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What can we do?

So you’ve been bringing your own coffee cup and turning off lights, and now you're wondering how else you can save energy and do your bit for the environment at work?

There are lots of opportunities to get your workplace involved in sustainable actions around the office. Some of the benefits include saving resources, avoiding waste and harmful chemicals, being energy efficient, and doing things more efficiently and effectively to save time and money.

To maximise your impact, where possible:

  • involve your team or co-workers to generate ideas and solutions
  • take some time to develop a plan and build in ways to measure your impact
  • consider doing some research into the savings and benefits from any proposed changes you come up with
  • share your findings and progress with your whole organisation, including management.

Whether it comes from the boss or elsewhere, all changes are likely to be more effective when you can see the advantages and everyone has a say.

Improve energy efficiency in the office

Most offices are in use for around 50 to 60 hours each week—anything left on outside of these hours is wasting energy and money. Using office machines as efficiently as possible can cut costs and greenhouse gas emissions and may even extend the life of the machine. It can also improve the efficiency of your air-conditioning as office machines generate heat when operational.

  • If your office has a fax machine, adjust the settings so that faxes go directly to computers rather than churning out paper. You may also be able to adjust it so you can send faxes from your computer—saving time and paper.
  • Over long breaks like Christmas, make sure all equipment, computers and appliances are turned off at the power point. Clear out and turn off fridges but don’t forget to leave the doors ajar to prevent mould building up on the inside. If your workplace has vending machines containing non-perishables—turn them off too.
  • If you have a say in which office machines your organisation uses, look for energy-efficient features like power saving modes. The ENERGY STAR® mark can help you identify energy-efficient products. Check the machine manufacturer’s website for information on energy saving features in their products and switch these on.
  • If you’re buying new machines or your lease is up for review, use this as an opportunity to choose energy saving equipment or rethink what equipment you need.

by YourEnergySavings.gov.au and via SESM.

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