A Green Office Week to South Africa 19-23 April
Office workers everywhere now have the opportunity to add their contribution to eco-friendly workplaces. The week of 19 to 23 April is to be Green Office Week in South Africa, and is intended both to raise awareness of the importance of eco-friendly offices as well as inform office workers that they too can make a positive impact on the environment whilst at work.
An initiative by Dictum Publishers, the aim is to encourage employees throughout South Africa, in big and small organisations, whether in the public or private sector, to take a look at their daily routines and realize the economic benefits of reducing energy and resource requirements.
A green office is a smarter and better office. On the one hand it is Ecological: using nontoxic, recycled, environmentally friendly products and supplies; on the other hand it is Efficient: using as little energy and other resources as possible, and putting out the smallest amount of waste as possible; and ultimately, it is Healthy, with as little visual, noise and physical pollution as possible.
Says Ana-Maria Valente, a director of Dictum: “A green office is everyone’s business, and small steps can lead to great benefits. Whether turning off lights in unused spaces – or replacing fluorescent lights with energy efficient lighting – and where appropriate using both sides of paper when printing or providing recycle bins throughout the workplace to recycle paper is a good start”.
“There is clearly a movement worldwide to get organisations to understand the importance of sustainable business practices, and alongside this there is also a growing movement to introduce green office practices. If the former is aimed at the executives, the latter is about engaging employees in their everyday office practices: in other words the bosses should concentrate on eco-efficient processes and the employees on eco-friendly behaviours”.
Although there are weeks called Green Week in Europe and green workplace week in the US, the concept of calling it a Green Office Week originated in the UK last year through the combined efforts of Footprint Communications and its client Avery Dennison. The week was hugely successful and they are holding it again this year.
“The seed of launching a Green Office Week in South Africa was planted last year in August after hearing a keynote address by Judge Mervyn King at the Boss of the Year Club function where he spoke about some exciting eco-efficient business practices. He was truly inspiring and we at Dictum left with a clear intent of doing something ourselves. The seed grew by means of extensive research into this initiative emulating the UK’s one.” says Valente.
Although some organisations are already making clear statements about their green products or services and are to be commended for this, it does not mean that the culture of going green in workplaces is prevalent or pervasive; this is why Green Office Week is so important in driving the message home to everyone that environment-friendly workplaces can start from the receptionist’s front desk all the way up to the CEO’s office.
More information visit www.greenofficeweek.co.za;
Source: SA Water Research Commission
Green Office Week in South Africa coincides with international Earth Week. An obvious issue in many offices is paper usage. Where possible, documents should be e-filed and not printed. Waste paper should be recycled and recycled paper should be used wherever possible too. Business owners and managers should set an example and ensure that office workers are well-informed on the subject of sustainability and resource conservation. If employees are made aware of environmental issues, they are likely to pass on the knowledge to their families and implement green habits home. Environmentally friendly offices incur lower running costs too. Water Rhapsody water conservation systems are environmentally friendly and we support all efforts to ensure the message of Earth Week is heard 365 days of the year.