About this Guide

This guide has been produced as part of a strategy for ‘Sustainable Development’ called Local Agenda 21, (LA21), part of a global agenda for the 21st century, which is backed by many of the key public agencies in Highland. One step to achieving local sustainable development involves providing information and encouraging individuals to make simple lifestyle changes. This is one aim of this guide, but another is to influence organisations’ policies and action. The Highland Council is already committed to making changes in the way that we do business, and has already introduced a number of the suggestions made here. In publishing the guide, we hope we can encourage businesses, voluntary organisations, and individuals to also take steps to help build a better tomorrow for all of us.

How you can help to make the Green Office Guide more effective
ã ã ã Nominate a ‘recycling representative’ to promote and co-ordinate the green practices suggested within this guide. Create a ‘LA21’ or ‘Sustainability’ section on the notice board for news and events, and a suggestion box for ideas. Form a Sustainable Business Network to share and pass on ideas.

Greening the Office
Improving the environmental performance of your office makes good business sense. You can make substantial cost savings by cutting
energy consumption and waste. Environmental legislation means there is a often a necessity for businesses to be more aware of the environment and good environmental practice today is far cheaper than having to put right the future consequences of past bad management. In addition, your stakeholders, business partners, staff and customers are increasingly concerned about your green credentials. In the Highlands, where tourism brings many jobs, a healthy environment underpins a healthy economy. By following the suggestions in this guide you will be making a difference in the environmental impact of your business. Greening your office will benefit the environment and improve your competitiveness.

Improve your profits along with your reputation!

Achieving a 21st Century Office
Greening the Office means: Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø
Reducing the amount of waste produced and the resources consumed. Reducing the amount of energy used and pollution produced. Buying goods and services with low environmental impact. Increasing the quantities of waste we recycle. Efficient use of transport for commuting and business travel.

In this Guide
Section 1: Section 2: Section 3: Section 4: Section 5: Waste Energy Efficiency Purchasing Recycling Transport

Waste Matters

Every year each household in Scotland throws away about one tonne of waste! Commercial waste accounts for 16% of the 12 million tonnes yearly total, yet many of the articles thrown away in the office (and household) can be recycled, re-used or most importantly, not used in the first place. In Highland, 97.8% of the total waste is dumped in landfill sites - the remainder is recycled. Scotland remains at the bottom of the world’s recycling league with only 2.2% of Highland’s waste recycled compared to the 45-50% recycling rate in some European countries.

Waste disposal impacts on the environment and human health. Ø Landfill is an expensive solution Ø Ø Ø
that can create problems with groundwater pollution. Landfills are a source of carbon dioxide and methane emissions, both contributing to global warming. Landfill sites are a finite resource and are rapidly diminishing. Waste disposal represents a huge drain in transport and energy costs.

Remember! The cost of waste includes:
Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø The Cost of Waste
Wasted materials (for example paper generated by excessive offcuts) Additional process costs Transport costs Reducing waste at source is the best and the most cost effective way to prevent pollution. Follow three simple steps:

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!

Firstly, eliminate waste before it is The costs of resulting water and created, re-use where possible by air pollution finding alternative uses or using durable Waste treatment costs rather than disposable items and finally, Disposal costs (including recycle. Landfill Tax) Measure it then Manage it Excessive use of energy and Carrying out a waste audit will help you identify areas where most waste is water produced and provide ideas on how to tackle the problem.

Waste No More!
Follow the waste minimisation hierarchy below for long-term benefits and find solutions for your office which are close to the top of this hierarchy.


(recycling, composting and energy recovery)


Action Points
Paper is the most obvious area for reducing waste in the office, but the principles below can be applied to most types of office waste Ø Always use both sides of paper. Set printers and photocopiers to copy doubleØ Ø Ø Ø
sided as default and provide explanatory posters beside the machines to encourage the practice. Re-use all envelopes, or collect and pass to voluntary organisations for reuse. Use designated containers for part-used waste paper. Paper can be fed back through faxes & printers, made into note-pads, or used for rough working. Shred and recycle used and confidential papers and use as packing material in the office or take home for animal bedding or packing and then finally compost it! Disposal is the very last resort for the paper – think again about alternative uses for it.

Be imaginative - your waste may be someone else’s fuel or packing solution!

More Paper Saving Tips
Use electronic faxes via the computer rather than paper faxes. Reduce the circulation of documents. Use email to circulate where possible. Use waste paper assembled into note pads rather than ‘post-it’ notes. Avoid wasteful header sheets for routine faxes; use fax tabs instead. Consider the design of office documents. Choose a suitable logo & font size, page layout and margin width to maximise use of paper. Reduce incoming junk mail. Contact the free Mailing Preference Service on 0345 034599 to stop unwanted mail. A regular office amnesty of supplies is an easy way to save money, highlight consumption and involve all staff in waste minimisation. Arrange a collection of your clean office paper/card for recycling. Use your print room or professional printers for copying large quantities. Maximise use of technology, minimise paper through using floppy disks, CD Rom, email and the Internet.

