Ideas to green an (already green) office

Ideas to green an (already green) office

A green office environment can boost employee health, morale, and productivity while supporting climate change solutions. We all know to limit our printing, recycle, buy eco-friendly office products, and enable Power-Save mode on our computers. But surely more can (and should) be done! Here are some creative ideas to green your (already green) office. We’d love to hear your ideas too! Please share in the comment section below.

Creative outside the box ideas to green an (already green) office
1. Rethink office lighting:
Ditch the officewide florescent lights and just use natural light + decentralized desk and floor lamps. Consider “day lighting” retrofits, such as daylight redirection and fiber optics, lowering partitions, and rethinking indoor shading.
2. Find every way to save energy:
copierUse laptops rather than desktops which helps save energy, use energy-star electronics in energy save mode, encourage staff to bring snuggies rather than turn up the heat, use lights on motion detectors.
3. Solar charger for cell phones:
Considering how we all have cell phones and often need to charge them in the office, consider investing in an office solar charger that staff members can use to charge phones or other small electronics. Or consider a bicycle-powered charger, if you don’t mind getting a little exercise.
4. Prize vault:
In an effort to reuse items and prevent waste, create an office prize vault where staff can donate items such white elephant gifts they’d never use or gently used items that are no longer wanted. At the Reserve, we also throw in the cool swag that staff picks up at conferences or received as gifts from vendors and clients (which we’re not allowed to keep personally per our conflict of interest policy). The prize vault helps prevent items from going to waste and can be used to incentivize green actions.
5. Casual dress:
Not wearing suits means much less dry cleaning, which is better for the environment, health, and finances.
6. Sustainable, used purchases:
Use reusable, recycled, FSC certified, fair trade, and biodegradable products when available. In addition, consider used furniture before buying new. (There is a glut of used office furniture out there!)
7. Reduce waste:
cupsI’m sure we all only print when necessary and only print double sided when we do. Remember to use projectors during meetings instead of printing agendas, bring laptops to meetings for notes or to refer to files, reuse blank back sheets, use a paperless fax, and continue using electronics until end of life. Also, be sure to recycle e-waste and batteries. Encourage recycling by making sure all staff has a recycle bin at their desk. And keep the office kitchen stocked with glassware instead of bottled water and ‘real’ coffee mugs instead of paper. Buy sugar, milk etc. in bulk instead of single use packages.
8. Rearrange trash bins:
Consider removing trash cans from cubicles and offices, only retaining a recycling bin, forcing individuals to walk to a communal trash can for non-recyclable items. We’ve heard of successful organizations doing this, and people grumbled at first, but it did force people to think more about their waste, causing an increase in recycling and decrease in trash!
9. Tupperware for lunch outings:
Bring your own or have an office stash of Tupperware available to take to lunch if you think you will have leftovers.
10. Measure, report, and verify your carbon footprint:
tcrThe Reserve is a Member of The Climate Registry, and we use their software to measure, report, and verify the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our organization’s activities. The first step to reducing emissions is accurately measuring your emissions. Your emissions profile will help you identify inefficiencies and pursue appropriate actions to reduce emissions.
11. Then offset your carbon footprint:
We are a carbon offset registry! Of course we’re going to offset our own emissions. We created a Blind Trust to offset our Scope 1, 2, and 3 company emissions without a conflict of interest.
12. Green that commute! Or get rid of it altogether!
bikeSubsidize public transit cards to promote transit ridership and reduce employee stress – I can’t imagine how grumpy I’d be if I had to drive in LA traffic every morning. Consider an office telecommute policy, which would allow for reductions in both greenhouse gas emissions and commute time. Here at the Reserve, staff may work from home up to 2.5 days per week. Also, consider developing an incentive program for replacing car commutes with bicycle commutes. For example, for every 10 car rides replaced with bicycle, the staff member could pick a prize from the office prize vault. Due to some staff working remotely or some commutes being impossible by bike, you could expand the program to any 10 car rides replaced, including errands on the weekend. (That is, if you trust your coworkers enough to use an honor system!)
13. Green meetings and webinars:
Rather than in-person meetings which require travel, have telephone meetings and online webinars as much as possible.
14. Indoor plants:
plantWe work in a veritable urban forest with an average of 2 plants per employee workspace. Plants can be chosen specifically based on ability to improve local air quality: http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/photos/15-houseplants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality/a-breath-of-fresh-air
15. Form a sustainability committee:
Join fellow coworkers to brainstorm and research new sustainability initiatives for the workplace, find cool local green events that may interest staff, and coordinate eco volunteer events for staff to give back to the community.

