What Is a Green Office?

A green office is one that seeks to limit the amount of environmental resources that are used to conduct business. In the process of reducing its environmental impact, a business can reduce costs, increase staff morale, and enhance brand image. No matter what your organization, business, or group is, there are many easy and affordable ways your office can go green.

The office has become a common work environment. We are all familiar with its basic composition: computers, lighting, paper, printers, desks, and coffee (lots and lots of coffee). Think of the vast amount of offices in the world, or even your city. If every office printed less, reduced energy use, and bought fair-trade coffee, the global impact would be massive!

Moving towards a green office starts with perspective. Looking at your office from a triple-bottom-line framework of People, Planet, and Profit can help you discover opportunities to make positive changes that benefit your business, the community, and the environment.

Green conceptOften the most effective way to kick off the green initiative is by designating a green champion within your office to facilitate the process and find solutions that are the best fit for your workplace and budget. You can then create a set of common goals for going green in your office. Goal setting can come in many forms, from general office staff who want to see the office’s operational practices change to the management level which may be a part of a larger initiative. Improving your office’s environmental performance can help your organization become an environmental leader.

There is no cookie-cutter solution for creating a green office, but there is a general approach that Jill Doucette and Lee Johnson offer, which has worked for offices with 5 employees and offices with 300 employees. The approach that you can find in their book, Greening Your Office, includes four phases of greening a business: Assess, Engage, Implement, and Market.

If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward guide for greening your office, interlaced with real case studies and examples from other offices, reach for Greening Your Office by Jill Doucette and Lee Johnson. You will find that there is a great business case for greening your office and many simple actions that can lead to big impacts.

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