The Energy Drain
Office equipment is the fastest growing user of energy in the business world. Electricity consumption by office equipment represents 25% of total electrical energy use in offices and has therefore a high cost to the environment and to the company purse. In addition, the limited life of most office equipment means that much waste is generated when equipment becomes obsolete. Heating and lighting accounts for the rest of the electrical energy used in the office, but simple steps can reduce this dramatically.

The Climate Change Levy will apply to the energy bills of all UK businesses and public sector organisations from April 2001. Levy costs to businesses are likely to rise annually. The levy aims to encourage reductions in the use of non-renewable forms of energy as well as providing support for energy efficiency and the use of renewable power generation (wind, solar and tidal power).

Cutting Energy
The key to efficient use of energy is good management. In some cases, energy costs can be reduced by more than half with the adoption of simple energy-saving measures. Advice is available from the Highland Energy Efficiency Advice Centre on 0800 512012.

Energy-saving Tips
Heating Ø Reducing office temperature by one degree can result in a 10% reduction in Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø
energy costs. Check the building, especially the roof space, is well insulated Make sure that heating is off or reduced outside working hours. Turn down thermostats instead of opening windows. Heating costs can increase by 30% or more if the boiler is poorly maintained or operated. Use blinds in summer, reducing the need for air conditioning.

Saving water saves energy. Consider installing low water-using taps, toilets, showerheads and urinals when renovation is required. These devices prevent money being flushed down the drain.

IT Equipment
Ø Advise users to switch off all office equipment when not in use by affixing ‘Switch-it-Off’ stickers. A photocopier left on at night uses enough energy to make over 5000 copies. Switching off computers overnight and at weekends can save £55 a year in energy costs for each computer! Switch off the monitor if the PC must be left on all day. The monitor consumes two thirds of the energy used by the PC. Avoid screen savers; these devices save power by a fraction of the amount compared to PC’s and monitors with energy savers. Donate your old PC equipment to charity, if you are upgrading your IT equipment - (see the addresses at the end of this booklet)


Green machines!
The use of energy-efficient equipment could halve the £300 million of energy used by equipment in UK offices today.
Environmentally preferable products can reduce your costs and your environmental impact. ‘Green’ products are often no more expensive to buy and are usually cheaper to operate. Energy costs of well-managed energy-efficient computers can be reduced to about £10 a year compared with £60 if left on for 24 hours a day!

Replace standard bulbs with low-energy bulbs (CFL’s) when they fail.Low-energy bulbs can save £50 over their lifetime. Fluorescent tubes use less than a fifth of the energy used by standard bulbs. Introduce localised light switches to enable staff to switch on/off when required. Make the most of natural light by keeping windows clean and free of obstructions. Run a ‘Switch-it-Off’ campaign. Dispel the myth that it takes more energy to switch on/off the fluorescent lights than leaving them on!

ã When buying replacement equipment such as printers, photocopiers and fax
machines, choose duplex models that automatically print on both sides of the paper at sufficiently fast speeds. Ensure all machines handle recycled paper comprising 100% post consumer waste. Choose models that have an energy-save facility such as US Energy Star, preferably with automatic operation. Ask the supplier to switch on these features before equipment is delivered. Repair equipment before replacement. Invest in a long-term maintenance contract to extend the useful lifetime. Consider introducing a Environmental Disposals Policy to provide solutions for out-of-date office machinery, furnishings and stationery. Ask if your supplier uses re-usable or recycled packaging. Ensure that environmental and energy requirements are included in the specifications when purchasing IT equipment. Consider introducing a Green Purchasing Policy to boost the market in recycled products. Buy furniture made from natural products such as wood carrying the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC -sourced from sustainably managed forests) label.

ã ã ã ã ã ã

Buying recycled paper (not just “environmentallyfriendly” which can mean anything) helps close the “waste loop”. Most suppliers and printers provide high grades of recycled paper suitable for most applications. Choose post-consumer waste content rather than post-industrial mill waste and chlorinefree for higher environmental benefits. Ask the supplier to provide the ABCD rating of the recycled paper to show the origin of the waste. If the paper jams in existing office machinery, don’t give up! -call the engineer. Double sided print jams are often due to dirty rollers. Buy refillable pens, water-based markers and avoid disposable items for the desk. A large range of recycled stationery exists including fax paper, re-use mailing labels, files, document wallets, flip charts and storage boxes. The Recycled Products Guide is aimed at the purchasing departments of businesses and local authorities. It contains a list of UK products made from recycled materials. The guide by the National Recycling Forum can be accessed from the web at: http://www.nrf.org.uk

Reduce, reuse, and then recycle as much as possible of remaining waste. 60-70% of office waste is recyclable. The environmental costs of recycling are usually much less damaging than disposal to landfill. Using more recycled materials in office products means more waste diverted from landfill and less drain on our natural resources. Buying recycled products also boosts the recycling market.

