As the news about climate change spreads, it is difficult to feel that your efforts at work are making the world a more sustainable place. Recycling at home is one thing, but how do you continue these actions at work? Firstly, green offices have been proven to increase employee productivity and happiness, which is a great incentive to do as much to make your office as eco-friendly as possible. Milner has always been a big proponent of implementing green tips for the office, and we are continuing that mission for 2022. This Earth Day, we’re tapping into bigger and better ways we can help you tackle the “Five R’s” of environmental responsibility. Check out our sustainable office checklist below.
It’s a common misconception that employing environmentally-friendly business practices will cost more money. It turns out that you can go green while actually saving money. Additionally, many people are actively seeking out businesses with green practices, which means that, in a landscape where customers are aiming for sustainability, becoming eco-friendly can mean staying competitive.
You can drastically reduce the amount of energy you use by employing a strict “nothing-stays-on” rule for the office. By turning off all your equipment at night you can save a lot on energy bills. If you need to leave the lights on for security purposes, consider investing in energy-efficient LED options. If you know that only certain areas of your office need to remain lit at all times, green options to reduce energy consumption include occupancy sensors, digitally controlled timers, and dimmers. These lighting controls alone can save you 5-40% on your energy bill depending on application and use.
You can similarly reduce your energy costs by purchasing and employing a multifunction printer (MFP) instead of separate machines for printing, copying, faxing and scanning. Your MFP should have the ability to print on both sides of a page (saving paper supplies) and come with energy-saving features.
Only a few brave souls can muster up the fortitude to face the workday without a trusty cup of coffee. And while single use cups are a sanitary and easy way to make sure there’s always a way to access the coffee, we all know they’re not great for the environment. One of the easiest ways to make your office green is to encourage your employees to bring in their own cups to be reused at the office.
This same idea holds true for the trusty disposable pen—an item which U.S. office workers throw out nearly 4 million of every single day. Consider offering the alternative of reusable pens and stock the supply closet with only refills for these pens. This encourages employees to keep track of their supplies, saving you money in the long run and saving the environment as well.
Rethink the office commute and encourage your employees to do so through incentives. By offering incentives for employees to walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit to work, companies can encourage employees to reduce commuting emissions. The average American’s work commute is about 25 minutes each way (roughly 32 miles). This accounts for more than 98% of an employee’s work-related carbon footprint. Encouraging remote-work or hybrid policies can dramatically reduce both the company bottom line and Scope 3 emissions.
Printing waste can be easily eliminated through several different means. Software programs that identify areas of wasted space in printed materials can alert you to possible wasted space and give you suggestions for how to eliminate it. No more blank pages with only that last half of a web address at the top! Agendas, manuals, and notices can be easily emailed, distributed online, or made easily accessible through shared cloud storage.
Using recycled paper in your printers is another easy solution to reducing your paper waste. Additionally, you can encourage your employees to print double-sided as often as possible. A good MPS can help with the right eco-friendly options for your printers and scanners. For example, most used ink and toner cartridges end up in landfills, taking more than 1,000 years to decompose. With Milner's Recycling Program you can responsibly recycle your used ink and toner cartridges, for free.
Make your office a plant paradise! Not only is it proven that plants make the workspace happier, it also makes it healthier because the plants recycle the office air. This is also known to have a direct correlation in increased productivity.
One of the most important things you can do to make your office more environmentally-friendly is to recycle your e-waste. E-waste is a common term for electronic products that are no longer serviceable or in use. Because e-waste products such as, computers, television monitors, VCRs, copiers and fax machines often contain hazardous substances like lead, mercury, cadmium, lithium, brominated flame retardants, phosphorus coatings and PVC plastics that create dioxins when burned, it is extremely important that these items are not thrown out in the regular trash, but delivered to a center that can dispose of electronic items properly
While it's important to ensure that you properly dispose of e-waste, it's equally important to properly maintain your office machines to ensure they run as efficiently as possible over their lifespan. By having a managed print partner who can help make sure your machines are running smoothly, schedule and conduct regular maintenance you can stretch the life of your machines saving you money and headaches. Choosing to repair instead of replace your machine will keep plastic and chemicals out of the landfill, and keep your machine working to its full potential.
We’re here to help
Milner’s here to help you rethink the way you can better your work environment while being committed to fighting climate change. Our team of expert print technology specialists can help you figure out how to reuse your passion for the environment to get your office rethinking the way they can become more eco-friendly. Find out all about our toner cartridge recycling program. And reach out to us to learn about our managed print services which can help you make strides to repair our world