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Things you can do at work

Things you can do at work

Some tips for how you can help Wales reduce its carbon footprint at work.

For individuals

Switch off equipment when you're not using it

Computers, printers and photocopiers all carry on using energy when they are left on standby. Turn them off each evening and at weekends – and remind your colleagues to do the same.

Print as few documents as possible

Think before you print! If you have to print something off, make sure you use both sides of the paper.

Use your own cup

Bring your own mug for tea or coffee instead of having it in a polystyrene cup.

Turn off the lights

Adjust curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible, and make sure to switch the lights off in rooms that are not being used.

Use the stairs instead of the lift

It's healthier, and will save energy.

Turn off fans

If you use fans to cool the offices down, make sure you switch them off when leaving, whether it is for the night, lunch or for a meeting.

Turn off Dripping Taps

Make sure you turn off taps fully: it takes a lot of energy to produce clean water, and even more when you heat it.

Think about travel

Why not save time by video or teleconferencing instead of travelling to a meeting. If you arrange your own work transport, can you use public transport, and work or catch up on reading while you travel? If not, can you share a car?

Suggest Improvements

The people who do the work know how to do it better. If you can see how you could do things more efficiently, let your employer know.

For Businesses

Get your employees on side

Getting your staff to understand how they can help make your business more efficient can have a major impact.  Promote the tips for individuals to your workforce, and tell them what you’re doing too.

Join a Campaign

Business in the Community’s Mayday Network brings together organisations who are working together to reduce their footprint and become more sustainable for the future. Visit their website and search for mayday.

Visit: Business in the Community (external link)

Reuse envelopes

Invest in some address labels to allow your staff to reuse envelopes.

Recycle your printer cartridges

Most printer manufacturers run schemes for recycling or refilling toner cartridges.

Don't turn up the heating unless you really need to

Unless it's just too cold for comfort, try to keep your thermostat at 19°C. Your heating costs will go up by 8% each time you increase the temperature by just one degree

Leave plenty of space around radiators

Putting furniture in front of a radiator means it will need to work harder to heat the room.

Don't heat unused space

Storerooms or corridors don't need to be kept as warm as areas in which people spend long periods of time. And if people are doing a lot of physical work in a particular area, the heating can be turned down. You can also turn off or reduce the heating over the weekend, providing no one is in the building.

Keep doors and windows closed in cold weather

Don't let draughts in. If employees are too hot, try turning the heat down first. In warmer weather, when the heating is off anyway, you can let more air in.

Keep the thermostat away from draughts or hot and cold spots

These will all affect the thermostat and automatically increase your heating costs.

Don't put hot equipment, like photocopiers, near cooling vents

The cooling system will need to work harder to cool an area that is constantly being heated.

Maintain your equipment properly

If you don't regularly check your heating equipment, you could be adding as much as 10% to your heating bill without knowing it.

Turn off Dripping Taps

Make sure you fix any drips to ensure efficient use of water

Ensure you deal with waste efficiently

There are many available schemes around which can help you in ways such as partnering with other businesses or by selling your waste to be used as raw materials

Install water saving ‘hippos’

By installing water saving ‘hippos’ in toilets, you could save around 3 litres of water each time you flush. A typical cost saving will be £3 per employee per year – a £3000 saving if you have 1000 employees.

Replace your lightbulbs

By installing energy saving lightbulbs throughout your workplace you could cut your lighting costs by as much as 15%, and they last much  longer than conventional bulbs.

Ask Suppliers about ‘take-back’ schemes

You may be able to get all or some of your money back from a supplier who offers a take-back scheme for any unused products you’ve ordered.

Save up to a month’s fuel costs over one year

Through smarter driving techniques such as reducing loads and good maintenance you could reduce your carbon footprint and save money whilst on the road.  The Energy Saving Trust has Green Fleet advice for certain businesses.

Publicise the facts if your business is green

More than a third of customers would favour recyclable products or those with minimal packaging.