Sustainability issues in the office

March 15th, 2013 Category: Building Management

The workspace can be a subconscious hub of consumption, with vast amounts of paper, water and other materials getting used up or even wasted everyday. Re-evaluating the office’s consumption levels can be a great way of driving down costs as well as improving the company’s carbon footprint.

For most people, an average day in the office includes grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning from a paper cup, enjoying a few cold beverages from plastic water cooler cups and printing invoices and other documentation to send to clients in paper-sealed envelopes. Although we tend to overlook much of this consumption, both workers and managers would do well to realise the impact such procedures can have on the environment.

Here are a few things you might want to consider when evaluating your building management requirements.


Water is a necessity in the office, but there are ways to reduce or at least manage the amount of water you are using. The bathrooms are generally a good place to start by placing notices above the taps reminding employees to be careful how much water they consume. In rainy England it can often be easy to overlook the importance of water, but several dry months can often lead us dangerously close to drought.


Saving paper has never been easier in a digital world, with most companies able to email documents rather than send them by post. Try implementing a day of printing abstinence in the office as part of the environmental push, but if that fails, there are some general measures of good practice.

First of  all, recommend that all documents should be printed double sided. Avoid print errors by previewing before you print, and even consider resizing your document if it isn’t content heavy.

Paper and plastic cups can account for large amounts of the office consumption, so think about getting employees to bring in their own mugs. Recycling bins are a must if the office is reliant on paper and plastic, so ensure they are dotted around in all the important places.