Toward a Greener Office: Low and No-Cost Strategies to Reduce Your Office's Environmental Impact


This Earth Day, ECOIMPACT urges you to implement one or more of the following low and no-cost operations and maintenance policies in your own office that will promote a more robust sustainable economy, improve your building, provide a more healthful indoor environment for tenants and staff, and help make the world a better place.

Reduce environmental and operating cost by making purchasing policy changes.  Make the switch to cleaning supplies that are Green Seal certified; use paper products that contain at least 30% recycled content or are FSC certified; change to more energy-efficient and longer lamp life bulbs; add low-flow aerators to breakroom and bathroom handwashing sinks; and purchase only Energy Star or EPEAT certified office equipment. 

Use less by encouraging double sided-printing or the reuse of non-sensitive printer waste as scratch paper. Use only remanufactured toner cartridges. Replace paper towels with high-speed energy-efficient hand dryers. Ask staff to bring their own reusable coffee mugs to the office. If your office has a surplus of cups, plastic ware and paper napkins, tell caterers not to bring those items to your next luncheon.

Recycle more. Implement a waste disposal plan for durable and on-going consumables at the end of their useful life. Organize a building or office-wide recycling program to ensure an understanding of which items can be recycled and where recycling bins are located. Provide recycling bins under desks instead of or in addition to the standard waste receptacle. Include battery recycling in your program.

Reduce building occupant exposure to indoor pollutant sources by specifying and purchasing furniture with a third-party certification that addresses limits to VOC content and interior paints that are low- or no-VOC. Implement pest management procedures on an as needed basis instead of on a routine schedule and use only least-risk pesticides.

Provide preferred or subsidized parking for carpool participants and for hybrid or electric vehicles to encourage alternative transportation. Provide safe and secure bicycle storage for building occupants.  Offer flextime or compressed workweek schedules and telecommuting among employees when possible. Conduct a monthly raffle whose prize is a public transportation subsidy.

Inspire change within the building or office staff by promoting environmentalism, volunteerism and social justice.