How to implement an environmental policy for your office

March 13th, 2013 Category: Building Management

After dropping 19 per cent in 2009, the UK’s carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint has started to steadily increase over the past two years reminding us that we’re all in this together, and we all have a responsibility to curb C02 emissions in the country.

Things are certainly starting to look up in the UK, and despite recording fluctuating CO2 rates the general consensus is that the country is on the right track. Greener living targets set for 2015 were achieved some three years in advance, which shows that the efforts we have made up to now have certainly made an impact.

But that doesn’t mean we should pull back, if anything, this should encourage businesses and individuals to work even harder to reduce their carbon footprint. Considering that we spend the lion’s share of our time in work at the office, this is generally considered to be the best place to start when it comes to creating a more environmentally-healthy lifestyle.

Where to start

The first thing to do is to set a realistic target. Common examples here are policies such as reducing paper consumption by 50 per cent, or recycling 50 per cent more of the paper used in the office. You could also set priorities to invest in energy saving technology or environmentally friendly cleaning equipment.

Simply identifying the parts of the business which are most likely to be damaging the environment is generally a good starting point. Computers are notorious energy sappers, and buying more energy-efficient models or ensuring that all devices are being switched off at night will make a tremendous difference. If you buy in a large amount of office stationery, look for ways to use environmentally friendly options instead, and try encourage policies such as carpooling or cycle to work.

Promote and monitor

The next step is to let your employees know about what the company is doing. Promote the environmental policies and monitor how they are performing. You should review your policy every 12 months to find out whether you have reached your targets, adding things to it and reassessing your goals.