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Office Sustainability: Steps to Never Forget

January 30, 2020

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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This list serves as a reminder for many offices out there who have simply forgotten their impact! Being cooped up in an office leaves you with little time to think about the environment. All that energy being used to send that one email does have an affect. The average spam email has a footprint equivalent to 0.3 g of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e), according to carbon footprint expert Mike Berners-Lee's 2010 book "How Bad are Bananas: The Carbon Footprint of Everything."

Different industries tend to have a different climate footprint, but we all play a role. Finding out how you contribute and how we can all lessen that footprint will set you on the path to sustainability! There are many options online to calculate your score or you can bring in a consultant. While waiting for the impact score and some options for how to lower this score, there are some small changes than can be made.

1. Lights and computers off.

The list is starting off with one that is not so tricky. Turn off all lights and computers at the end of the day. This is such an easy step, the person who is first to the office in the morning can be in charge of flicking lights on and the last person who leaves turns them off!  

2. Going paperless.

Ok, we get that this is an overused term and pretty much everyone already is, but this is for the businesses who sit in the ‘pretty much’ column. Without turning this heading into a sales pitch, SuiteFiles will help you with managing all those pesky paper files. It’s so easy, c’mon!

3. Reuse & Recycle.

This is one we have been hearing since primary school, but it is easier said than done. Offices who have many employees may find they are left with a lot of plastic from bought lunches. Encouraging the team with rewards or outings based on their effort of creating an eco-friendlier office can be a great booster! Simply providing recycling bins could be a way to improve employees thoughts around sustainability too.

4. Offsetting sustainably

Looking into offsetting businesses that create sustainability through planting trees or businesses who offer research into renewable production are great options. This betters the environment and creates a great selling point! A day that the office goes out and does something physically good for the environment will improve mood and boost eco-friendly efforts, inviting customers to join could make it an even bigger event.  

5. Actual greenery in office.

Bringing real plants into the office doesn’t only reduce CO2 but it will boost mood and make for a better work environment. Have you ever dreamed of having one of those super funky looking workspaces? This is the first step.  

6. Bonus tip.

Get the team on board! This should not be an issue; many individuals today are looking into ways they can improve their own personal footprint. Once everyone puts their heads together, the office can focus on specific ways to increase sustainability that are distinct to the business. Your team might have even been pondering some on their own.

Once a business has improved their carbon footprint, they can then operate freely and without guilt. When sustainability is at the forefront of the world, businesses cannot ignore it.  

Why leave it there?

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