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Your Office Impact on The Environment – And How to Reduce Pollution

on 28 June 2016

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Posted by Kevin Senior
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We normally do not think that how we behave in the office could impact the environment, yet there are plenty of wasteful habits that we exercise when at work. Anything from not using recycled paper to wasting plastic cups or office supplies are classic examples of how our habits are less than environmentally friendly.


It’s surprising how many offices use bleached paper in their printers. Going for the natural recycled paper will both save money and the environment, with the only drawback foregoing the crisp super-white sheets that we’re used to. Also check that 80g paper is used instead of the slightly thicker 100g, this will make a difference in the long run.

There are many companies that do not keep up with technology and use paper copies to file documents instead of storing them digitally. Instead of printing a document, share it with colleagues using our cloud-based collaboration software.

Plastic / Metals

When you go for a cup of tea or some water, many companies provide plastic or paper. Instead use porcelain mugs and real glass – even if this may add to the classic office hot potato of washing dishes, it can save a tremendous amount of plastic. If a normal employee drinks 8 glasses of water a day, this can amount to over 2000 plastic cups being used per year. Multiply this by the number of employees and it quickly gets out of hand.

Also, many companies use wasteful coffee machines, where each cup requires the use of a small capsule. Even though these coffee capsules can be recycled, the truth is that most are thrown out with general rubbish. They are also most likely more expensive than a normal drip brewer. One per day equals approximately 250 capsules per year per employee.


Failing to fully take advantage of technology and innovation can negatively impact the environment. Saving paper copies, sending invoices by post instead of electronically, and not allowing for remote work, all contribute to the inefficient use of non-renewable resources.

One positive action is to allow employees to work from home, be it full-time or a few days a week. Not only does this give many health benefits to the employee, it will also reduce pollution by their not having to commute. If you are in the habit of working from home full-time, this saves the company space, power and additional resources in terms of equipment.


Use refillable printer cartridges for those times that you do have to print something, and try to print as much as possible in black and white to save on toner. When leaving a room that no one is using, get in the habit of turning the lights off, and if possible switch light bulbs to the energy-saving type.


There are plenty things we can do in the office to limit our impact on the environment. Use recycled paper; use world-class, cloud-based collaboration software to share and store documents; switch plastic cups to porcelain; don’t use wasteful coffee machines; utilise technology to avoid commuting and work from home; and switch off the lights when you leave a room.


Glasscubes is user-friendly collaboration software for businesses. Connect everyone that you work with in an online workspace which improves the way you share files, manage projects and communicate with each other. For more information please contact us by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310 or email us at



About this author: Kevin Senior

Managing Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience working with businesses of all sizes and industries, Kevin brings success to fast growing companies advising on best practices and growth lead technology solutions.