Office resource efficiency

How to reduce waste from your office


Office waste is expensive, and not just in terms of the cost of the product being thrown away or the cost of disposal. Waste involves the loss of costly and scarce resources such as energy and water, consumables and materials which might not be recovered, and wasted labour and effort. As a result, the real cost of waste can be several times higher than the cost of disposal. Cutting your office's waste production can improve your profitability, as well as reducing your environmental impact.

Reducing waste in the office is relatively straightforward with the right policies in place. These policies usually involve either a change in behaviour, or a change in the equipment used to do the work.

Office behavioural changes

Changing the attitudes of office workers towards the creation of waste in the first place can have a major impact on waste production. Eliminating waste by working more carefully, making fewer errors, or simply considering whether or not to print a document can cut down paper use considerably.

Switching off lights and equipment when leaving the office, making sure that taps are turned off and cutting down on heating and air conditioning can all reduce waste of scarce and expensive resources. Introducing a positive attitude towards reuse and recycling of materials can have similar benefits.

For more information on encouraging senior management and staff to support environmental changes, see making the case for environmental improvements.

Office equipment changes

For tips on how to reduce energy waste and introduce systems that make cost savings on your office machinery and equipment, see office equipment and energy efficiency.

For more information on ways of cutting office waste production, see how to save money by reducing, reusing and recycling waste.

Make sure that your waste is handled, stored and disposed of appropriately - see duty of care for business waste.