Are we still going green?

Are we still going green at work? When I first started working in London in 2003 one of the key initiatives for most companies was corporate social responsibility and more specifically making the office environmentally friendly. Throughout the early years of the last decade it was imperative that we all made a conscientious effort to ‘go green’. Nearly ten years on and a worldwide recession still in full effect the conversation seems to have taken a back seat or is it simply so ingrained in us that we are all just environmentally friendly without realising it? As an assistant I often felt that keeping the office green was mainly my responsibility, so much so that during my time in one company I did email my colleagues a list of things that would help them to do their bit for the environment. I found the list in my ‘things to keep’ file the other day and thought I would share it with you all. The list is fairly obvious to me and probably everyone now, but at the time it was quite thought provoking…

1. Turn off all your electronic equipment before you go home. 2. Don’t keep your electronic equipment on if you are not using it – if your mobile phone is fully charged remove it from the charger 3. Recycle any waste paper using the bins provided 4. Print documents double sided to save paper 5. Recycle scrap paper for notes / doodling etc 6. Use the stairs instead of the lift – it is good for fitness too! 7. Think before you print – do you need to print out your emails? 8. Use the mugs in the kitchen instead of the plastic disposable cups… remember to wash the mugs up after you use them though! 9. Can you conduct a meeting via WebEx or conference call rather than travelling to meet clients 10. If you do have to travel can you take public transport rather than a cab?

What do you think of the list, it is eco-friendly basics isn’t it? I do wonder how many of these activities we actually do now without thinking or if ‘going green’ has stopped becoming part of the office dialogue.   Do you carry out these activities in your every day work? Also do you feel that the responsibility of keeping the office green still belongs to the support staff in the company and if so, what schemes have you implemented?

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