A green office, as defined by the US Environmental Agency, is one that utilizes eco-friendly practices that have fewer negative impacts on the environment. Green offices are designed to require less energy, use fewer chemicals, and create a more sustainable environment than traditional office environments. Are you ready to go green?
The Benefits of a Green Office
Maintaining a green office has a number of benefits for your business. You aren't just being friendly to the environment; when you choose eco-friendly options for your business, you're making decisions that benefit your employees, your customers, and even the business as a whole. Consider:
Eco-friendly businesses are increasing in popularity. Today's consumers know that they can vote with their spending dollars, and they often vote strongly in favour of businesses that are going green and doing their part to preserve the environment.
Going green often saves your business money. In many businesses, going green means saving on energy costs, travel costs, and even the cost of cleaning supplies and other items.
Having a green office helps increase employee commitment and makes your business an attractive place to work. Many potential employees are eager to commit to a company that stands for something they believe in, including things like protecting the environment or engaging in sustainable practices.
Going green can keep employees healthier. When you choose green alternatives for many of your former cleaning chemicals, you may discover that employees actually stay healthier. Many traditional cleaning products contain chemicals that employees may be sensitive to. In some cases, chemicals may increase the risk of getting sick or increase complications from asthma, allergies, and other medical conditions.
5 Important Green Cleaning Processes
Ready to go green in your office? Make sure that you're including these critical cleaning practices and habits for a more Eco-friendly office environment.
1. Encourage recycling.
In addition to emptying the bin regularly, which can decrease the spread of bacteria and keep your office smelling fresh and clean, offer recycling containers throughout the office. These containers should be easily accessible to make it as simple as possible for your employees to recycle plastic, aluminium cans, and glass. Ideally, you should place recycling containers just as regularly as you place rubbish bins. Consider offering office-wide incentives for commitment to recycling initiatives. Employees may not go out of their way to recycle, but typically, if you make the process easier for them or offer rewards, they will be more likely to get involved with these key programs.
2. Choose hand cleansers with care.
When employees wash their hands regularly with soap and water, it can discourage the spread of illness throughout the office substantially. If you really want to maintain a commitment to a greener office, however, it's important to choose the right products. If you offer hand sanitizer to your employees, make sure that it:
- Does not contain quats or triclosan
- Is free of dyes and fragrances, which are typically artificial components and add nothing to the cleaning process (and could cause reactions in some employees)
- Uses Ethanol or Ethyl alcohol, which are typically derived from corn
- Lists water as one of the two main ingredients
In the bathrooms, make sure that hand cleansers do not contain fragrances or artificial dyes. Choose an eco-friendly line of products, whether you're setting bottles on the sink or using dispensers to allow employees to clean their hands.
3. Choose Eco-friendly cleansers for your office.
It's not just about the products your employees and customers use on a regular basis. It's also about the products you use to take care of your normal cleaning tasks. If you use a cleaning company in your office, make sure you talk to them about the cleaners they use, including how important it is to choose eco-friendly cleaning products. If you do your cleaning yourself, take a look at the most important elements of green cleaning products. They should be:
- Free of any potential harmful or hazardous chemicals.
- Free of any dyes or fragrances.
- Made with renewable resources, where possible.
- Low in toxicity.
When possible, seek out natural cleaning products for your office. Don't get sucked in by promises of 'eco-friendly' or 'green' labels. Instead, take the time to read them and develop a better understanding of what you are placing in your office environment.
4. Pay attention to indoor air quality.
From the chemicals you use to how often you change or clean your air filters, plenty of factors throughout the office can have a big impact on your indoor air quality--and that, in turn, can substantially impact your office staff. By using fragrance-free cleaners and those free of toxic chemicals, you're already taking a big step to improve indoor air quality and health. Check your HVAC system on a regular basis. Consider including green, growing plants in your office. Invest in an air purifier, if needed, especially if your office is often high in humidity. You can also open the windows and let in fresh outdoor air, especially if you don't have employees who suffer from seasonal allergies.
5. Skip the quick-fix solutions
Bad smells in your office may send employees reaching for cans of air freshener or scented fabric sprays. Those items, unfortunately, contain chemicals that can be a serious health hazard over time. Not only that, they can often mask a serious problem, whether there's mould growing in an unexpected location or a mess that needs to be cleaned up, rather than being left to sit. Instead, develop a habit of addressing the real problem behind sneaky spills and stains to keep your office smelling its best. Encourage team members to leave their air fresheners and chemicals at home. It may take time to adjust to the difference, but it will be time well spent.
Making the swap to green office cleaning practices takes effort from every member of your team--including your cleaners. Luckily, we're here to help. With years of experience with eco-friendly cleaning solutions, we can help keep your office cleaner and greener at the same time. Contact us today to learn more about our services.