9 simple ways to create a more sustainable workplace

In celebration of National Recycling Week, which runs from Monday 8 November to Sunday 14 November, it’s important to think about how our impact on the environment today will affect our future generations. Here are nine simple ways your business can create a more sustainable workplace, because our tomorrow starts today.

1. Make recycling easy

Recycling stations are becoming more popular in workplaces as businesses move to more sustainable practices. Recycling significantly helps reduce pollution, lower energy use, divert waste from landfill and protects animals and their habitats.

To encourage your team to recycle, the key is to make it simple and accessible. Invest in colour-coded bins and educate employees on responsible waste disposal and how to check on-product labelling. Station colour-coded bins throughout the office, in breakrooms and other common areas.

2. Be more energy efficient

Did you know on average, computer workstations make up the biggest non-essential energy drain in the everyday office? It can cost up to $45 a year to run a single computer system 24 hours a day. That means for just 100 computers operating 24 hours a day, it could cost you up to $4,500 a year!1 Not to mention the cost this can have to the environment. Set automatic timers to ensure non-essential lights, appliances and machinery are powered down at the end of the day.

Switching to energy-saving lightbulbs can also help save you energy and money. Plus, they last up to 25% longer.2

3. Use recycled paper

Paper is one of the most used products in Australian workplaces, with the average office worker consuming 50kg of paper at work per annum.3

Make the switch to products with recycled content, which use up to 50% less energy and 90% less water than producing from virgin trees.4

Beyond recycled copy paper, many other paper-based products have recycled content alternatives including notebooks, office storage and wooden cutlery.

4. Choose aluminium alternatives

Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely with no waste, meaning one kilo of scrap aluminium will produce one tonne of new aluminium. Recycling aluminium uses 95% less energy than producing aluminium from raw materials and saves 97% of greenhouse gas emissions produced in the production process.5

Whether purchasing soft drinks or coffee, there are many sustainable options to choose from. For example, purchase aluminium coffee pods instead of plastic coffee pods.

5. Rethink your plastic use

On average, Australians use 130kg of plastic per person each year, of which less than 12% is recycled. According to WWF, up to 130,000 tonnes of plastic will find its way into our waterways and the ocean.6

Where you can, switch to paper or aluminium alternatives or re-usable options.

6. Recycle your used cartridges

In Australia, over 25 million ink cartridges end up in landfill every year and can take anywhere between 400 to 1,000 years to decompose.7 Ensure you are recycling your used cartridges to prolong their lifecycle and help close the loop.

7. Dispose of e-waste responsibly

Incorrect disposable of e-waste can have devastating environmental effects that pollute our soil and water. In Australia alone, e-waste is responsible for 70% of toxic chemicals and electronic waste is growing at three times the rate of any other waste stream. If half of the televisions discarded annually were recycled, 23,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions would be saved.8

Our IT Asset Disposal program can put a value on your old IT assets, providing you with a credit to put towards future Winc purchases. We can also provide an environmentally friendly recycling service for any item that has no commercial resale value.

8. Choose Fairtrade coffee

Many workers are fuelled by their morning cup of coffee with 16.3 million coffees consumed on an average day in Australia.9

Growing, processing and transporting coffee results in greenhouse gas emissions. Switch to more sustainable coffee and tea brands that are Fairtrade and sustainably grown. With brands now offering coffee pod alternatives that are recyclable, you can make the switch and still get your daily coffee fix.

9. Clean more sustainably

After use, cleaning chemicals are inevitable washed down sinks, drains and toilets and released into the environment, making their way into our waterways, air and soil. These harmful chemicals can take a long time to degrade or may not degrade at all, killing organisms in our water sources that are essential for maintaining the natural ecosystem.10

Many sustainable and eco-friendly options like products from Cleera or Northfolk Chemicals reduce or eliminate the use of these pollutants, minimising risk to users and the environment.

Our tomorrow starts today. To browse our range of eco-friendly workplace product alternatives, shop our sustainable range online and contribute to a brighter future.

References:

1Switchboard In A Box, 2018, ‘Energy Consumption at Work: Leaving Your Monitors on Costs Money’, <https://www.makeitcheaper.com.au/blog/energy-consumption-at-work-leaving-your-monitors-on>

2Wise Marketer Staff, 2021, ‘Cost Cutting Measures You Should Implement in Your Small Business’, <https://thewisemarketer.com/retail/cost-cutting-measures-you-should-implement-in-your-small-business/>

3ACT Government City Services, 2018, ‘PAPER & CARD RECYCLING’, <https://www.cityservices.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1368620/180438-ACT-NOWaste-Paper-Factsheet-v8.pdf>

4Whisper, 2020, ‘Roll into Recycled’, <https://www.whisper.com.au/sustainability/recycled-paper>

5‘There are significant environmental benefits to recycling aluminium’, <https://alupro.org.uk/industry/local-authorities/environmental-benefits/>

6WWF, 2018, ‘Help us encourage politicians to beat plastic pollution and phase out the 10 worst single-use plastics in your state or territory!’, <https://www.wwf.org.au/get-involved/plastics>

7Ford, J., 2021, ‘How do ink cartridges affect the environment?’, <https://answerstoall.com/science/how-do-ink-cartridges-affect-the-environment/>

8Clean Up Australia, 2019, ‘E Waste’, <https://www.cleanup.org.au/e-waste>

9Prikhodko, A., 2019, ‘Origin: Australia’, <https://www.freshcup.com/origin-australia/>

10In-Tec Commercial Cleaning, 2021, ‘5 benefits of adopting sustainable cleaning products in your workplace’, <https://www.in-tec.com.au/learning-centre/5-benefits-sustainable-cleaning-products-workplace>