November 18, 2019
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Making your office more environmentally friendly
We all know we need to be more sustainable in our homes – but it’s all too easy to leave our green intentions at the workplace door.

If you want to ‘be more green’ in the office, this guide contains some tips to help you do just that. Just remember – when replacing your workplace equipment or making other changes, make sure you update your office insurance policy so you’re still covered against fire, theft and accidental damage.

Now let’s take a look at some ways you can make your business more sustainable.

Start a green team

Do all your colleagues agree that you should make your workplace more sustainable – but nobody ever gets around to doing anything about it?

A sustainability team can lead the green drive in your establishment – devising environmentally friendly procurement policies, challenging management and rewarding green actions from office staff.

Encourage green commuting

Your establishment’s impact on the environment extends beyond your office doors. The way staff and visitors travel to your workplace is likely to be a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions.

Bike racks, car sharing, charging points for electric cars and loans for public transport season tickets are all excellent ways to reduce your workforce’s commuting carbon footprint.  It might even make commercial sense to lay on minibus transport, using electric vehicles.
A man commuting on a bicycle through a city

Allow home working

When people work from home some of the time, they drastically reduce their commuting emissions.

They can also make their lunches in their own kitchens rather than grab a ready meal, and therefore cut down on their plastic waste. 

They may also take more responsibility for their own actions in their own homes, for instance by switching to green energy providers.

Their reward? An extra half-hour in bed. Everyone’s a winner!

If you supply your staff with laptops or other equipment to use while away from your work premises, make sure it’s covered with good office insurance.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

If your establishment is not already recycling paper, cardboard, plastic, cans and other materials, then do so pronto. There’s really no excuse. Make sure they’re easier to access than the standard waste bins.

Even better, reduce what you buy and reuse things wherever possible. It’s a great mantra to have in your mind at all times when trying to make your office more environmentally friendly.
A paper bin with screwed up paper on the floor next to it

Choose greener office equipment and supplies

When buying equipment and supplies, of course you have commercial considerations. But make sure you factor in environmental impact, too.

Replace old electrical appliances such as computers with newer, more efficient models, and fit energy efficient lightbulbs throughout your business.
Buying in bulk reduces packaging, much of which ends up in landfill.

And don’t forget your utilities. Switching to a green energy supplier is a simple yet effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and make your workplace more sustainable.

Turn everything off at the end of the day

Even if your energy is from renewable sources, it should not be wasted.

Switching computers off at the end of the day, rather than just letting them go into standby mode, is a great habit to get into.

Likewise, make sure the lights are off in your business after hours. Better still, install motion sensors so that they turn on and off automatically when people enter and leave your establishment. Best of all, use natural light wherever possible.

If you’re leaving on lights for security reasons, then limit the number and look into other security options. And remember to get excellent office insurance to cover your workplace for burglary.
A dining area in an office with a table, chairs, and tv

Turn down the heating

Now this one’s controversial. Thermostat politics are the bane of many workplaces, causing tension and standoffs between colleagues during every cold snap.

However, while no boss wants to see their workforce shiver, it’s undeniable that high levels of heating are both uncomfortable for many people and bad for the environment.

Make sure your commercial premises are well insulated and free from chilly draughts. Then agree on an ambient temperature and stick to it.

Encourage staff to wear jumpers – but if they start wearing gloves and hats as well then you need to accept you’ve gone too far!

Encourage greener refreshments

Are your workplace bins stuffed with plastic at the end of the day? A well-stocked office kitchen can cut your waste dramatically.

Install a water cooler to discourage staff from buying drinks in plastic bottles. A kettle and a good coffee maker can prevent a steady stream of takeaway coffee cups from making their way into your office waste.

By supplying utensils, crockery and cutlery, you enable your staff to make their own lunches and snacks rather than buy ready meals in plastic containers. Plus, lunchtimes become more sociable, making for a happier workforce. Another win-win!

Just make sure your office insurance covers any kitchen mishaps!
A humorous coffee cup on a desk

Go paperless

Ah, the paperless office – for many workplaces, this much-touted concept seems like an impossible dream. No matter how good your intentions, somehow those emails end up printed out in triplicate – and then discarded in your recycling boxes.

Encourage staff to bring agendas and documents to meetings on their mobiles. Yes, there is a risk that they start surfing the net, but perhaps that will lead to shorter, snappier meetings!

Of course, sometimes you do need hard copies. Set your office printers to print on both sides as default, and make sure that the paper is from recycled or sustainable sources.

Bring in desk plants

Finally, get in some office plants, or encourage your workforce to choose their own. Plants are known to purify the air, with some species more effective than others.

Plants are also said to lift people’s moods, improve their concentration, and calm their nerves. That means your workplace could not only enjoy cleaner air, but also become happier, healthier and more productive.

The perfect green solution!
A clean desk with an indoor potted plant in one corner

Get a quote for office insurance

Sustainable businesses need cover from excellent office insurance.

Insurance Choice understands the challenges faced by each commercial enterprise and works with a panel of insurers to find the best cover for your needs.

Shop and office insurance can cover: accidental damage, fire and theft, flood and storm damage, glass and signage, loss of profits due to business interruption, public and employers’ liability and more*.

**All features and benefits are subject to eligibility and underwriting criteria

Contact us today for your free quote.