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Green Office Manual

Green Office Manual

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Published by: api-26649203 on Oct 19, 2008
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03/18/2014

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A practical guide to environmental action in the office
Green Office Program
EDITH COWAN
UNIVERSITY
EcoECU
Green Office Manual
ECU
www.ecu.edu.au/fas/ecoecu
EcoECU
LET\u2019S GET SERIOUS FOR A MINUTE

At the root of our environmental problems lies the fact that most of our daily activities are just not sustainable. This means that they require the consumption of more resources than are ecologically available, produce waste and pollution, and compromise the ecological integrity of the natural systems on which we depend.

Here are a few reasons to stop and think about how we impact on these systems.

\u2726Australia has the highest per capita greenhouse emissions in the developed world
\u2726One third of the world\u2019s recent mammal extinctions were in Australia
\u2726Australians are the second highest world producers of waste per person, following

the USA. We annually send over 690 kg of waste to landfill per person.
\u2726Australians use approximately four times the energy per person than the world
average.
\u2726The area of biologically productive land available per person worldwide is 1.8ha\u2019s.
On average Australians use over 7.6ha\u2019s.

Sitting in an office environment, its hard to visualise how our activities are impacting on the natural environment \u2018out there\u2019. Issues such as air pollution, global climate change, deforestation, landfills, water availability, biodiversity, chemical pollution, eutrophication and soil erosion seem very distant and unrelated to the activities we undertake at work.

However we all make decisions everyday that contribute to these environmental problems and we all have a responsibility to ensure that our everyday decisions and operations contribute as little as possible to these broader environmental issues.

It is no longer acceptable to ignore our impacts\u2013 we must take responsibility for our own actions and strive to change the traditionally accepted ways of thinking and acting.

WE CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

We all have an impact on our natural environment\u2013 from the energy we use to power lighting, air conditioning and office equipment, to how we travel to and from our place of work and even what we choose to buy in the way of office supplies.

However for this reason we can all make the difference, simply by making informed
decisions and changing some of our office practices. For example, you could:
\u2726Help implement initiatives in your area that support more sustainable behaviour,
\u2726Point out activities in your work area that could be changed to be more
environmentally friendly,
\u2726Increase your own and fellow staff\u2019s awareness of current environmental issues,
\u2726Increase your own and fellow staff\u2019s awareness of the impacts our University has on
the environment and how they can help.
Green Office Program
1
EcoECU
WHY GO GREEN?

Most people are beginning to realise that the goods and services on which we rely come with an ecological impact\u2013 and that we cannot continue purely extractive practices indefinitely \u2013 we will simply run out of \u2018stuff\u2019!

Additionally, addressing the environmental challenge can generate many
benefits for an organisation.
It makes good business-sense

Minimising waste, increasing resource efficiency and developing information systems as part of improved environmental management often results in increased productivity and reduced waste. By implementing the simple Green Office initiatives outlined within this guide, you will be helping to reduce costs associated with resource consumption and operations.

For example, by ensuring that all copiers print duplex as default, you can expect
to reduce your work area\u2019s paper consumption by nearly half!
It improves corporate image

Recent studies suggest that Australians consider environmental protection to be as or more important than economic growth. Organisations that adopt environmentally sustainable practices have an \u2018edge\u2019 over those that don't and can derive significant marketing and leadership benefits.

For example, more than 70% of the worlds largest 500 companies are now
addressing global climate change in their corporate reporting.
It\u2019s our social responsibility

Organisations are increasingly being called upon by the community to not only adequately manage their environmental and social impacts but further, to add value to our society.

Universities can answer this call by providing appropriate environmental education to staff and students, ensuring that impacts from operations are minimised and engaging the broader community in its programs and environmental initiatives.

Green Office Program
2

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