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22 tips to reduce your carbon footprint at work

Your company may be green. Your building may be LEED certified. Even if they’re not, there are small things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint at work.

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Most organizations know that green = good—for their people, the environment and their bottom line. At JLL, we advise companies and building owners about the benefits of green workplaces, and how to implement them, but we know that greening a large organization is not just about making some big decisions at the top.

The barrier to “going green” is largely a human one. People want to live and work sustainably, but it’s hard to shift habits or they don’t know how.

So in honor of Earth day (this Saturday, April 22), we’re sharing a few tips for everyone.

Your company may be green. Your building may be LEED certified. But even if they’re not, there are small things you can do every day that add up to make a big impact.
Here are some of our favorite tips to keep in mind at the office (or on your way to it).

Green your commute

1. Walk or bike to work.

2. Carpool with a colleague, roommate, partner or neighbor to reduce transport emissions. Good for the environment and your bank balance.

Reduce physical waste

3. Send newsletters by email

4. Review and share documents online.

5. Think before you print. When you do print, go double-sided.

6. Most office buildings have the infrastructure to do it. Some even have composting services.

7. Properly recycle computer equipment, mobile phones and ink cartridges.

Reduce energy consumption

8. Turn off lights when you’re not using them.

9. If your office toilets have high- and low-flush options, use them appropriately.

10. If you can access your own thermostat, turn up the heat. Increasing the temperature by just 1 degree Celsius (just shy of 2 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer can save 10% on your energy bill.

11. Open those blinds. Natural lighting improves productivity and wellbeing. It also reduces the need for artificial lighting, which saves energy.

12. Shut down your computer when you leave for the day. Monitor, too.

Make smart buying choices

13. If you’re responsible for buying office appliances (even a new coffee maker), choose energy efficient ones. If they offer sleep mode, use it.

14. Buy office products, kitchen products, office snacks, etc. in bulk to reduce shipping and packaging waste.

15. Upgrade lighting to LEDs and fluorescents

Take big-picture issues up to the right people

Some things are out of your control, or aren’t safe for you to manage. But, you may be able to influence them. Ask your landlord, or office, building or facility manager about:

16. HVAC units. Regular maintenance is a win-win-win: It improves efficiency, reduces operating costs and keeps people comfier.

17. Air vents. Make sure they’re clear and free from debris or obstructions. Bonus if they circulate lots of fresh air in from outside.

18. Weather stripping on office doors and windows.

19. Monitoring your consumption. Ask about conducting an energy audit to identify areas for improvement.

20. Bike parking, and facilities to freshen up after a biking commute

21. Recycling and composting services

22. Water- and energy-efficient appliances, lighting, etc.

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