Quick Wins to a More Environmentally Aware Office


There are a number of quick and easy steps you can take to reduce your environmental impact and save you money. Here are some to get you started. Visit the LSA Ideas Factory to share your own ideas and good practices with us.


Recycling/ Resource Use

  • Provide glasses and mugs rather than disposable cups
  • Limit use of disposable goods e.g. pens, in favour of reusable ones
  • Make it easy for staff to recycle as much as possible; paper, card, glass, plastic, aluminium, CDs, batteries, old phones
  • Take away individual waste bins from desks and replace with recycling bins
  • Start composting food waste
  • Lengthen the life of toner cartridges by adjusting printer settings in draft quality – and black and white
  • Recycle used toner cartridges
  • Recycle old computer equipment by giving it to local charities or community groups
  • At Christmas, make a donation to charity rather than sending cards
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products
  • Give an active preference to products with minimal packaging and that are locally sourced
  • Discourage excessive ordering of stationary by installing a central ordering system
  • Use local suppliers/caterers where possible
  • Maximise savings by putting up signage (printed on scrap paper) reminding staff to save energy and reduce waste
  • Fix dripping taps

Paper Use

  • Only print when necessary
  • Save paper costs by buying 100% recycled paper and reusing discarded paper for notes – recycle all double-sided ‘scrap’ and use single sided to make notepads
  • Default printers to print double-sided
  • Print internal documents in size 11 font and reduce the borders to 1.5cm
  • Inform staff whether agenda and minutes will or won’t be available at meetings to avoid duplication of printing
  • Send internal memos electronically
  • Use ‘track changes’ to review documents rather than printing
  • Cancel junk mail and unwanted publications
  • Re-use bubble wrap, boxes and padded envelopes where possible
  • Collect and re-use name badges after events and meetings where possible

Energy Use

  • Minimise energy costs by ensuring that all equipment and lights are turned off (ie not left on standby) when not in use
  • Install movement sensors to meeting rooms, encourage staff to switch off light switches by labelling light switches to indicate which area of the office they light – ask security to check all lights are switched off once the building is empty
  • Encourage staff to switch off monitors when away from their desks for more than 5 – 10 minutes and to shut computers down when they leave the office. Turning off a single computer when not in use instead of on standby can save as much as £5 every year and turning one off that would have been on screen saver mode can save up to £45 a year
  • Reduce energy bills by turning down the heating when it is not needed and always ensure that this is done before opening a window – check that heating is not timed to come on overnight or at weekends
  • Turning the heating down by one degree saves 8% of the energy bill a year and the Environment Agency recommends 19 degrees Celsius is comfortable for most staff in the winter and 23 degrees Celsius in the summer
  • If extra heating is needed, use oil-fuelled rather than electric fan heaters. They use 750w of energy as opposed to 3kw
  • Ensure all light bulbs are energy efficient – LEDs are more efficient than halogen
  • Ensure air conditioning vents or heating are not blocked by office furniture/boxes
  • Switch your electricity supplier to a green tariff. Many suppliers will assist in monitoring energy use and promoting reduction

Transport use

  • Save time, inconvenience and pollution by using conference calls rather than travelling to meetings where possible
  • Provide interest-free season ticket loans
  • Use cycle couriers where possible
  • Use LPG and/or carbon neutral taxi companies and encourage use of public transport whenever possible by making this easier to book through a central system
  • Encourage staff to cycle to work by installing secure bike racks, shower facilities and cycle mileage allowance
  • Introduce travel policies that reward car sharing


More ideas of how LSA members have made their firms more sustainable are included in the Ideas Factory – please share your own.