11 tips to make your office more sustainable

Being a sustainable tour operator involves a sustainable office. Use these 11 tips to make your office more sustainable and set the right example.

by | May 26, 2022 | Sustainability | 1 comment

Internal sustainability

Sustainable tourism has many different aspects. From transport, accommodations, and travel experiences, to supporting the local economy and raising awareness among travellers. Most tour operators focus on the operation side first but forget to look internally as well. Being a sustainable tour operator also includes running a sustainable office. Practice what you preach!

Benefits of a sustainable office

Creating a sustainable office is not for the sake of the environment only. It has many benefits for your employees and business as well. A sustainable office:

  • Is more comfortable to work in
  • Increases employee productivity
  • Has better air quality
  • Uses less energy
  • Produces less waste
  • Supports the local economy
  • Has a lower carbon footprint
  • Represents a healthy workplace

How to make a more sustainable office

There are many ways to make your office more sustainable. In this article, we focus on 11 basic tips that are easy and cost-effective to implement.

1. Use reusable products

One of the easiest way to make your office more sustainable and to reduce waste is to remove all single-use (plastic) products. Start using reusable cups, plates, cutlery, straws, and bottles. And don’t allow employees to use plastic water bottles anymore. Instead, invest in reusable coffee cups and reusable water bottles with your logo for brand recognition.

2. Buy sustainable and fair-trade products

Buying sustainable and fair-trade coffee and tea helps more farmers create ethically and sustainably products. As a sustainable tour operator, it’s therefore common sense to support other sustainable businesses. Rethink your coffee and tea brands and go for local, organic and/or fair-trade options. Contribute to businesses that put people and planet first.

Fairtrade tea plantation

3. Offer local and vegetarian lunch

If you offer lunch to your employees, make sure it’s local food only! This way, you’ll support the local shops and farmers. Additionally, you also reduce on CO2 as transport is limited. Also think about offering vegetarian lunch to reduce pressure on the environment. If this is new to your business, start with one day a week!

4. Go for a paperless office

Now that more and more online software is available, the need to print and work with paper administration becomes minimal. By using less paper, you’ll reduce energy and CO2 emission, limit water and air pollution, and massively reduce your impact on nature. If you are not able to go completely paperless, make sure your paper, business cards and brochures are FSC Certified.

5. Separate your waste

Even if you exchanged all your products for reusable items and went paper free, there might be some waste left in the office. Separate your waste so it’s easier to recycle. If done right, less waste will go to the landfill, and this benefits the environment and people. Separate at least paper, plastic and glass and have it collected regularly. Focus on minimising your waste as much as possible for a cleaner planet.

Homemade cleaning materials

6. Use environmentally friendly cleaning materials

A lot of cleaning materials contain hazardous chemicals that are unhealthy for people and the environment. By using green or natural cleaning products, you’ll reduce water, air pollution, and protect the health of your employees. Look for eco-labels and ingredients on the packaging. If they’re too expensive or not locally available, try and make them yourself!

7. Turn off your equipment

As soon as you’ll pay attention to it, you’ll notice how much equipment is still using power when not in use. Turn off printers and computers when not in use and have them activate sleep mode after 5 minutes of inactivity. Also buy energy-saving products when you have the chance, as they’re designed to run properly on less energy power.

8. Turn off the lights

Another important aspect is turning off the lights in empty rooms. Too many companies have unused meeting rooms with the lights still on. Try and make it a habit and turn off the lights when your meeting is over. It will save money on your energy bills and reduce CO2. As reminder for your staff, you can put up reminders.

9. Switch to green energy

The main benefit of switching to green energy is that it doesn’t produce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels or pollutes the air. By using green energy, you can quickly reduce your carbon footprint. Renewable energy sources are better for the environment and produce much less pollution. Examples of green energy are solar, wind, hydro, and biomass energy.

Sustainable green office

10. Grow lots of plants

Offices tend to be dry and cold but by adding plants you can easily improve humidity levels. Plants are excellent air purifiers and provide your employees with fresh and healthy air. They help to absorb excess noise and reduce stress. Several studies have also shown that plants in the office also have a positive effect on productivity and satisfaction. Besides that, lots of plants in your office make it an attractive place to work.

11. Think about sustainable mobility

Not only your office should be sustainable, also the way your employees travel to the office deserves attention. Travelling sustainably means taking the train or bus, or biking or hiking to reduce CO2 emissions. Encourage your employees (also financially) to use public transport, carpool, or bike to work. Also set the right example as management team.

Let’s get to work!

As mentioned, there are many ways to make your office even more sustainable, but these first steps will get you started. Focus on the easier steps and the low-hanging fruits. Find out what you can easily change to make your office more sustainable and a better workplace for your employees. Make sure to involve your employees in these changes to create more commitment and satisfaction.

1 Comment

  1. Magada Haily Miriam

    Thanks Anne for the tips very useful, will endevour to
    Implement

    Reply

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About <a href="https://goodtourisminstitute.com/library/author/annedejong/" target="_self">Anne de Jong</a>

About Anne de Jong

Anne is a passionate change maker and fascinated by the tourism industry. Wanting to contribute to a futureproof tourism industry, she supports tour operators and destinations to become more resilient and sustainable.

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