Green Office Week is calling on offices around the UK for their green tips, suggestions and success stories
Now in its 7th year Avery’s Green Office Week has seen organisations of all sectors and sizes taking positive steps for the environment in a range of different ways. From launching new environmental policies through to community gardening projects and tree planting, each year the team at Avery continue to be impressed by the efforts of businesses and individual workers.
A well-known report from Forum for the Future back in 2011 predicted that sustainability and green living would be the norm by 2020 and if you look at Green Office Week year-on-year, it does seem as though we are heading in the right direction. Certainly we have a way to go yet before this is truly the case. However, running Green Office Week each year has given Avery a unique chance to observe and report on green efforts, intentions and attitudes in the workplace each year. In its inaugural year a Green Office ‘For Dummies’ book was published, offering simple advice on how to start prioritising the environment at work. Now the week sees local authorities launching new green strategies and companies drafting CSR policies. The way in which organisations use Green Office Week as a platform has definitely evolved over the years.
While there are undoubtedly still challenges to overcome in prioritising the planet at work, there are also a lot of organisations making great progress. One of the Avery team’s favourite aspects of Green Office Week is hearing what’s worked well in the workplace, seeing the evidence of green changes and learning about how offices have overcome some of the barriers to being greener. It occurred to the team that within the vehicle that is Green Office Week there is a lot of knowledge, insight and examples that could be shared. Who better to advise businesses on eco-friendly ways of working than other organisations who have successfully managed to implement green changes? It was clear that Green Office Week 2015 had to be all about the business community listening to one another, learning and sharing. That’s why this year will see the launch of ‘The Big Green Crowdsourced Guide’ – a free, online resource to be made available at the end of Green Office Week on 14th May.
During Green Office Week Avery will be encouraging the exchange of ideas and calling on offices around the UK for their green tips, suggestions and success stories for the guide. The overall aim is to create a huge source of green inspiration that’s packed with real-life examples and ideas that other businesses can learn from. Much of the content will be collected during the week itself as office workers take part in Green Office Week’s daily themes, activities and social media discussions. However, work has already begun on The Big Green Crowdsourced Guide and in the spirit of knowledge sharing – here are some of the themes it will explore…
Tips have been coming in about the benefits of educating staff on the principles of greener driving, especially for businesses who have a lot of staff out on the road.
There’s also been advice on making sure your office is green in every sense of the word with the introduction of plants into the workplace. Not only do they improve air quality in the office, studies show they can increase productivity levels too.
Creative ways of re-using food waste have been received too, ranging from creating a wormery to turning coffee grounds into fuel.
A popular topic as always is recycling in the office and ways of motivating colleagues to do this. Suggestions so far include using pictures rather than text to label bins, removing general waste bins and making it part of an employee’s routine.
Green product swaps for the office are being suggested too including LED lighting, recycled stationery and ethically sourced food and catering options.
The range of ideas, subjects and approaches to being green at work received so far is incredibly varied. Different organisations will be at different places on their ethical journeys and Green Office Week welcomes this variety. The aim is for The Big Green Crowdsourced Guide to have something for every business whatever their size, sector or level of commitment.
Fiona Mills is marketing director at Avery UKgreen office week workplace