How to Create a Sustainable Office: 4 Steps

Creating a sustainable office may seem like a costly affair that requires a reorganisation of office management solutions and engagement of office space planning services. But what exactly is a sustainable office? What should office managers in Singapore do to transform workspaces into an eco-friendly environment? If you are looking for ways to transform your office into a more sustainable one, here are four tips:

1. Minimise waste 

One of the main objectives that office managers in Singapore should focus on when creating a sustainable office is minimising waste to reduce environmental impact. This can be as simple as installing a water cooler in the pantry to reduce the use of bottled water or implementing an office policy to insist on double-sided printing to reduce paper wastage.

If being eco-friendly is a new concept to the company, consider starting small and making gradual changes over time to let employees get used to them. For example, introduce more manageable milestones like encouraging employees to bring their own lunch box when buying takeouts. Then, progress to more complex office management solutions such as implementing an integrated system for digital file-sharing to go paperless. Essentially, when an organisation prioritises waste reduction, it not only helps the environment but also reduces the company’s operating cost. 

2. Stock up on reusables 

Another way to cultivate conscious living amongst employees is to provide ample reusable supplies in the office to encourage them to ‘reuse’.  For example, stock up the pantry with essential items such as glasses, mugs, plates, bowls, and cutlery in the pantry.  When they are readily available, employees are more likely to use them than disposable ones that are harmful to the environment.  The same goes for stationery supplies.  Instead of tossing out items like folders, notebooks, staplers, or pencil holders after an employee leaves the company, make a conscious effort to reuse them.  You may even want to restrict the distribution of these supplies to avoid wastage.

As an office manager in Singapore, you can further advocate the ‘reusing’ initiative through rewards and regular internal communications. Open up the channel to allow employees to propose new initiatives too. When they can participate actively in the process, they are more likely to develop a passion for the project.  

3. Make recycling simple 

The idea of recycling has been around for a long time, but not many workplaces in Singapore provide the means to encourage the process. Office managers in Singapore like you can certainly take the lead to help promote recycling initiatives more efficiently.     

One simple way is to create a designated recycling corner in the office where employees can conveniently sort out their waste. Provide bins that are clearly labelled with signs like ‘Paper’, ‘Plastic’ and ‘E-Waste’ to ensure all employees know exactly where to throw what. Also, be sure to allocate a bin for general waste so that no one will mistakenly contaminate other recycling bins with random junk.  

Not sure how to create a new recycling area from your existing office? You can always seek the help of office space planning services. They can offer sound solutions and even coordinate all the equipment and recycling partners to make your job easier. 

4. Make sustainability a part of the workplace culture 

The best way to create a sustainable office is to first develop an eco-friendly culture within the company. Not everyone embraces the green movement, and there are also those who never considered sustainable living simply because they are not educated on the impact they can create. As an office manager, you sit in a vital role to advocate sustainability through policy changes, regular education, and actively laying the foundation to create a sustainable office.

Of course, creating a company-wide change can be a mammoth task. Instead of going at it alone, create a committee comprising fellow colleagues who are passionate about sustainability.  With a solid team, you can brainstorm new ideas, monitor the sustainable practices in the workplace and develop new initiatives that resonate more closely with your employees.  

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