Smart Purchasing for a Green Office
With plastics polluting the oceans and harming marine life, and climate change contributing to more and more natural disasters across the planet, there’s never been a more crucial time to see what we can do to help protect our environment.
There are many actions that we can take to green up our workplace – actions with far reaching benefits to all concerned – better for the environment; increased cost savings; a more motivated, happy and healthy, productive workforce. Indeed, research has shown that 73% of office workers believe that sustainability improves productivity*.
Most of us practice recycling, reducing energy consumption and cutting down on waste in the workplace, but what about the office supplies that we purchase?
To support our customers in their sustainable approach and green products selection, we created a bespoke and ‘unique in time’ methodology to assess environmentally preferable products. These products are identified by the Green Tree picto in our catalogues and on Webshop. Here we look at some of those products and how they can help you make informed purchasing choices.
Let’s start with the all-important coffee, tea and lunch breaks!
Encourage staff to use mugs, glasses, crockery and cutlery instead of disposables – let’s eliminate the dreaded single-use plastic!
Use coffee filters that are made of recycled paper or avoid machines that use them altogether.
You can use leftover coffee grinds for compost.
Choose Fairtrade, organic or local products – we stock a range of Clipper Fairtrade teas, Percol Fairtrade coffees, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and Fairtrade white and brown sugars.
Check to see if your office fridge and dishwasher are eco-friendly.
If you have vending machines, do they use paper cups instead of plastic ones? Are the paper cups both recycled and recyclable?
We have a selection of cups made from recycled materials or renewable resources which are either compostable or biodegradable.
A Snapshot of Green Office Products
There are loads of green products that you can use in the office – from paper clips to furniture, and virtually everything in between.
Pens – there are refillable pens that can be reused over and over again. If you are responsible for the stationery cupboard, stock refills (not pens) and encourage people to refill their pens instead of throwing them away when the ink runs out.
Check out our range of Bic, Pentel, Papermate and Lyreco own brand pre-consumer recycled plastic pens. Pre-consumer means that it uses materials diverted from the waste stream.
Pencils – we supply Stabilo and Staedtler options made from 100% strictly controlled Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood.
Staplers –our Rapid Eco Stapler is made from 100% recycled plastic and is packed in recycled cardboard packaging.
Scissors – our Maped green scissors are made from 60% recycled plastic.
Glue – Uhu’s Renature Glue is a solvent-free multi-purpose adhesive made from 70% nature-based raw materials. It comes in a plastic bottle that is made from 88% plant-based raw materials and is 100% recyclable.
Ink and Toner – choose remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, they cost approximately 15% less and save over one kilo of metals and plastic, and more than two litres of oil, in the manufacturing process. We have a remanufactured range in the Ink and Toner section of Webshop.
Remember to recycle your ink and toner.
Buy consumables in bulk – if you’ve got the storage space you’ll save money, time, carbon emissions, and packaging.
Use a battery charger – using rechargeable batteries in equipment will save money and help reduce the amount of toxic materials sent to landfills. We have a selection in the Small Electrical Supplies section on Webshop.
When buying batteries, choose eco advanced options.
When there isn’t a green alternative to what you require, cut down or try to eliminate usage altogether.
Printing and Paper
We know that we need to cut down on printing but there are still some culprits out there printing unnecessarily!
Use multi-function printers, if possible, to cut down the number of devices in use. This saves space, reduces energy, packaging, capital outlay, and running costs.
Increase the use of whiteboards – for example, project meeting agendas onto screens in meeting rooms to discourage individual printing of agendas.
Using desktop whiteboards and glass desktop pads, instead of paper note pads, is also good practice where sensitive information is being taken. These boards can be cleaned (and reused) which helps to avoid data breaches – think GDPR.
Go paperless – but if that isn’t viable, use recycled paper. It can be recycled up to five times and more than matches the quality of non-recycled. The manufacturing of recycled paper uses less water and energy, and produces lower carbon emissions than non-recycled paper.
We have a dedicated Recycled Paper category in the Paper and Envelopes section on Webshop.
Also look out for paper made from bamboo, hemp or organic cotton.
Two immediate and simple changes that you can make now – reduce print margins and reduce font size.
Cleaning and Waste Disposal
You’d have to go a long way to find a more ecological, innovative product range than BioForce by InnuScience. BioForce is Lyreco’s bio-technological answer to cleaning a multitude of environments including hotels and restaurants, fitness centres, education establishments, healthcare, retail, and other commercial outlets.
BioForce uses microbes which are nature’s cleaners to efficiently and effectively clean whilst digesting any organic matter. It’s extremely cost effective as a very small amount goes a very long way, and the microbes carry on cleaning after use so less is needed.
There’s a whole Bio-technology section dedicated to BioForce in the Cleaning and Catering catalogue and on Webshop in the Detergents category.
We work with a number of washroom supplies manufacturers who are committed to innovating and developing sustainable products. These include:
Hand towels and loo rolls made from bamboo – check out The Cheeky Panda range in the Hygiene & Cleaning section on Webshop.
Recycled paper and carefully crafted dispensers to reduce waste by industry giants such as Katrin, Kimberly-Clark Professional, Tork, and our own EU Ecolabel brand, are all available.
Coming soon: eco dispensers of paper hand towels and loo rolls made from recycled materials, and in themselves recyclable – the 360o solution.
For waste disposal, choose eco degradable plastic waste bags.
Position recycling bins by each printer and copier and aim for one bin per ten employees. The Slim Jim Recycling Station Starter Kit by Rubbermaid is an ideal, adaptable recycling solution.
Apart from the massive products range that we supply – too big to cover comprehensively here – we also provide a range of solutions from toner collection, battery collection and confidential shredding to recycling and carbon footprint calculation** These additional services exist so we can help our customers to meet their internal sustainability or environmental goals.
By providing this wide range of services and products, we are able to reduce carbon footprints and optimise spend on sustainable products.
Our teams are trained to support your procurement needs – from the correct type of invoicing through to scheduled orders and, in some countries, desk-top delivery.
By minimising the number of orders, you place, you can cut back on excessive packaging materials and transport emissions, with the added benefit of reducing your administration resources and costs.
The same applies to consolidating your product categories and using one primary supplier across all categories.
Management Information, based on your spend on these types of products, can be provided by us so you can evidence supply chain or procurement compliance to your internal policies.
To discuss your procurement requirements, contact your Lyreco representative.
*OnePulse survey for Morgan Lovell
**depending on the country