Earth Day: Better Energy and Sustainability In the Office

Earth Day is quickly approaching the 50th anniversary of its continuing mission to educate on how we look after the environment. Part of this is their Billion Acts of Green, where people take small actions for more sustainable practices. They have already hit over two billion and some of the tips below might help you in making that get to 3 billion!

Earth Day 2017

Here at Webfactory, we’ve been learning more about better energy strategies, from basic tips to national schemes. We’ve recently started working with SEAI and Science Foundation Ireland, both of whom carry out work in energy and environment research. It’s started us thinking about how digital communications and everyday office environments can be made more sustainable. There are many big impact options available out there but you can also make a few small changes. After all, if we all do our bit it makes a difference overall.

Below are a few of our top tips for making adjustments to your daily office habits.

Use digital communications tools

Encourage your colleagues or clients to not print materials or emails unless absolutely necessary. We use several platforms at Webfactory, including Basecamp as a way of sharing information between our staff and clients, Slack for internal communications, and shared folders. Try to make use of digital tools wherever possible.

Digital files can also be used for tool kits like styles guides, or tone of voice documents. These assets tend to sprawl over many pages, and digital versions prove much more useful for those who have to consult them, if they need to be able to search for example.

Clean up your note taking

Often we have our devices with us in meetings and we all work on laptops or desktop computers. Take notes on your device rather than using notepads or stray sheets of paper. If you have the resources, it is best to use projectors or screen sharing for meetings. You can then send the presentation or notes on to all involved rather than printing for everyone in attendance.

Consider your daily office habits

Sometimes small routines could benefit from a bit of a transformation. For example, some of the Webfactory staff have decided to start using reusable bamboo cups to cut down on the number of disposable coffee cups we use every day. This change came from us learning that 100 billion single-use coffee cups go to landfill each year.

Dublin Bike scheme in Dublin, Ireland

Several of our staff also cycle to work, making use of our citywide bike sharing scheme or the national Cycle To Work scheme. Not only does this cut down on fuel usage, it also helps you to get that exercise in and beat the morning traffic!

Check in on your electricity and heat usage

It’s coming into the warmer weather so maybe it’s time to look at turning the office thermostats down rather than going straight to opening the windows. There’s also the age old idea of turning the lights off that we’ve all heard time and time again, but it’s a common tip for a good reason. Brighter days mean less need for having the lights in some offices.

We all have bad office habits like leaving our computers on all night or not making sure that the last person out is turning off lights and appliances. Making these minor adjustments not only stops the build up of unnecessary energy usage over time, it also keeps the costs down.

These tips might seem like they are on a small scale but they are actions many of us either don’t remember to consider or know we should do, but don’t. All of these are changes that are best for your business costs and demonstrate better attitudes towards your energy use. Use Earth Day to kick off some new sustainable activities!


Rebecca Treacy

Content Strategist

The author

Rebecca started off her career as a Communications Intern with the Undergraduate Awards, and has spent her spare time writing for online publications, social media, and guest blogs. She loves working with all areas of content, and is a fan of a good turn of phrase.

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