Office supplies are primary and expendable items essential to every office. South Africa has initiated a great strategy named Green Office Week (GOW) that is instigating all kinds of firms to become eco-friendly workplaces. The aim is to make stationery supplies eco-friendly and sustainable. This will promote environmental education. Going green requires starting from the primal point of the receptionist’s desk and working all the way up to the CEO’s office. The initiative is basically focused on cost efficiency and other issues like energy efficiency, social economy, sustainable mobility, lesser climate damage, etc.
Ways to implement sustainable practices in your own office can be summed up in the following ways: (Information source: Oxbow SA)
1. The office supplies purchased in South Africa should be made from recycled materials, which are readily available nowadays. Buying them in bulk quantities will save the per-unit costs. This will also reduce wastes observed during packaging. Items categorised under “high-efficiency” or “high-capacity” reduce the per-unit cost for bulk-sized items.
2. The separable binding equipment can be reused multiple times which reduces the buying cost, annually cutting down a huge auxiliary expense.
3. Energy saving items complying with ENERGY STAR branding, tend to cut down on electricity bills. This saves the annual expense of the firms.
4. Printing supplies like toner bottles, cartridges are recyclable. These tend to reduce the solid waste produced from corporate offices each year.
5. Modern technologies have brought about new systems which are multifunctional. They can replace stand-alone units used separately for different purposes like print, copy, scan, fax, etc. MFPs produce about 90% less waste than laser printers while the quality of printing on recycled papers complements inkjet or laser printing.
6. Toner cartridges have become obsolete in many places as modern energy saving offices are using solid ink sticks which are easy to ship due to its smaller size and are cheaper too.
7. “Reduce, reuse and recycle” are the primary criteria for making an eco-friendly environment. Usage of techs to distribute documents will reduce the use of paper considerably. Recycled papers and their reuse will ultimately save trees, water and energy used to make papers.
8. Categorising the types of documents and saving on their print qualities can make a great deal of difference. Toner-saving modes can be used to print less important documents while important documents get the higher quality outputs.
9. Advancement of technology has made it possible for multifunctional printers (MFP) to print in duplex forms, i.e., printing on both sides. This reduces the use of papers and wastage of toner inks during paper changes inside the system.
At first, everyone in the office should be incorporated in this motion. From janitor to CEO, going green means, everyone comes under the same roof and the best results can only be achieved together. Going green doesn’t mean it has to be expensive at any stage; rather it becomes pocket-friendly even in the long run with a better, sustainable, low energy consuming, eco-friendly office.