Thursday, October 25, 2012

Greening Our Office: Part 3

Our green office status is an ever-evolving process.  It’s fun and challenging to discover new ways to create more sustainability and reduce waste.

We have taken our inspiration from the Harvard University Office for Sustainability (HUOS), which created Leaf level checklists for “Green Office” recognition for its colleges and departments.  The concepts and procedures can be adapted by any size business to develop practices that reduce office resource consumption while boosting the bottom line in small and large ways. 

At Anne Johnson, AIA, we are currently pursuing HUOS Leaf Three, which incorporates reviewing all actions from Leafs One and Two to keep us on track.  To participate at Leaf Three level, we have updated our employee manual to include information about our office environmental policies and goals.  We have also established a composting program in our office as part of our commitment to sustainability.  Routinely, we revisit our commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle and celebrate the savings realized through all the small changes we have made as a “Green Office.”  See our previous steps here...

[1. Energy]
We are incorporating cost-free, passive heating and cooling with window blind manipulation and operable windows.  We are using smart power strips to more effectively reduce electricity consumption during standby modes, and also turn off electronic devices overnight.

[2. Recycling]
Our E-waste is collected for recycling including CFLs, batteries, cell phones and inkjet printer cartridges.  We deliver our large electronic waste, such as computers, laptops, and printers, to established recycling programs at Best Buy and the Blind Center of Nevada.

[3. Waste Reduction]
We are reducing page margins whenever possible to decrease the length of printed documents, as well as printing on both sides of sheets.  Also, internally, we print on the second side of previously used sheets from a permanent paper tray.

[4. Events & Meetings]
We provide condiments, seasonings, and beverages (including filtered water) in bulk to reduce waste.

[5. Kitchens & Breakrooms]
We have reusable mugs, dishware, and utensils for staff and visitors.

[6. Purchasing]
We purchase envelopes, post-it notes, and other paper products with 30% or more recycled content.

Read more about how our process has evolved here…