How to create an eco-friendly workplace

More and more of us want to do our bit to help fight climate change and improve the quality of our local ecosystem, but it can be difficult to know even where to start. We’ve created a starter list for you.

Reduce paper

It pains me that we still have to push paperless commerce, but every year millions of tonnes of paper is consumed unnecessarily. Some very standard tech setups can help you make a difference. Set up a cloud storage facility. Use workplace collaboration tools. Enable digital payslips. Finally and most obviously, scan paper documents and discourage printing. You could reduce the number of printers around the office.

Motion-activated light switches

Millions of kilowatts are wasted on lighting every year, illuminating empty rooms. The boardroom and other meeting rooms are the main culprits. Lights are left on following a meeting and can remain on until the end of the day. Installing motion-activated light switches can significantly reduce energy consumption.


Printing isn’t the only activity that consumes many tonnes of paper. Paper towels are frequently the primary cleaning utensil, which are normally unfit for recycling and hence go straight to landfill. Use micro-fibre clothes to clean. They are inexpensive and can be used multiple times

Cleaning products that are less destructive to the environment are becoming more and more available. They are, mostly, as effective as their chemically-riddled cousins. Just think about the volume of those harmful chemicals that are pouring into our treatment centres and rivers every year.

Sleepy tech

Get IT involved in the eco fight. Setting all office devices (including laptops) to shorter ‘sleep intervals’ can save battery life, increase the lifespan of some devices and also save on energy.

If IT can’t help, why not just send out a team-wide note (digitally of course!), guiding your colleagues on how they can change their sleep settings.

Turn it up (the aircon)

We’ve all had those moments in the office at some point where we’ve cursed the freezing aircon… Not only can you help your work buddies warm up a little (even though it’s 100 degrees outside), but you will also be saving a whopping amount of electricity consumption for your firm. Even increasing the temperature by a fraction (or reducing in winter) could save you thousands of pounds per year.

Share the sharing

Promoting the top sharing platforms is a great way to help your colleagues and your firm to do their bit for the environment. That can be car-pooling platforms, freecycling apps, or energy sharing companies, like Ripple. Something as simple as buying second hand furniture can make a real difference.

Set up a special eco team

Raise awareness by creating a team that carries out a number of engagement activities to get people on board with your eco-friendly initiatives. This team could engage with the likes of facilities, installing the appropriate recycling facilities; help procurement make eco-friendly purchase decisions; set up fun lunch-and-learn sessions or competitions enticing colleagues into the new initiatives that have been set up.

Let’s not forget that this isn’t simply helping our environment. If you execute all of the above, you will also be saving your P&L and you're likely to improve employee sentiment. Being eco-friendly is being commercially savvy. Get involved and help your business thrive.

Gively is an online marketplace where users can give and request items for free. Our aim is to make giving mainstream, and to save millions of items from landfill.

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