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How to Reduce Waste in the Office

|October 19, 2019

There’s every good reason to reduce waste in all aspects of our life – at home, at work, and on the go. Excessive waste has environmental repercussions, as well as financial ones – why buy more than what you need? In an office setting, waste can contribute to higher overhead and inefficiencies, as well as have a bigger adverse impact on the environment than it does on an individual basis. For those reasons, here are a few ways you can help reduce waste in your office environment and create a more sustainable system for business.

Go paperless

It’s astounding how much paper-waste a single office can generate, and going paperless is one great way to kick that habit. Take some time to identify what can be digitized and delegate those tasks to the appropriate teams or people. This can save a significant amount of money, even in a relatively short period of time, and will absolutely add up over the long term.

Print double-sided

If paper can’t be completely ditched, set your printers to print double-sided by default. At a minimum, this will half paper use, but it may help even more by making others more conscious about their printing habits. Combining this with digitizing certain aspects is sure to make a big dent in your paper purchasing needs, which can add up to major savings.

Set up a team

Set up a taskforce dedicated to making the office as eco-friendly as possible. There is no substitute for letting those who truly know your business best take the reigns for a bit with permission to be creative to achieve their goal. Once they develop proposals for incentives and programs, you can decide what will add the most value or may not be feasible.

Work with suppliers to minimize waste

Suppliers know their business best, just as you know yours. At present, your suppliers are likely providing you exactly what you ask for. However, giving them a call and asking them if they have any suggestions so you could make small tweaks to your orders in the interest of minimizing waste may yield surprising results. By changing a few small ways you utilize their product, you could reconfigure your regular orders to be more efficient.

Take a careful inventory

It’s easy for a business’s needs to change over time, and it’s easy to not notice exactly when that happens. Assign someone to audit your inventory and current ordering schedules. You may be able to see if there is anywhere you can reduce product if your needs have decreased, or update the order to buy in greater quantities to be more waste and cost efficient if your needs have increased.

Start an upcycle station for old equipment

You never know what a creative employee can do with some old equipment, so instead of throwing it out immediately, create an upcycle station to give people the opportunity to take it home and breathe new life into it. Plus, your team will most certainly appreciate it.

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