Nowadays, people are more aware of the importance of respecting and caring for the environment in different areas of life. Thanks to progress, there are now many ways to turn that awareness into action.
What is an eco-friendly or green office?
A green office is one that observes eco-friendly principles: responsible energy use, proper waste management and the use of recycled products.
The main goal of a green office is to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that generate the greenhouse effect.
Guidelines for achieving a green office
Achieving a green office means taking certain aspects into account.
Equipment and facilities
- Opting for a biophilic design by including plants and natural elements will humanise the environment and create fresher and more relaxing spaces.
- Make the most of natural light. As we mentioned earlier, sunlight is the best kind of light for working calmly and easily, without tiring the eyes.
- Install low energy consumption computers and appliances.
- Encourage recycling by distributing paper, plastic and organic waste bins throughout the area.
- Use a water filtering system instead of plastic bottles.
- Unplug mobile phone chargers and electronic equipment when they are not in use. This small gesture helps to reduce energy consumption.
- If there’s a lift, encourage staff to use the stairs instead.
- Install a thermostat for air conditioning systems. According to the Spanish RITE (Regulation for Thermal Installations in Buildings), the recommended operating temperature is between 23°C and 25°C in summer and between 21°C and 23°C in winter.
Furniture and natural lighting
- Use eco-friendly furniture, for example, furniture made with sustainable and recyclable materials.
- Go for a natural, sustainable decoration such as yucca or wicker rugs.
- Install an energy-efficient lighting system. Use energy-saving light bulbs and fixtures with LED technology. Light-emitting photodiodes are a technology that has been used for lighting work spaces, since it can emit warm, cold or neutral light and therefore adapts to all kinds of situations and needs.
Digitisation and personal awareness
- Reduce paper consumption by sending documents in digital format.
- If you must make hard copies, try to use recycled paper and print on both sides.
- Make it easier for staff to use public transport or bicycles to get to the office.
Replace electrical appliances with new ones that have triple A certification for low consumption.
Renewable energy in the office
Heating, cooling and ventilation are responsible for 30% of energy consumption in a normal office. At least 50% of a green office’s energy consumption should be renewable.
Bioclimatic architecture saves up to 60% of electricity consumption for heating and cooling.
A green office promotes a circular economy.
The two cornerstones of the circular economy are:
- The use of materials and objects manufactured through recycling or reconditioning.
- Maximising their useful life in order to minimise their impact of their production and manufacturing process on the environment.
Benefits of a green office
Working in a green office benefits both the planet and the workers themselves:
- Long-term savings.
- It fosters creativity and participation among employees, ensuring their commitment and serving as an inspiration for new ideas.
- It projects an image of social and environmental responsibility to customers.
It promotes a healthy environment.