Office Items to Recycle:
ü Paper ü Electronic equipment ü Cardboard ü Ink cartridges ü Batteries ü Fluorescent tubes ü Drink cans ü PC peripherals ü Mobile phones


Always re-use or recycle IT

If replacing equipment, donate obsolete machines to charity and benefit your community. To recycle PCs contact Mobius 01408 634163 in Highland or Reboot 01309 671681 in Moray.


Toner Cartridges
You can make further savings of 25-75% by buying back re-manufactured cartridges. The use of recycled cartridges should not affect the printer warranty (select a reputable company to ensure quality assurance) and guarantees are often offered to back this up. Refilling ink-jet toner cartridges can offer further cost savings.

Collect used toner cartridges from office equipment and recycle them through a collection scheme. The cartridges have a value and collection companies may offer you cash-back or offer a charity donation. You may need to collect a certain number of cartridges before companies will collect. Pre-paid envelopes are often available to return items. Specialist recycling firms will take all types of cartridges and some offer guarantees that all the cartridges returned are recycled.

More Suggestions for the Sustainable Office
Develop an Environmental Policy for the office. Refurbish furniture to extend its useable lifetime. Reduce the purchase of non-essential items such as message pads, notebooks and post-it notes. Re-use waste paper for this purpose. Provide recycling containers for aluminium cans. Rather than bottled water, consider a mains filter and cooler. Encourage the use of washable mugs and glasses rather than disposable plastic ones.

Make your office a smoking free environment. Seek out products with Eco-labels for less environmental impact. Green the office with plants. They enhance the atmosphere, act as a screen and reduce noise. Bring in a bowl of fruit for staff or visitors.

Vehicle exhaust emissions are the major source of air pollution in Britain today. 22% of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming originates from the transport sector. Offices can be heavy users of transport for both commuting and business travel.

4 Reduce the need to travel 4 Use a less damaging mode of transport 4 Use cars more efficiently

Green Transport Tips
ã Promote working from home to reduce commuter mileage. ã Video or telephone conferencing can be used for long distance meetings. ã Encourage cycling or walking to work. Cycling for 15 minutes a day reduces
the risk of heart attack by 50%. Consider offering a mileage rate for staff cycling to meetings. Provide secure and sheltered cycle parking and offer changing and shower facilities. Let the train take the strain and benefit from the extra work time. Use public transport where possible for business travel. Consider the introduction of interest free loans to staff for public transport season tickets. Encourage car-sharing schemes whether informally or through an organised scheme. Develop a Green Travel Plan. Choose an efficient car. ‘Powershift’ offer grants to convert newer cars to LPG, a cheaper with less environmental impact.

ã ã ã ã ã

Waste and Recycling
The Highland Council Recycling Information WHAM (Waste-Highlands Action on Minimisation) National Recycling Forum Friends of the Earth Scotland The Composting Association (corporate services)

Contact Tel.
Your Local Service Point 01463 811560 0171 2481412 01463 232087 01933 227777

Local groups and projects
Moray Furniture Store HomeAid Furniture Recycling Reboot (Moray Computer Recycling) Mobius Computer Recycling LEG (Lochaber Environmental Group) GRAB (Group for Recycling Argyll & Bute) Ross-shire Recycling (cardboard recycling) SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) SWAN (Strathspey Waste Action Network) 01309 01847 01309 01408 01397 01631 01349 01786 01479 671097 890696 671681 634163 700090 567948 830205 457700 811121

Cartridge Recycling
Accutecc UK Ltd Office Green Ltd Green Agenda Tommy’s Campaign Selectafont (inks) Cartridge Cashback

Contact Tel.
01279 401404 0800 833480 0800 0280656 0800 435576 01189 885643 0870 8760022

Environmental Advice for Business
Envirowise Programme Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme WHAM (Waste-Highlands Action on Minimisation) 0800 585794 01923 664258 01463 71540

Local Agenda 21 (Highland) Sustrans Mailing Preference Service Energy Savings Trust Highland Energy Efficiency Advice Centre 01463 702274 0131 6237600 0345 034599 0345 277200 0800 512012

Further Reading
The Green Office Manual. The Green Office Action Plan. National Waste Strategy Managing Energy Use Green Officiency Wastebusters Ltd. Friends of the Earth SEPA DETR ETBPP ISBN: 1-85383-679-6 Scotland ISBN 1-901322-13-2 (EEBPP Guide No. 118) tel 0800 585794

Useful Websites
www.la21-uk.org.uk: Action Plan for Sustainable Development www.environment.detr.gov.uk/greening: Dept. Environment, Transport and

www.envirowise.gov.uk: Practical environmental advice for Business www.energy-efficiency.gov.uk: Practical energy saving advice for Business www.vibes.org.uk : VIBES Vision in Business for the Environment of

www.est/powershift.org.uk: Energy Savings Trust Programme ‘Powershift’
for greener transport ( including LPG powered vehicles)

Published by The Highland Council

Local Agenda 21: Highland is supported by the Members of the Highland Wellbeing Alliance

While details in the Highland Green Office Guide are believed to be correct, no responsibility can be taken for any factual inaccuracies in this guide. Printed on 100% recycled paper. Totally Chlorine free

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