Posted by: Paul Foster
The Checklist provides a simple way to measure your current environmental performance. Whatever it is, make a start on improving performance. Consider how environmental issues can improve your service performance and reduce costs.
- Look at ECO News www.clickgreen.org.uk for information.
- Does your building have an ECO Noticeboard? Is it updated.
- Do you have an ECO contract manager?
- Photocopy both sides of the paper whenever possible.
- Specify double sided for all jobs sent to print units.
- Ensure instructions on photocopier use are available to reduce waste. Consider a note to all staff.
- Use the reduction feature on a copier to fit more on a page.
Documents and Communications
- Keep Committee reports to two sides of paper.
- Is a memo really needed (could you use Email?).
- Circulate papers rather than sending several copies.
- Do you have or use a notice-board? Make Noticeboards work harder (for Today’s Press, Newsletters).
- Reduce printing, use the folder system for storage.
- Regularly check and update distribution lists.
- Save paper by design: narrower margins and smaller fonts may sometimes be acceptable (a font size of 8 or 10 could be used).
- Think before you ink: be concise and economical with words. If you use a computer or word processor, edit on-screen as much as possible to avoid printing multiple drafts.
- Reduce the acceptance of trade literature and catalogues to central points and prevent duplication and wastage.
- Reuse scrap paper for notes
- A4 and A5 Memo pads can be replaced by scrap pads.
- Use scrap paper instead of Message note paper.
- Use the smallest size envelope required.
- For all internal mail use the multi-use envelope.
- For all external mail re-use envelopes with a re-use label.
- Use chlorine free, high post consumer waste recycled papers.
- Buy recycled goods and help create a demand for the waste.
- Chose the minimum specification to do the job.
- Do not specify tinted papers unnecessarily.
- Use multi-purpose papers where possible.
- Purchase goods marked green from CBS Supplies.
- Have a used goods area within the office and include binders, padded envelopes, files, diskettes, envelopes.
- Buy refuse sacks made from recycled plastic
- Avoid Products Containing Hazardous Substances.
- Avoid using batteries use mains electricity where possible.
- Where batteries have to be used buy rechargeable ones.
Consider products with minimum packaging.
- Reduce the Impact Of Packaging: Use concentrates; Use refillable containers; Use packaging material made from recycled material.
- Consider the life cycle of a product. Keep and care for your own pen. Could you supply staff with refills?
Catering and Cleaning
- Select more environmentally benign materials.
- Select alternatives to solvents if available.
- Replace hazardous material with less hazardous alternatives.
- Avoid “coloured” lavatory cleaners.
- Do not use excessive amounts: a little bleach left for a long time is just as effective as a lot for a short time.
- Use “natural” alternatives, e.g. vinegar to remove limescale.
- Minimise the range of products on site.
- Ensure separation of acids, alkalis, bleaches and solvents.
- Ensure adequate training in correct usage/awareness.
- Switch lights off when not in use.
- Use messages next to switches to make staff aware.
- Use localised pull cords for turning lights off.
- Have tungsten light bulbs replaced by new energy saving “compact” fluorescent lamps.
- Use thin fluorescent tubes, they have the same light output as the thicker ones but use less energy.
- As the thicker tubes fail, replace them with thin ones. (Check the suitability of older fittings first).
- Clean shades: A dirty shade can cut down light by 20%.
- Replace flickering tubes promptly.
- Use light coloured surfaces to improve illumination levels.
- Install “zoned” lighting in preference to main room lights.
- Invest in automatic lighting controls such as time clocks and presence detectors to prevent lights being left on.
- Know who controls the heating system in your building.
- Keep thermometers in prominent locations
- Know the settings for your thermostat control system.
- Discourage the use of supplementary heaters.
- Close doors and windows/doors when the heating is on.
- Switch off extractor fans at night and at weekends.
- Ensure radiators and heaters are not blocked by furniture.
- In open plan areas use screens to block draughts.
- If a new heating system is planned, invest in zone controls.
- If boilers are to be replaced, install condensing boilers.
General Energy Usage
- Keep detailed energy consumption records for your building.
- Request an energy audit of your building.
- Switch computers off when not in use.
- Give responsibility for turning off equipment.
- Switch off equipment at the plug when not needed.
- Have dripping taps and leaks repaired promptly.
- Always put the plug in the basin when washing your hands.
- Install spray taps and ensure all basins have plugs.
- Consider installing spray taps which only release a particular volume.
- Do not overfill kettles or boilers, use the minimum volume.
- Chose products that can be reused/refurbished.
- When choosing office equipment, consideration should be given to the recycled material content of packaging and components of the equipment itself.
- Use suppliers with a commitment to environmental issues. Conscientious suppliers will advertise manufacturing practices such as; waste reduction, waste recycling, reduction in the emission of carbon gases during manufacture.
- For photocopiers: the ability for double sided photocopy is a prime specification; ozone and dust emissions from equipment and the need for the replacement of ozone filters; the ability to use recycled papers.
- Dispose of equipment thoughtfully. Can someone else use it?
- Ensure that meetings/conferences/training events are held at venues served by public transport.
- Pool cars should be used where available.
- Car sharing should be standard practice when travelling to meetings.
- Use a contact list to help car share in advance of meetings.
- Consider a minibus for some meetings for large numbers of staff.Encourage more use of public transport.
- Use video conferencing as an alternative to travel.
- Use phone conferencing as an alternative to travel.