04 January 2013

How to create a greener workplace in 2013

Following on from our post about London trialing green rooftops yesterday, offices across the UK continue to find ways to lower their carbon emissions. After all, it’s in the best interest of businesses looking to save themselves money as the economy continues to stutter along.

Whether it is through innovative devices or simply lowering energy use, there are several ways to create a green office.

Avery Dennison previously organised Green Office Week, which aims to give firms large and small several ideas on how to lower energy use. Using some of the firm’s ideas, here are several ways in which you can make your office, warehouse or industrial unit more energy efficient.


How often have you walked past an office block past midnight – or during the holiday season – and seen lights shining out? The answer is probably too often, especially in the bigger cities. But this is where companies have an opportunity to lower their energy use and ensure that all lights are turned off after the working day.

It doesn’t stop here, either. What about computer monitors? Televisions? Are these switched off? Perhaps your firm can introduce a policy whereby all members of staff ensure their devices are turned off after a shift is complete. Not only will carbon use fall, but bills will plummet as well.


Does your business have a fleet of cars? With petrol prices continuing to rise and mileage on the surge, now could be a good time to look at encouraging train use or the introduction of electric cars. This is especially the case for employees undertaking shorter journeys.

And what about how people commute into the office? Making sure there is a safe and secure area for bicycles could encourage more people to ride into work, while delivering shower facilities could do the same as many are put off by the thought of arriving in a sweaty state. This would provide a huge boost to a reduction in energy use.


Avery Dennison says that the third measure businesses can consider is a reduction in waste. This could be unnecessary printer use or food waste from the cafeteria. But having a clear recycling policy will help reduce waste and make an office cleaner.

Why not place a paper recycling bin next to the printer, or encourage people to recycle their cans with a bin in the break room? Making it as easy as possible for workers to consider their waste will lead to a change in behaviour.

Purchasing and innovation

Avery advises firms to look at their stationary use by doing a stock check and then purchasing only what is necessary in the coming months. And when you do look at buying items, consider looking at companies who use recycled materials – especially on essential items like paper.

In terms of innovation, this is where employee ideas come into play. Why not set up a competition to see what ideas members of staff have? It could also make people more conscious about how they are using up energy.

Renewable energy on the rise

All of these ideas come at a time where the government is looking to deliver more renewable energy. Indeed, statistics unveiled this week show that renewable energy production is up, along with the use of other devices.

Between July 2011 and 2012, there was a 27% increase in overall renewable electricity generated, while solar panel capacity increased five times.

Speaking about the figures, Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “Renewable energy is increasingly powering the UK’s grid, and the economy too.

“It’s a fantastic achievement that more than ten% of our power now comes from renewables, given the point from which we started.”

With the government continuing to encourage renewable energy production – and with big targets in place – now is the time for businesses to look at how they can create a green office or workspace.

The upcoming new year represents a chance for change for businesses and employees alike. So why not look for ways to change where you work over the next few months?