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Ideas for Making Your Office Greener

May 15, 2015

April 22nd was Earth Day, a time to consider the human impact on the environment and reconsider how we might lessen this impact in the future. Many employers today consider sustainability initiatives as an important facet of their corporate citizenship. While we have made great strides in improving recycling, energy efficient building practices and paper reduction practices, there is always room for improvement. Below are some ideas for going green in your office this spring.

1. Buy green. Office supplies are a necessity, but employers can reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing supplies that are made from recycled materials or take other eco-friendly steps in production, materials and packaging.

2. Create incentives for employees to carpool, take mass transit or bike to work. Offer employees reduced-priced transit passes and provide secure areas for employees to park their bikes. If you need to drive to work, consider carpooling with coworkers.

3. Stock your break room with ceramic coffee mugs versus paper cups. Bring a refillable water bottle to work and lunch in reusable containers.

4. Cut down on energy costs. Switch to LED lightbulbs, and look for Energy Star-certified printers, computers and refrigerators. Many computers and printers now come standard with green technology such as sleep modes that can significantly reduce electricity consumption. Research your printer brand to see what steps they take to use environmentally-friendly ink, recycle cartridges and reduce packaging waste, and sign up for their green programs.

5. Cut down on paper use. Reducing paper consumption is easier than ever. Most multifunction printers today offer paper-saving features such as double-sided printing and will recognize and delete duplicate print jobs. Another green feature of MFPs is scan-to-email and fax-to-email functions that eliminate the need to print a job for distribution. Employees should ask themselves if they really need to print a hard copy of a document when it is less wasteful to look at it on-screen.

6. Go digital. While a completely paperless office might not always be possible, for paper-heavy offices, converting to a digital records management system can help significantly reduce paper use. It also saves your organization valuable time retrieving, editing and distributing documents.

7. Know your usage. Many employers are shocked by the amount of paper and ink they go through each month. Pacific Office Automation offers Print Track and Control, which tracks printing jobs by machine and/or user. It also eliminates unnecessary printing and reduces printing to high-cost devices like laser printers.

Employers can set up sustainability initiatives, but your work force need to participate in order for the goals to be accomplished. Communicating new goals should be your first step. For more information on how POA can help you to become a more sustainable office, contact us today.

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