What you can do to make your office more eco-friendly

Here's why responsible business owners should be committing to protecting and preserving the planet.

Businesses today are more conscious than ever about the impact they have on the environment. With the current pace of climate change, responsible business owners are committing to protecting and preserving the Earth. This policy not only pays off for the world, it can mean financial savings for your business. It can be a major promotional tool for your business when it is time to recruit new employees, and it can build morale in current staff.

Whatever your budget, there is something you can do to improve the environment. You just need to commit to it, and start implementing your policies. Here are some ways you can make your office more eco friendly.


If you take a quick look around you’ll see a number of resources that can be over-used. Electricity, food packaging, water bottles, and electronics are all areas where you can better tailor your imprint on the environment.

You can try starting with energy use. By disabling screen savers on computers and turning the computers off at night, you’ll cut energy consumption. Put lights on timers or motion sensors so they cycle off when areas are not in use. Don’t heat or air condition areas of your building that are not being used.

Not only is natural light cheaper, it is healthier. It may take some furniture adjustments, but encourage employees to use natural light from windows when they are working. To reinforce your commitment to eco energy policies, you can invest in planet friendly shutters. Choose a company that uses wood from forests that replant, with shutters that cut down on your energy use because they also insulate.


Plastic has become a huge waste problem for the world. Your company can downsize in a good way by installing water coolers. Go one step further and issue everyone a water bottle they can reuse, or allow employees to take glasses from the company cafeteria to their desks.

Paper is another commodity that can be used in more earth-friendly ways. Employees can print on both sides of the paper and recycle old documents and printer cartridges, but you can further encourage this by planting recycle bins near printers and workstations. The best way to love the earth is to not print anything that isn’t necessary. In this age of email and other communications, many documents can be shared online. Challenge your employees to reduce their printing by 5 per cent a month and acknowledge the employees who achieve this goal.

The commute

Getting to and from work is a part of most employees’ days. Ask yourself if the work of some, or all, of your employees could be done from home. More and more companies are reaping the benefits of telecommuting. Not only does it enhance their workers’ lives, it uses fewer of the company’s building resources.

If you can’t offer telecommuting, you can certainly foster an eco friendly policy by encouraging the use of carpooling, public transportation, walking or cycling. Offer vouchers for bus travel or give a gift certificate to an athletic gear store to employees who perform well. Make your commitment really felt by providing storage for bicycles and areas where employees can clean up and change clothes.


Many companies purchase supplies for their offices without knowing the origin of those supplies. Your company can research its suppliers to ensure they use eco friendly processes to produce their products. Just like you, more companies are committing to green policies, so make a point to seek them out and patronise them.

There is also a benefit to the environment when a product is produced and shipped locally. If you can find a local source, you will cut down on the environmental costs of transport.

Getting employees on board

Your employees not only provide the products and services that make your company successful, they are also a source of ideas for creating your green workplace. You can form an environmental awareness and conservation team to communicate about company initiatives, and brainstorm for other greening techniques. The team can be a part of training employees from hire to retire in your company’s commitment to being eco friendly.

Making the office eco friendly doesn’t take a huge sea change. Once you commit to it, you can start with small measures, like turning off computers at night, and gradually build a culture of environmental consciousness in all your employees. You and the Earth will reap the benefits.

See also: An environmental checklist for small businesses.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Related Topics

Office space

Leave a comment