Sustainability is a concept that’s on the radar of business professionals more and more, and rightly so. As the planet’s temperatures rise, the rising heat and humidity in certain parts of the globe is something that has serious consequences.
On an individual level, how can a business create a sustainable office environment?
Table of Contents
1. Use locally sourced and/or easily replenishable materials
By decking your office space with furniture from locally sourced materials like good-quality treated timber from the UK, you will reduce emissions and energy usage. It’s a great material for decking and shelving and there’s no denying that cutting down on shipping distance helps with emissions.
If you are looking for materials that mimic wood, you may want to look into cork or bamboo. This being said, it’s true that both are imported. There’s also a debate about how sustainable wider production methods of bamboo really are. However, bamboo flooring can be produced without the use of harmful chemicals and grows in a fraction of the time that it takes hardwood alternatives to grow.
Cork is an increasingly popular material in products, flooring and furniture. When harvested, the bottom part of the tree stays alive, continuing to cleanse the air around it of carbon dioxide. When burnt at a waste facility, cork products don’t emit any chloride, cyanide or natural gases. It’s also 100% biodegradable, making it perfect for any office that wants to become more sustainable.
Think carefully about your furniture
Another way to ensure the furniture in your office is sustainable is to buy upcycled or second-hand furniture. Various businesses recycle old office furniture and recirculate furniture to other offices that have donated, so this could be the place to start.
Upcycled pieces such as desks show how something unique can be made from a once-ordinary item. By investing in one, you will not only prevent waste but bring something into the office that lends it a personality. This creates a pleasant space for employees and clients alike.
Use energy-efficient lights and appliances
Upgrade old technology in your workplace and you could also be benefitting the environment. If the computers and laptops are old and prone to overheating, they’re most likely consuming more energy. Could it be time to upgrade to newer, more energy-efficient tech? Your energy bills and your employees will thank you.
Changing the lighting in your office could be a quick win. Motion-activated lighting can ensure you’re not consuming more lighting than you need.
Switching to LED lighting is significantly more energy efficient than using incandescent bulbs, so it’s another easy way to lower your carbon dioxide emissions.
Bringing plants into the office space can help purify the air, which may be contaminated by petrol fumes from surrounding streets and other toxins you would never have suspected.
There’s also something very calming about the sight of natural greenery in an office space. This may explain why plant walls have become so popular in recent years.
When you think about it, even a few small tweaks can make a difference in improving the sustainability of your office!