printer
  • Use double-sided printing, and a smaller font to get more copy on a page.
  • Use employee reminders to support sustainability practices. For example, put a standard signature on all corporate emails: “Please consider the environment before printing this email.”
  • Utilize an online content management platform.

Install Eco-Friendly Lighting

  • Lighting can impact employee productivity and morale, and it can also play a role in protecting premises and data.  
  • Maximize daylight by opening blinds where possible. A World Green Building Council report showed that employees working near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate.
  • Replace high energy incandescent bulbs and halogen lights with lower wattage energy-saving compact fluorescent and LEDs.
  • Make it company policy to turn off lights when rooms are not in use, and at night.
  • Install motion-activated light switches, which can save up to 80% of electricity. Also, after hours, this kind of outdoor lighting can deter would-be information thieves.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in the Office Kitchen

The average office worker uses about 500 disposable coffee cups a year – and often plastic bottles, aluminum cartons, and plastic wrap. Even more important than recycling is reducing the resources used in the first place.

  • Provide reusable mugs.
  • Encourage employees to bring reusable water bottles, utensils, plate, and bowl. Ban plastic water bottles altogether.
  • Encourage employees to bring lunch and snacks in reusable containers.
  • For events, partner with ‘green’ caterers only.

Choose Eco-Friendly Office Supplies

Conventional office supplies such as ink cartridges, paper, and cleaning products are often not environmentally friendly.  

  • Purchase recycled copy paper, toner and ink cartridges, and bathroom supplies.
  • Supply reusable pens.
  • Replace soaps and cleaners with biodegradable products.
  • Buy liquid cleaning products in boxes, not plastic bottles.

Declutter the Workplace

Leaving paper and other confidential information in full sight in the office makes for a cluttered office and increases the risk of a security breach.

  • Implement a Clean Desk Policy so that desks and computer screens are cleared at the end of the day.
  • Ensure any confidential information (passwords, PINS, account numbers) is not left out to see or steal ever – on Post-it notes, loose scraps of paper, and removable media.
  • Use digital documents if possible over hard copy ones.
  • Clear meeting rooms of documents at the end of each meeting.
  • Have a Shred-it All Policy so that all paper is securely shredded before being sent for recycling.

Start Protecting Your Business

To learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents and hard drives, please contact us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.

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