4 Tips for a Green Office Fit Out

December 9th, 2014 by Dragan Dimovski in Blog No Comments »

In this environmentally aware age it’s never been so important for a business to establish and defend its ‘green’ bona fides. Whether your company deals directly with the public or only interacts with other businesses, a good environmental reputation can mean the difference between gaining new customers or losing out to the competition. After all, image is everything.

This is why, when the times comes to update your office space, it’s a great time to take the opportunity to transition to a greener working environment. With just a little thought and a fractionally increased budget you could score the PR coup of a lifetime, and establish your company as the greenest in your industry in one fell swoop.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you make your next office fit out a public relations bonanza, and at the same time help keep our planet green and beautiful…

1. Hire the Right Contractor

The first and most important part of any green fit out is to hire a contractor with the skills and experience to ensure that the results really are as green as you hope. This is more difficult than it may seem. The fit out industry is fiercely competitive, and a contractor may make promises they can’t support in order to secure a contract.

The best way to establish that a contractor really does have the ability to carry out a green fit out is to look at past performance. Any good contractor will be able to show you examples of their previous work, and explain the ways they’ve helped former clients go green. They should be able to describe every step of the process, from evaluating and optimizing their clients’ energy use to sourcing fittings and furniture constructed from recycled, sustainable or reclaimed materials.

2. Consider Energy Use

One of the most wasteful realities of any office is excessive energy use. From lighting to electrical appliances to cooling and heating equipment, offices burn through energy with abandon, and this goes doubly so in warm climates such as that of Dubai, with air conditioning running through the day to keep the environment pleasant.

As part of your green fit out you should consult with your contractor to find ways to reduce your energy consumption to a more environmentally friendly level. Though your current energy consumption may already seem as low as it can go, there are always changes that can be made to slice chunks out of your bills and reduce your impact, from energy saving lightbulbs all the way to a complete redesign of the office space, modifying the layout to take advantage of natural light sources.

3. Go Paperless

While you may not be considering updating your technology as part of your office fit out, this is the best time to make the switch to a paperless office. You should think carefully about your current use of paper and try to find ways to slash your consumption, not only to reduce your environmental impact but also to cut costs.

Encouraging a more efficient work flow through the use of inter-office email, electronic memos and cloud computing can be a great way to reduce your reliance on paper, but it might not be enough to break old habits. The best way to encourage a paperless environment, therefore, may be to adopt a single printer approach. Install just one networked printer for the office, and keep the paper securely locked away. That way you’ll have access to a printer in an emergency, but use of it will be so inconvenient that paper consumption will be immediately reduced.

4. Recycle

Finally, an office refurbishment offers you the opportunity to establish a functional and well-designed recycling program for your office. All too often recycling is ignored in offices, and workers are forced to go through ten steps to recycle when one should be enough (after all, no busy worker wants to waste time walking to the other end of the building to dispose of their trash).

As part of your fit out you should establish recycling stations at several points through the office, with clearly marked receptacles for everything from paper and plastic to used ink cartridges, batteries and CDs. With a little common sense you can establish a system that produces almost zero waste, and what little you do produce can be easily and safely recycled.

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Some of the companies our contractors have worked with:

  • Toyota
  • HSBC
  • Ajman Bank
  • Emaar
  • Apple
  • Subway
  • Dubai mall
  • Mall of Emirates
  • Healthy food
  • just falafel
  • Kraft