Creating a "Greener" Office Building
What is a Green Office Building?
The United States Green Building Council developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in 1999. LEED-certified buildings have increased asset values, lower operating costs, and provide safer and healthier environments for employees.
Studies linking the effect of workplace environment on employee health and performance suggest that employees perform best when they can control the temperature of their environment, and that the average optimal temperature is 71.6 F (22C). Lighting studies have also shown increase in staff performance when they have more natural light.
There really is no excuse anymore, and every business should do their bit to help the environment (and reap benefits for themselves). It's a case of setting up a system and sticking to it. So here are five eco-friendly tips to employ right away in your new office to make it more environmentally friendly, that can really make a difference:
Staff should be encouraged to shut down their computers at the end of each working day. Computers of sleep or power save mode are still using up energy, and when they're not in use it's a complete waste. Companies should consider investing in Power Management software to allow the switching off of devices centrally or automatically.
Ditch Plastic Cups
Disposable cups can produce an extortianate amount of waste as hundreds of cups can be thrown out every day. Staff should bring (or be allocated) their own mug to re-use. If you have a vending machine, most will allow you to put your own cup when the drink is dispensed so the plastic cup won't appear.
Introduce recycling containers and place them near to printers and copiers where people are most likely to discard paper. You should have one for metal, one for paper and one for plastics. This will encourage employees to actively recycle, reuse and reduce as much office waste as possible.
If you are considering upgrading any of your office equipment when you move, look for office equipment designed for remanufacturing or recycling. Upgrading to more efficient equipment can also save energy and improve your efficiency.
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