Further reading:
http://www.nature.org/greenliving/gogreen/everydayenvironmentalist/green-your-office.xml
http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-at-work.html
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/green-your-workplace/


Errata and Clarifications released for the Landfill Project Protocol Versions 4.0, 3.0, 2.1, and 2.0

Errata and Clarifications released for the Landfill Project Protocol Versions 4.0, 3.0, 2.1, and 2.0


Public comment period open for draft Grassland PIA and Appendix on Legal Instruments – comments due June 26

Public comment period open for draft Grassland PIA and Appendix on Legal Instruments – comments due June 26


Mexico Boiler Efficiency Project Protocol development process underway: workgroup applications now available and due June 26

Mexico Boiler Efficiency Project Protocol development process underway: workgroup applications now available and due June 26


NACW 2015 by the numbers

NACW 2015 by the numbers

We are pleased to share stats and facts about NACW 2015 via a handy infographic. Check out how many delegates came from California or Canada, the breakdown of sectors represented, and other interesting data from the conference.

nacw-2015-about-our-delegates


Climate Action Reserve Honors the 2015 Mary D. Nichols Climate Action Champion Award Recipients

Climate Action Reserve Honors the 2015 Mary D. Nichols Climate Action Champion Award Recipients

Prestigious annual award recognizes outstanding efforts to advance climate solutions

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Climate Action Reserve, an environmental nonprofit organization and North America’s premier carbon offset registry, announced the recipients of the 2015 Mary D. Nichols Climate Action Champion Awards during the Navigating the American Carbon World conference. The awards are presented annually in recognition of outstanding leadership and deep commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. For their efforts in the “fight” against climate change, the Reserve awards these exemplary recipients with a special championship belt. The awards are named in honor of Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board and Founding Chair of the California Climate Action Registry – the predecessor and legacy program of the Climate Action Reserve.

“The 2015 Climate Action Champions are true leaders in building a clean energy future. We salute their leadership and dedication to advancing climate change solutions and look forward to even more outstanding achievements in the years ahead,” said Gary Gero, President of the Climate Action Reserve.

The 2015 champions are:

Senate Pro Tem Kevin De León – Elected to the State Assembly in 2006 and elected to the State Senate in 2010, Senator De León has worked to craft and support innovative legislation that push forward solutions for air quality, climate change, advanced transportation, clean energy technologies, livable communities and other leading environmental policy issues. In 2012, his bill (SB 535) ensured that a minimum of 25 percent of the cap-and-trade auction proceeds are used to support emissions reductions in California’s most disadvantaged communities. And this year, Senator De León introduced SB 350 to strengthen California’s climate leadership by pursuing standards that will reduce petroleum use by 50 percent, set a 50 percent renewable energy standard for the state’s utilities and increase building efficiency by 50 percent, all by 2030.

“The world is watching California,” said Senator De León. “What we have done here, and what we do next will continue to set the stage for global action to address climate change. That is why it is critical we continue to lead by example.”

Dirk Forrister – Dirk Forrister is President and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), where he helps bring the business voice to subnational, national, and international action on climate change. Under Dirk’s leadership, IETA has been instrumental to the successful implementation and management of emissions trading programs around the globe, including in California. Previously, Dirk served as Managing Director at Natsource, manager of one of the world’s largest carbon funds, and as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force in the Clinton Administration.

Hon. Bill Ritter – Governor Ritter is the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, where he leads efforts to craft and support policies and programs that advance the 21st century clean energy economy. As Governor of Colorado, Gov. Ritter established Colorado as a globally recognized clean energy leader as he signed an unprecedented 57 clean energy bills into law. As a result of his leadership, Colorado is now home to the fourth-highest concentration of clean energy workers in the country, the second-highest renewable energy standard in the nation, and the nation’s first law to convert old and inefficient coal plants to cleaner natural gas.


Mexico Ozone Depleting Substances Project Protocol Version 1.0 was adopted by the Reserve Board on April 28, 2015

Mexico Ozone Depleting Substances Project Protocol Version 1.0 was adopted by the Reserve Board on April 28, 2015


Mexico Ozone Depleting Substances Project Protocol Version 1.0 to be presented to Reserve Board on April 28

Mexico Ozone Depleting Substances Project Protocol Version 1.0 to be presented to Reserve Board on April 28


Public comment period open for draft Grassland Project Protocol Version 1.0 – workshop April 28 – comments due May 18

Public comment period open for draft Grassland Project Protocol Version 1.0 – workshop April 28 – comments due May 18


Errata and Clarifications released for the Nitric Acid Production Project Protocol Versions 1.0 and 2.0

Errata and Clarifications released for the Nitric Acid Production Project Protocol Versions 1.0 and 2.0