Transitioning your office into a green office can take a little longer than you might expect. This is because you have to transition the thinking of your employees who might not be as green at home. Encouraging your employees to think green takes time, training and money. Not everyone believes in the same level of green as others do, and it can take a lot of work to convince them. With policy changes and incentives you can make going green at the office a reality.
Giving each employee or small group of employees separate bins for landfill trash, paper recycling, can recycling and plastic recycling is the easiest way to go green. Employees can easily separate out their trash and recycling without wasting time. Some recycling programs will provide these bins when you sign up for them. Other programs will provide one bin but separate out the recycling for you at an extra cost. Decide which program is the best fit for your company.
Reduce printing by having your IT department move as many office tasks as possible to computer software or web software. Applications, forms and other consumer-based systems can be handled via a website. Accounting, membership, memos and even signing documents can all be handled via computer. Computers can accept and send electronic faxes. You will have to install a good backup power and data system in case of computer breakdown or power loss. Encourage employees to scan in documents and email them rather than make copies. If you are really bold, you can remove printers and copiers from your office altogether, but many employees may take a while to adjust to the new procedures. You will have to provide training on all the new software your IT department installs.
Use email or ticket systems to send messages, code or documents to different departments. Do not print out items for review. Encourage the use of mobile devices such as phones, laptops and PDAs.
Set Up Commuter Pools or Bike to Work Programs
Set up commuter pools for employees to commute to work if there is no train available. Give incentives to employees who bike to work such as prizes for the most days biked in the month or give to a charity in their name. Remind employees of tax credits for biking to work as well.
- green globe on green background image by Brent Walker from Fotolia.com