Want your office to be more sustainable? With more of us looking to operate in a more ethical and sustainable way, we’ve rounded up some simple tips on how you and your team can go green in the office.
Turn off electronic devices, lighting, and heat
Unnecessary energy usage can cause your carbon footprint to grow and is also hugely costly for businesses. Simply turning off devices, lighting and heating when not in use, can save an incredible amount of energy.
Another good idea is to enable power-saving mode on any device with this option. Here at FreshGround to ensure we’re not wasting power, all our lighting is activated via motion sensors making us more energy efficient. We also don’t have to worry about switching off the lights as they do that automatically if there’s no activity.
In addition, we encourage our team to unplug all devices when not in use. Regardless of whether they’re small or large devices, they still have an impact on energy usage. Also, you might want to adopt this practice in your home if you aren’t already as you can save around £120 per year.
Embrace renewable energy
Firstly, what is renewable energy? Put simply, renewable energy is energy produced from sources like the sun and wind that are naturally replenished and don’t run out. According to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020, solar is the cheapest electricity in history with the technology cheaper than coal and gas in most major countries.
We’ve embraced renewable energy at our head office in Norfolk where we’re powered entirely via our on-site solar farm. We have PhotoVoltaic panels on the roof that capture the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity. We’re 100% self-sufficient during office hours and any extra energy, we simply sell back to the grid.
There are lots of benefits to transitioning to a paperless office. You may be surprised to know that employees can lose as much as 40% of their time looking for paper files. And approximately 20% of print jobs are never even retrieved from printers. To top it all off, 50% of all printed material ends up in the bin by the end of the day. You can encourage your team to use note-taking apps and ditch the paper notepads.
Also, opt for digital check-ins and use instant messaging apps to cut down on notes, memos and post its. We use various messaging platforms – mostly Slack and WhatsApp to communicate with the team. If you do need to use paper, ensure your office has adequate recycling facilities to lessen your environmental impact.
Recycle coffee grounds
The UK produces a quarter of a million tonnes of waste coffee grounds. If you’re an office of coffee lovers, you’ll no doubt be getting through a lot of coffee every day. That means a lot of coffee grounds are often disposed of in the bin. While you might assume that the environmental impact is low as coffee is a natural, biodegradable product, it’s actually really bad for the environment. If your grounds end up in landfills, they’ll emit methane – a greenhouse gas 34 times stronger than carbon dioxide.
It’s actually really easy for businesses to recycle them by partnering with BioBeans. BioBeans send off used coffee grounds to their recycling factory in Cambridgeshire. It’s there the grounds are dried, renewing them for reuse in other products to benefit both people and the planet.
You can also donate coffee grounds to vegetable growers as it makes for a brilliant fertiliser. Coffee grounds contain several essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, along with micronutrients that help vegetables to grow. This means that none of your coffee grounds go to waste.
Encourage green commuting
There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint on your commute to and from work. You can encourage and even incentivise people to take public transport, car share or if it’s feasible, walk or cycle. Switching to electric company cars is also a responsible initiative.
Our team promote the use of electric transport and has electric car charging facilities on site. Our company vehicles are in the process of being replaced with either electric or hybrid vehicles in line with Government policy and timelines. Plus our fleet of technician vehicles is also Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) compliant to reduce their impact. You can find out more about what we’re doing to operate more sustainably.
And finally, you can choose an office coffee machine that’s energy-efficient and also opt for Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee which has been produced using only sustainable farming practices. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the team.