Bristol Business Blog: Tips on a greener office. Daniel Peacey, regional sales manager, Grundon

December 19, 2022

Improving environmental credentials isn’t just good for the planet – employees increasingly expect it from their employers too.

Most of us recognise the important of going green through recycling and better energy use. And if concern for the planet isn’t enough to affect your business, then perhaps employee expectations might. 

Surveys clearly show the influence that a company’s reputation for sustainability – or not – can have on its ability to attract and retain millennial talent.

Fortunately, businesses can relatively easily implement practical and deliverable changes in the workplace. Here are some tips to get you started:

Measurement is key. You should be able to quantify resources you use and generate, tracked by good data, supported with monitoring and advice from experts. This should cover everything from your energy and water, to carbon emissions, office consumables, waste bills and transfer notes.

Set targets and goals. It’s essential to prioritise your goals then set KPIs, action points and a realistic timeline. Work out what’s most important to your organisation, be it energy reduction, water usage, recycling or diverting waste from landfill.

Choose the right supplier. It’s crucial to work with experts who can bring their knowledge to achieving your goals. Questions to ask include making sure your energy supply is renewable, that your waste is managed by an expert provider and that your office supplies are green.

Policies and procedures. These can be developed with your suppliers, based on strategic action plans for improving performance in key areas. Look for ideas which deliver maximum efficiency, such as segregating waste streams to earn rebates or installing a compactor to reduce collections.

Know the law. Stay on top of your legal obligations. This can be time-consuming and difficult, but you’ll avoid the risk of fines and reputational damage. Find a good supplier and they will do the hard work for you.

Buy-in and engagement. Sustainability has to be driven from the top, so make a case for board-level engagement and investment. We’d suggest setting up a team of waste champions from across the business and communicate your thoughts and aims with your staff.

Segregate, segregate. Contaminated waste streams can increase your disposal costs, so make sure the right stuff goes in the right bin. This means clear signs, good staff communication, thoughts around location for bins and, if you need to print, a central printer and recycling station.

Sustainable procurement. This can make a big difference. For example, by phasing out use of non-recyclable or single-use items, sourcing sustainable office supplies and upcycling furniture. It’s worth having guidelines for future procurement.

Embrace new tech. There is so much development in eco-friendly tech that it’s hard to keep up. From heating and lighting, to vending machines and printers – you’ll find that an initial up-front investment quickly repays itself.

Certification. You can boost your business credibility by working to a recognised sustainability standard. The BSI offers a range of standards, including ISO 14001 for environment and ISO 50001 for energy.

Review and report. You should work with suppliers to generate accurate data on energy usage, carbon savings, waste and recycling. Then review, make decisions, understand which areas are working well and which need attention.

Celebrate your achievements. Everyone likes success, so share your achievements with employees, suppliers, customers and prospects. Enter awards and shout about yourselves as a company which cares about sustainability. Your customers and employees will thank you for it.

To find out how your business can improve its recycling performance and potentially earn rebates book your free waste audit with us. Contact or call 01179 826 590.

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