5 Ways to Make Your Office More Eco-Friendly
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
One of the most prevalent talking points in 2022 is sustainability – as climate change becomes a more pressing concern both systemically and societally, property managers are looking into eco-friendly methods of upgrading their office spaces. According to a survey by Essity - a global hygiene and health company – three in four employees want more environmentally friendly offices, and with remote-work models becoming increasingly popular, property managers should take heed of these findings in order to ensure maximum return-on-investment for their commercial properties.
With that in mind, we here at EAMA have a few tips for you to ensure that your office is eco-friendly and meets the needs of the modern, environmentally conscious office worker.
1. Material Efficiency
One of the key steps in creating an eco-friendlier office space is to lessen the amount of everyday waste being produced. It’s important to maximize space and prioritize renewable resources. For example, instead of filling your building with cubicles or cubbies – which use up materials and cut off natural light – consider shared spaces and open concept layouts. This modern office layout will also bolster collaboration and networking amongst workers, leading to increased satisfaction in both employers and employees.
Not to mention plenty of opportunities to show off your desk knick-knacks.
Photo by Marc Mueller from Pexels
Furthermore, reducing your reliance on paper within the office is a great way to decrease your office’s carbon footprint in the long run and has never been easier to do thanks to the growing ubiquity of digital communication. Choosing reusable options for cutlery and plates in office kitchens and breakrooms will also go a long way to improve energy consumption within your building, along with being more cost-effective than disposable options. Plus, at the end of the day, nobody’s going to choose to eat on a paper plate over a ceramic one.
2. More Natural Light Nearly 25% of the electricity consumed in the US is devoted to lighting office spaces, meaning that every commercial building lighting up the skylines of our cities represents a sizeable chunk of the world’s carbon footprint. By capitalizing on natural light, property owners can cut this number in half, saving the environment (as well as money from your electric bill). Choosing lighter paint colours with higher gloss, as well as glass partitions, can also help to distribute and reflect natural light around a space, lessening the need for lightbulbs in your office. Incandescent lightbulbs can be replaced with compact fluorescent lamps or LED bulbs to further help lessen energy usage. As an added bonus, natural light has been proven to lead to healthier, happier, and more productive workers.
Note how the sunlight reaches every inch of the room.
Photo by Austin Distel from Unsplash
3. More Green
One of the simplest ways of brightening up your home can also be used to brighten up your office space – get a plant! Humans are innately ‘biophilic’, meaning that they are inherently drawn to nature. Studies have shown that incorporating plants into your office layout improves employee morale and significantly reduce stress, in addition to other benefits such as cleaner air and less noise pollution.
Full-time office, part-time botanical garden.
Photo by Marc Mueller from Pexels
The most popular plants for office spaces are succulents, rubber plants, and peace lilies. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to create an eco-friendlier workspace for your employees, investing in a few plants should definitely be one of your first steps.
4. Eco-Friendly Heating
As previously stated, electricity is one of the biggest contributors to energy usage within commercial spaces – however, lighting a space isn’t the only use for electricity. It is also used in heating and cooling, and over time, the energy used to keep your space hot in the winters and cool in the summers adds up to a significant portion of your yearly carbon footprint. In addition to making sure that your heating, cooling, and ventilation systems are being regularly serviced, you can also heat your office to 25° Celsius and cool it to 20° while occupied, adjusting up and down as necessary by 7 to 10 degrees when unoccupied. This will maximize energy saved and ensure your office is consistently at the most comfortable temperature for your employees.
5. Incentivize Green Living
Finally, the best way to promote eco-friendliness and green living inside the office is to promote it outside the office! Encouraging your employees to live in environmentally sustainable ways during their off hours will make it much easier to adhere to eco-friendly initiatives while at work. For example, one of the biggest sources of pollution is automobiles, and as per a report in 2019, American households had two cars on average – that’s a lot of cars, and a lot of pollution. Many companies have begun offering special incentives for carpooling and ridesharing, thus reducing the number of cars on the road significantly; in addition, installing bike racks outside your building will promote cycling to work, resulting in more eco-friendly – and fitter – employees!
For safety's sake, however, we do recommend using the bike lanes.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
By integrating these 5 simple steps into your property, you’ll be creating a greener, more environmentally friendly space, ensuring your employees are happier and healthier, and saving a ton on your energy bills each month. For more information on how to optimize your commercial, industrial, and multi-residential properties, be sure to keep an eye on updates to this blog, and for all your HVAC needs, look to your friends at EAMA - a contractor you can count on.