16 May 2013

UK workers call for greener offices

A survey of 1,000 office workers, commissioned as part of Green Office Week has revealed that more than 80% of individuals in the UK would like to see the businesses they work for do more for the environment.

Despite the increasing importance for companies and organisations to adopt greener policies, 40% of office workers would still not rate their company as environmentally-friendly and less than 30% feel they are encouraged to implement green practices at work.

The survey also revealed that small businesses are lagging behind larger organisations when it comes to encouraging green office practices. Individuals working at companies with more than 250 employees say they are twice as likely (40%) to be encouraged to be green at work than employees at smaller companies (21%).  This is despite the cost-saving and efficiency benefits on offer to businesses adopting greener working practices.

Making your workplace greener

Monday 13 –  17 May 2013 is the fifth Avery Green Office Week, championing environmentally friendly office practices and challenging office workers to make small, practical differences to their green routines.

Today’s focus is on purchasing. Could your office benefit from the following tips?

  1. Organise a stationery amnesty day and pool together surplus stationery supplies. You will probably find you stock re-orders reduce dramatically! Co-ordinate your stationery orders with others in your company to reduce the number of deliveries.
  2. Choose recycled paper and/or items sourced from sustainable sources when ordering your stationery.
  3. Try re-manufactured ink and toner cartridges – most offer the same quality as new.
  4. When choosing electrical products, choose items with energy star ratings which are more efficient and economical to run. 
  5. Switch to a green energy tariff which will help towards investment in clean energy from renewable sources.

 Environmental irritations

The survey of office workers also revealed the UK’s top green office bugbears:

  1. Throwing away paper
  2. Not putting recycling in the recycling bin
  3. Throwing away food packaging
  4. Printing out things that don’t need to be
  5. Leaving the computer switched on overnight
  6. Leaving electronic devices on standby
  7. Not turning off the lights
  8. Not printing double sided
  9. Boiling a full kettle
  10. Leaving things on charge all day
  11. Using plastic cups
  12. Not reusing envelopes and parcels
  13. Using non-environmentally-friendly products
  14. Throwing out printer cartridges
  15. Traveling by car too much

By aiming to change just a few of these things in our own workplaces, we can help to protect the environment.

Gregg Corbett, Marketing Director at Avery, said: “We’re nearly four times more likely to consider ourselves greener at home than we are at work. This is largely due to the fact that we don’t feel we can make a big enough difference at work, where we often lack the right equipment and encouragement. Green Office Week sets out to change this by demonstrating the power of working together, highlighting the key issues that we can all look to address to make our workplaces more sustainable.”

Tweet us your tips for a greener office!