The Green revolution is getting well entrenched in many offices. How many times have you seen the e-mail footer that says, "Save some trees. Please don't print this e-mail unless absolutely necessary."
There are many ways that an office can approach the Green world and make an impact, even if it is small. Here are a few to consider:
- Don't have any more electronic devices than are absolutely necessary. Each printer, fax, mfp printer, computer, monitor or other device which is hooked up to the electronic grid is using energy. While most have energy saving features, the ability to use them at maximum energy save mode usually means delays in interfacing so most energy save features are turned off. Consolidating your necessary services into fewer devices will mean a lighter energy footprint.
- Use electronic tools to minimize the use of paper. While we all know the paperless office has not become a reality, a paper LESS office (one using less paper) can be created.
- Use electronic file storage instead of paper storage.
- Use scanning technologies to create electronic copies of documents which need to be distributed to multiple people and then distribute them through e-mail instead of copying and handing around paper.
- Work off of the computer screen when reviewing documents and don't make print outs just to throw them in the garbage a few minutes later.
- Capture incoming faxes electronically, distribute and store them in electronic form instead of paper.
- Encourage electronic billing processes. For your purchases and also for your own invoicing processes. Many of your clients will prefer this method.
3. Use environmentally friendly products. From cleaning supplies to printer toners. In this area a new kind of laser printer toners are starting to be more readily available which use a non-petroleum based vegetable derived toner (common is soy) which has a much lower environmental impact. See Bioprint Canada
for more information.
4. Cut down your travel by using webinars, e-mail and phone to replace long distance travel and local trips. While it is important to get face to face with clients there are many ways to do this using video technology and other tools which can have a lower environmental impact. You will still need to see them in person at times but maybe not as often and with the same amount of vehicle travel.
While none of the above suggestions will make a major impact on our environment, if we all do a few of them some of the time then the long term lessening of our footprint will be significant.
Oh, and don't forget to turn down the thermostat (for heating) or up (for cooling) and turn off the lights when you leave at night...
Got some tips to pass on? Figured out how to save energy and still get the work done right? Got a truly proven environmentally friendly product that will help lessen an office's environmental impact? Share it with us...
An environmental strategy can be storing your files in electronic format. Read 9 Red Flags to Avoid in Document Management.