How small businesses can create an eco-friendly office

If you are planning to turn your attention to the carbon footprint of your business in 2014, then you may well be looking for ways to make your office more eco-friendly. While you may not be able to implement environmental-friendly features on the same scale as the Bullitt Center in Seattle, widely recognised as the world's greenest office building, there are plenty of steps you can take to limit the environmental impact of your business premises.

Power up the eco-friendly way

With all the computers, printers, phones and devices constantly on charge, today’s businesses are pretty heavy on energy use. Once you’ve implemented basic policies and procedures to minimise the amount of energy your business uses – turning computers off, using low energy lighting – then the next step is to consider your power source. Is there a greener way to power your offices?

Solar panels are an increasingly popular feature on business and domestic premises for generating electricity using daylight. Because of their popularity, they are also an increasingly affordable option for the eco-conscious small business owner.

If you have the means, and the space, to take this a step further, then a wind turbine can also be used to generate part of your electricity supply.

Implement water recycling

Making more efficient use of your water supply is another way to make your office more eco-friendly. Recycling is the key, and there are several sources within your building which can be used as an alternative to fresh drinking water.

Rainwater harvesting can be used to provide water for things like flushing loos or irrigating green roofs (another great feature for making your office more environmentally friendly). Grey water recycling, which involves reusing waste water created within your building, is also an eco-friendly alternative to using fresh drinking water. It is possible to use both grey water and rainwater sources simultaneously within the same office.

Inspire your staff to go green

Strictly speaking, how your employees get to work isn’t an office issue; however, providing the right facilities onsite can enable them to take the most environmentally friendly option.

In major cities like London, for example, cycle parking is in short supply and high demand. Ensuring that your office has ample cycle parking spaces could well encourage more of your staff to get on their bikes rather than making the commute by taxi or train.

Of course, initiatives like these don’t just help the environment and make your business more eco-friendly; your employees should see an improvement in their fitness and general health too.

Sounds complicated? You don’t have to go it alone

You don’t need to be a big business with a big budget to access eco-friendly office features like these. It’s actually surprisingly simple; all you need to do is look for business centres which have green features ready installed. Here all the hard work is done for you, from design and installation to ongoing maintenance, leaving you free to get on with day-to-day business matters while reaping all the benefits of an eco-friendly office.

As specialists in the London office market, we’ve seen business centres with wind turbines, solar panels and even rooftop vegetable gardens. City centres are particularly good in terms of the variety of eco-friendly offices available. The options are out there; it’s just a case of finding the right one for you. Perhaps best of all, you don’t have to worry about installing those solar panels yourself.


Alec Ryan is Online Campaign Manager and regular blogger for helps businesses from startups to large corporates find premium office space in the UK’s capital city. Follow them on Twitter @Offices_London.

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