Being Green in the Workplace Quick Tips

The tips below offer some helpful advice on what you can do in the office to ‘go green’.  Some things you will be able to implement straight away, some things you will need management buy in from but even a little can go a long way!

The list is in no way comprehensive, each office is different but many of the ideas could also be applied to your home. If you have any problems or queries, please contact the Environmental and Sustainability team

  • Switch off equipment at the end of the day.

Equipment left on stand-by can use up to 30% of in-use power and a computer can use 15W even if it shutdown if it is not switched off at the plug. Remind your colleagues to switch off! See our guide to setting your PC to save energy!

  • Turn the heating down!

Even by just 1°C. An office should not be heated above 20°C and a workshop area with physical labour should be no warmer than 12°C. If you feel that you are not getting enough from your heating try getting heat reflective radiator panels (or aluminium foil) to reflect the heat back from the wall behind the radiators into the room.

  • Use energy saving light bulbs.

Although with an initial higher cost the bulbs produce the same amount of light but release 70% less CO2 and have a lifespan 5 times longer.  If you notice any tungsten bulbs in your work area or any flickering lights please report to the Energy Manager via the Estates Helpdesk on 54444.

  • Look for the energy efficiency logo.

There are a few to look out for but they guarantee that equipment you are buying will in the long-term save money. Look out for Energy Star logo, European Energy label or Ecolabel on products.

  • When looking to buy monitors buy TFT screens.

These use 50% less energy than CRT monitors and are easier to dispose of.

  • Go paperless where possible.

Consider if documents/emails etc really need to be printed out, bookmark any web pages you may need instead of printing the pages out, and make notebooks from scrap paper. If you do need to buy paper make sure that is has a recycled content of 75% or above, is chlorine free or at least has been sourced from a sustainably managed forest.

  • Buy recycled or recyclable stationary and furniture and buy local where possible.

As we are a Fairtrade University when buying tea, coffee etc for the office choose Fairtrade options.

  • Have some plants in the office.

Not only do they make the office look nice they also improve the air quality in the room.

  • Learn about what can be recycled and where at the University.
  • Always print double-sided. If you are unsure how to do this use our helpful handy guide.
  • Any meetings outside the University should consider using video conferencing, particularly if long distance travel is involved.

There are some great facilities around the campus that use video conferencing, teleconferencing and Skype. If you are worried about how to set it up support is available - see our guide. If travel is necessary consider taking the train which can be up to 75% more CO2 efficient.

  • Use reusable cutlery and cups rather than disposable ones.
  • Use the calendar, diary and calculator on your computer.

You can set electronic reminders and have a tidy desk policy. If you do use something electrical use rechargeable batteries.

If any of this has been interesting and you want to take things further consider becoming a Green Rep. The University’s Green Representatives are a network of staff members who will aim to support our commitments at an office level by communicating with colleagues actions for waste minimisation, energy and water conservation, sustainable travel, buying Fairtrade and more!

The network is recognised by senior management and supported by the Environmental and Sustainability Team in Estates and Property Services. You will be supported with free guidance and training in environmental issues, networking opportunities with other Green Reps, access to environmental related events, the opportunity to feed into and help shape the environmentally sustainable future of the University, and demonstrate your personal commitment to protecting our environment. For more information or sign up please email