The Circular Office: a sustainable approach to the places we work

June 28, 2017 Amanda Skeldon

A sustainable approach to the places we work

Most of us have a physical place of work in some form. The Circular Office campaign is about changing the way we design, use and operate in these areas to eliminate waste and create more efficient, resilient spaces which contribute to the long term sustainability of businesses and the wider economy. It is a change in mindset from throwing things away after we have made use of them to refurbishing, recycling and regenerating items at the end of their life.

There are a whole range of things that businesses can do to move towards a Circular Office:

  • Changing how you source, recycling and dispose of office goods including food, paper, plastic, office furniture, textiles and electronics.

  • Influencing employees to change their mindset towards recycling, reusing, commuting and spending habits

  • Looking at the design of new offices or refurbishing and repurposing existing buildings

  • Building local partnerships with charities, SMEs and other businesses that keep the value of resources going and provides employment

 

So, is the Circular Office campaign relevant to you?

Aside from the obvious benefits to the environment of reducing the amount of natural resources we use, there are a whole number of reasons your business should take steps towards a Circular Office. Making better use of your resources can reduce costs, create new revenue opportunities from waste and increase organisational resilience. There are also organisational and reputational benefits, including job creation and alignment to customers and suppliers own sustainability commitments.

Any organisation can sign up to the Circular Office campaign and it starts with just one step.  We want you to commit to change one thing to move towards a more circular office. That could be making one of your offices a waste free space, or looking at how you can recycle IT equipment in offices across your property footprint.  We are building a bank of resources to support every business to create truly Circular Offices

Commit to being a Circular Office Champion

  • Take at least one step towards greater circularity in your workplace

  • Champion the campaign with at least one supplier or customer

  • Share your learning through our knowledge hub

12 steps you could take

  1. Reduce paper use throughout your workplace 

  2. Aim to go ‘zero to landfill’ by diverting rubbish for re-use or recycling

  3. Ask employees to suggest ways your office could become more circular

  4. Refurbish and resell IT waste

  5. Maximise the lifespan of your office furniture, in your business and beyond

  6. Separate out food waste and find out how to compost or create renewable electricity

  7. Find a new home for end-of-life employee uniforms

  8. Consider leasing rather than buying products from printers to lighting

  9. Design new office spaces in a way that uses recycled or repurposed materials

  10. Ensure you can maximise the opportunity for reuse or refurbishment at the end of life for all office goods and materials

  11. Procure circular products such as compostable food packaging, recycled paint, remanufactured furniture, recycled printers

  12. Source renewable energy to power your office

 

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