Thinking of going green? You’re not alone. Businesses large and small are adopting eco-friendly policies, a trend that holds true in most major metropolitan areas, including the city of Austin and beyond. In fact, more than 60 percent of small businesses nationwide are actively trying to go green and adopt environmentally-conscious practices.
But how can companies reduce their carbon footprint? In addition to strategies for making an office more eco-friendly, which include reducing paper use, adopting an in-office recycling program, and switching to energy-efficient products, companies can reduce their carbon footprint by choosing the right furnishings. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right eco-friendly office furniture for your small business.
Understand What It Is
Before buying eco-friendly office furniture, it helps to understand what makes it stand out from other office furnishings. The Sustainable Furnishings Council defines eco-friendly office furniture as furnishings that are made and transported using methods that protect the environment— for instance, employing production methods that use as little carbon emissions as possible, while also minimizing pollutants.
In addition to reducing your office’s carbon footprint, prioritizing a “green” office environment can also leave your office air cleaner. In turn, this cleaner air has been shown to considerably improve employees’ cognitive function, according to a double-blind study conducted by the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems.
Consider Employee Comfort
Adopting eco-friendly policies in your small business can help employee productivity, and in turn your bottom line. But to enjoy those benefits, you need to find a balance between saving energy and providing people with a comfortable environment.
To do this, focus on eco-friendly office furniture that provides good ergonomic support, as comfortable employees are productive employees. In fact, a joint study by the Upjohn Institute, York University, University of Texas, and Health and Work Outcomes revealed that ergonomic furnishings can boost productivity by 17.7 percent.
In addition to buying eco-friendly office furniture, consider minimizing indoor pollutants with adequate ventilation, adding greenery like plants, and giving workers access to natural light. All of these are factors that can make a big difference in your office’s eco-friendliness and productivity.
Don’t Overlook the Power of Minimalism
It’s easy to get caught up in wanting more — the more space you have, the more stuff you acquire. Whatever you call it, the more you have, the more you’re likely to be wasting. But adopting an office plan based on minimalist design cuts down on that waste.
This not only boosts your small business’s eco-friendliness, it also boosts morale. For instance, Brother International conducted a study in 2010 that demonstrated roughly 86 percent of workers are negatively affected by clutter. Therefore, by surrounding employees with a few inspirational pieces and minimal clutter you can create an organized, positive work environment that simultaneously benefits both workers and the environment.
Furniture Rental as a Green Option
Startups and small businesses need flexibility, and it’s hard to get more flexible than furniture rental. Nothing goes to waste, and you can easily scale up or down as needed. Furniture rental allows you to design impressive spaces with the comfort of everyone from employees to clients in mind.
When you opt for eco-friendly office furniture rental with CORT, you can feel good knowing that you’re choosing furniture from a company that wants to help you make sustainable business decisions.