Following on from our last post, Ed talks about Sprout’s clients, services and maintenance, as well as challenges and trends…
How to make your office more sustainable
Sustainability is a hot topic for most forward-thinking Australian businesses. At Sprout it’s our defining ‘why’ and is built into everything we do. And though there’s not always room in the budget to immediately transform the entire office into an eco-friendly workspace, small steps towards improving energy efficiency, waste and water management can make a big impact. As advocates for sustainability in the workplace, we thought we’d share some simple strategies to make your office more sustainable.
1: Reduce energy usage
- Lighting accounts for 18-40% of electricity usage in commercial premises so look at replacing standard globes with LEDs. They use around 75% less energy to produce the same amount of light.
- Approximately 90% of buildings in Australia receive electricity at a higher voltage than they need. Using voltage optimisation equipment helps you cut energy consumption, reduce costs and emissions, and improve the operating lifespan of your office equipment. That’s what we do with the coffee machines that we place in your office!
- Office equipment can make up 20% of your electricity bill plus the heat it generates can increase air-conditioning power by 25%. Power down and unplug equipment when not in use and use energy saving models wherever possible.
- Install timers or programmable thermostats and close doors to contain air conditioning and maximise its efficiency.
2: Improve waste efficiency
- Buy recycled paper, only print documents if absolutely necessary and always print on both sides.
- Buy remanufactured printer cartridges and recycle used cartridges.
- Encourage staff to recycle waste by clearly signposting bins for paper, soft plastics, glass, cans, etc.
- Instead of single use plastic bags, use compostable bin liners for garbage bins, kitchen bins and sanitary waste bags like these.
- Food waste in landfill produces 25 more times carbon dioxide than other waste streams. Invest in a kitchen food waste bin and investigate composting options. For example, Sprout Coffee provides dedicated coffee grounds recycling bins plus we collect them and recycle the used coffee grounds into nutrient-rich compost.
3: Save water
- Install flow restrictors on taps. They can reduce water usage by at least 50% immediately reducing the flow without reducing water pressure.
- A leaking tap can waste up to 2,000 litres of water a month. Report leaking taps, toilets and showers immediately.
- Install water-efficient dishwashers in office kitchens and run them only when full on an economy cycle.
- Install low flow or duel flush toilets.
- Consider installing rainwater tanks to supply water for toilet flushing and landscape area watering.
4: Encourage low impact commuting
- Encourage staff to walk, cycle or use public transport to travel to and from work.
- Install plenty of bike parking bays in easy-to-access locations.
- Instigate an incentivised carpool program or cycle scheme.
- Offer employees the opportunity to work from home and reduce employee travel where possible by using videoconferencing, phone or email instead of having offsite meetings.
- Purchase or hire more fuel-efficient cars. Hybrids have better fuel efficiency and emit much less greenhouse gas than most standard petrol cars.
5: Green your supply chain
- Partner with companies that have a sustainability policy and align your organisation with other ethically responsible brands. (Sprout Coffee partners with compatible enterprises and are proudly BCorp)
- Use products that make a difference like eco-friendly cleaning products and Fairtrade coffee and tea. You can buy Sprout Coffee’s range of Fairtrade instant coffee, teas and chocolate products online.
- Find local community partners that can help with recycling and end of life options for food waste.
A strong business case for sustainable business practices
At Sprout Coffee, we seek to raise awareness and help offices make positive changes that support sustainability. We only supply Fairtrade coffee and tea, and energy efficient coffee machines. What’s more, our coffee recycling program diverts used grounds from landfill and returns it, via composting, back into the soil.