Earth Day is a good time to evaluate or re-evaluate green practices within facilities management. Studies have shown that caring for and protecting the environment matters to end users.
In a Pew Research Center survey
conducted in 2016, about three-quarters of U.S. adults (74%) said “the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment.”
A 2020 BCG (Boston Consulting Group) survey
of more than 3,000 people across eight countries found that people are more concerned now than pre-pandemic about addressing environmental challenges. Specifically, “87% said companies should integrate environmental concerns into their products, services, and operations to a greater extent than they have in the past.”
One simple step toward creating greener, cleaner facilities is by selecting and purchasing eco-friendly items. Below are 8 items that are easy to implement
Stock recycled paper. Some multipurpose printer and copier paper is made from 100% post-consumer waste and paper-based fibers from food and beverage containers and other printed materials. It is also chlorine free and FSC (forest stewardship council) certified. **Remember to only print what you need to and recycle paper that is no longer needed.**
For offices, libraries, and classrooms, order recycled binders and divider tabs, which are made from recycled chipboard instead of plastic. They are compostable and biodegradable.
Order cork mousepads and desk blotters for all workspaces. Cork is a natural and eco-friendly material because it is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree and does not damage the tree.
Use plant-derived paper kraft tape instead of plastic tape. Both the paper backing and water-based adhesive are recyclable, and the product does not contain any petroleum.
Use “green” cleaning products. Many products are marketed as such, but to know for sure, look for products with the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency’s) Safer Choice seal, which designates those with fewer toxic ingredients. Also consider using natural cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda when/where possible.
Choose reusable cleaning supplies such as sponges, brooms, mops, and towels over disposable ones. Not only do the disposables contain microplastics that are not biodegradable, but they can cost more in the long run.
Install low-flow fixtures when toilets, faucets, and shower heads need to be replaced. Or, consider a lower cost alternative faucet aerator, which can save two to 16 gallons of water per day.
Select bamboo furniture, shelving, desk stands, and flooring. Bamboo grows rapidly and requires no chemicals to thrive. It also regenerates from its own roots and does not need to be replanted.
Has your facility implemented any of these or other eco-friendly products or practices? Please contact us
to share your insight.