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5 Ways to Make Your Office More Sustainable by SWR

July 10th, 2023

To learn more about Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR) and how to make your office more sustainable, check out the Impact Network program here!

1. Equipment

“You can reduce your computer monitors’ energy consumption by as much as 70% by turning on their power management settings!”

When employees are away from their computers for extended periods of time, it wastes energy if the monitor is left on. The most efficient way to avoid this cost is by turning your monitor off before leaving your desks. To avoid paying for extra electricity if this step is forgotten, it would be wise to activate your monitor’s power management settings, which will cause the monitor to enter ‘sleep mode’ after a short period of inactivity.

2. Building design & operations

“Save on energy bills and reduce your heat loss up-to 10% with weather-stripping!”

In the process of weather stripping windows, a latex caulking is applied around the edges of the window, creating an airtight seal. This will decrease the flow of outside air into the office space and help maintain consistent heating or cooling within the office. Window stripping products can be purchased at a local hardware store and can be easily applied.

3. Travel

“Create and utilize a standardized method/ tool for commuting and business travel reporting.”

Using a weekly survey, a spreadsheet template, or app to record personal or employee business travel will lead to greater accuracy in reported GHG emissions. Also, with better tracking of travel distances and methods over time, interventions for alternative travel methods can be evaluated for efficacy.

4. Water

“Install low-flow faucet aerators and reduce the flow of water by 30% or more, without compromising the effectiveness of the water stream.”

Aerators are small screens that introduce air into the water stream by splitting it into many small streams. Aerators improve the consistency of the water flow while also reducing water consumption. While modern fixtures have this feature, for older fixtures, it should be possible to unscrew the tip of your faucet – the aerator is the mesh cap at the end of your fixture – and use this to help purchase a suitable replacement.

5. Waste

“Recycled paper content preserves forests, reduces solid waste, and can reduce your upstream paper-related greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50%.”

Look for copier paper, envelopes, packaging supplies and publication-grade papers with recycled content, which can range anywhere from 10% to 100% recycled paper content. Products containing recycled content will usually display the Mobius loop (recycling) symbol.

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