Do businesses have the ‘R factor’ for Green Office Week?

As of yesterday Green Office Week is back for its 10th year and its organiser, Avery UK, is firmly focusing on the five R’s during the eco-week. Previously, there have been just the three R’s of reduce, re-use and recycle when it comes to protecting the planet. However, these days there is much more of a focus on five R’s, including refuse and repurpose.

Throughout Green Office Week 2018, Avery UK aims to generate more awareness of all five R’s to highlight that there is still more that Brits can do to be greener at work. The team will be sharing advice, eco-friendly tips and running green giveaways from the Avery UK social media channels.

As well as its focus on the five R’s, Avery UK has also revealed the results of its latest Green Office Week research. The team surveyed over 500 Avery consumers to discover how workers felt about green issues in the workplace.

Just over half of respondents (52%) said they were personally ‘very green’ at work with 46% saying they were ‘a little green’ in the workplace. Only 2% said they weren’t green at all. Despite this, three quarters of office workers said they wished their employer would do more for the environment.

It seems recycling is becoming part of the norm in UK offices with 97% of respondents saying they do recycle at work. Paper was the item most likely to be recycled followed by cardboard, plastic and then printer cartridges. The top three reasons for recycling at work are it’s simply the right thing to do, to protect the planet for future generations and because it’s easy. When looking at the five R’s, businesses tend to recycle the most, followed by re-use, reduce, refuse and then re-purpose.

Half of UK offices have someone in their workplace who is responsible for green issues and eight out of ten respondents are buying eco-friendly products, where possible. There’s been a lot of news about reducing plastics recently and 64% of those polled said the David Attenborough Blue Planet focus on plastic had made them think more about the environment.

Despite a positive picture being painted, only half of the office workers think that ‘being green’ is now a normal part of working life so there is plenty more that can be done. When exploring the barriers to being green 47% said they would think about the environment more if it was easier, 34% said they would if there was more research on the benefits and 29% said they would if it wasn’t so expensive and if they had the right equipment.

Workers still feel it is easier to think about the environment more in the home than the workplace as 46% of office workers admitted to being greener at home, however, 49% said it was equally split between the two locations.

Fiona Mills, marketing director at Avery UK said: “We’ve seen so many changes in attitudes to green issues over the last ten years and sustainability is a much bigger issue for businesses these days. However, it still isn’t the norm in all UK offices which is why we continue to put eco-issues in the spotlight each year. It’s never too late to get involved in Green Office Week, whether you make big changes throughout the week or implement something small on the final day, you will have made a difference. We’d just love to hear what UK offices are doing so we can share the fantastic work taking place around the UK.”