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Green Office: 7 tips for more climate-friendly offices

Despite the increasing use of home office and remote working, the office still has a special significance throughout Germany: around 18 million people spend their working day there every day. But what significance does this specific workplace have when it comes to climate protection strategies in the company? A recent study by Statista on behalf of Kyocera shows sobering results.

The survey of 603 office employees in Germany and Austria showed that around a third of companies have no sustainability strategy regarding their offices and the business processes there. Among smaller companies with around 21 to 49 employees, the figure is as high as almost half.

If such a strategy is in place, the first priority is the digitization of paper-intensive processes: Just under 60% of companies are making efforts to enable a paperless office. For example, by defining printout rules for documents or setting double-sided printing as the standard.

However, there is still a lot of room for improvement: Although just under 75% of office workers consider a more environmentally friendly designed office work, office workplaces and associated infrastructure very important, the vast majority only award moderately good marks for its implementation. For example, the completely paperless office is only established in 4% of German companies – despite all efforts.

These 7 practical tips should help you take a big step towards a green office:

  • Save on paper consumption
    The paperless office is not just a dream, it is very much feasible. With REISSWOLF as an ELO business partner, you benefit from our extensive know-how and intelligent ECM software solutions that set up your work processes digitally. Tailored to your needs, ELO enables your employees to carry out daily business processes jointly, transparently and clearly, all online. In this way, you not only improve your carbon footprint, but also increase your efficiency at the same time.
  • Travel climate friendly
    How do your employees commute to the office? The daily commute is almost impossible to avoid: So, it pays to make the daily commute to work climate-friendly too. Attractive employee offers such as a discounted ticket for public transport, e-charging stations in the parking lot, subsidized carpooling or cycling support programs are all suitable for this purpose.
  • Save electricity through standby
    According to the French think tank "The Shift Project", around 70 self-written emails consume as much electricity as a 60-watt light bulb burning for 9 hours. Therefore, set all devices such as printers or computers to go into a standby-mode after a very short time after inactivity.
  • Save electricity by cleaning out
    Speaking of emails, according to the creators of the website, the average email user has about 10,000 emails in their inbox. These consume so much energy in a year that one can operate 40 light bulbs from it for one hour. Just 200 inboxes use as much energy as 8,176 light bulbs lit for an hour.
    What this means? Manage your data storage and delete what you don’t need. For example, by directly deleting mails that you only need to read once briefly. This also applies to appointment invitations that have already been answered.
    And above all, delete old email accounts, thus directly combining data security and privacy with climate protection. Not only will you avoid unnecessary cyberattack access paths, but you’ll also save a lot of electricity!
  • Sustainable material purchasing
    If office materials such as paper or envelopes do need to be procured, it is advisable to look for green office products when purchasing: They are economically packaged, recyclable and durable green alternative.
    Especially, look out for certificates such as the "Blauer Engel": it identifies ecologically and high-quality products and services. "Paper by Nature" or "FSC" are also indices that products have a sustainable approach to forests, water and air.
  • Certificates and guidelines as orientation
    In the meantime, there are numerous guidelines and certificates regarding sustainability that can be used as orientation and to measure a company. The best known is probably ISO 14001, which sets our globally recognized requirements for an environmental management system for all different industries. It thus enables a continuous improvement process of environmental performance. Admittedly, this is time-consuming and costly, but very valuable!
  • Environmentally friendly IT equipment and sustainable recycling
    Whether it is a computer, a business smartphone, or a printer: there are already various suppliers who produces very environmentally friendly products. Here it is worth doing some research to invest sustainably in long-lasting and high-quality technology.
    If you need to replace your equipment, we can help you give it a second life. Together with Ingram, REISSWOLF offers certified secure data deletion and, depending on the device’s condition, sensible reuse or sustainable IT recycling. This means maximum benefit for the environment and for you through the best possible value retention.

It is important to realize that all companies can do something for climate protection, regardless of size, number of employees or level of turnover. A fundamental step is to look at all business processes and discover optimization potential. That is why we at REISSWOLF are currently participating in the environmental program ÖKOPROFIT in Hamburg, in order to find out how we can further improve our climate balance. With this and many other projects, we are moving further and further towards our climate-neutral future. It’s great to see more and more companies striving to achieve this goal.

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