Sustainable procurement tips for the workplace

Following on from sustainable purchasing tips for the home, let’s now take a look at how we can do the same at work. Sustainable procurement considers the environmental, social and economic impacts involved in purchasing products.

Some things to bear in mind for sustainable procurement in the workplace include:

1. Purchase recycled office paper and stationery products where possible – most recycled paper on the market now is of such a good quality that you wouldn’t know the difference and the cost is comparable to non-recycled versions. The paper recycling process uses significantly less energy and water than from making it out of raw materials.

2. Purchase office paper with the FSC certification logo – FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification is internationally recognised as the most rigorous environmental and social standard for responsible forest management. By purchasing products with this logo, you can trust they have been manufactured in an environmental, social and economically responsible way. If you also utilise an external printer consider using one that is FSC certified. Details can be found on the FSC website.

3. Consider looking into renewable energy providers for electricity.

4. Avoid purchasing products with excessive packaging – and any boxes that you receive items in if you can’t reuse, remember to recycle them.

5. Take note of certifications on tea, coffee and sugar – look into those with the FairTrade logo on them. As with FSC certification, FairTrade ensures the products have been made in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

6. Coffee pod machines – If you are looking into purchasing a coffee pod machine for your office kitchen consider buying a brand where the pods can be recycled. Nespresso and Nescafé dolce gusto both offer coffee pod recycling schemes. Australians consume up to 3 million coffee pods every day so it’s definitely something worth considering!

7. Boardroom meetings – if you are holding a working lunch meeting confirm the numbers attending and try not to over cater! While we don’t want our clients to go hungry, it can be staggering to see how many sandwiches and food can go to waste after just one meeting.

If you are ordering coffees into the office why not consider purchasing a number of reusable coffee cups that you can use for such occasions – for instance KeepCups. Not only are these a great way of preventing the growing number of coffee cups in landfill but you can also have these branded specifically for your business so they look modern and professional.

8. Buy in bulk or larger containers – these use less packaging (and therefore less waste) and will also save you some cash.

9. Office cleaning – check that your office cleaners use chemical free, environmentally friendly cleaning products where possible.

10. Computers and IT equipment procurement – With IT equipment it’s important to do your research and consider purchasing the product that has the greater life expectancy. This item may be more expensive but it’s worth it for both the environment and your pocket if it lasts you a lot longer. While Australia does now have an e-waste programme in operation it’s still obviously best to avoid electronic waste as much as possible.

KS Environmental can help your business become more sustainably minded through various recycling programmes. Contact us now to get started!