Dalton Office Products has commented on the annual Pilot BeGreen Office Audit. The comments are as follows:-
Despite the millions of dollars being spent by the government on trying to make Australians aware of their impact on the environment, a new study released has shown, very little has changed when it comes to our office behaviour over the last 12 months.
The annual Pilot BeGreen Office Audit, released on the eve of National Business Clean Up Day, has found that many Australian businesses are still not implementing simple practices that could significantly reduce their impact on the environment.
For instance, just as many Australian businesses are using continuous air conditioning (seven-in-ten) and leaving the lights on at night (one-in-ten) now as they were a year ago, adding to the negative environmental impacts caused by Australian business.
Environmental expert, Arron Wood is disturbed by these findings. “Climate change has attracted significant attention over the last year, with the environment becoming an increasingly high priority on the nation’s agenda, so I’m surprised and a little alarmed to find this has had little effect on the behaviour of Australia’s office workplaces,” Arron Wood concedes.
And it appears Australia’s office workers have made no real changes to their day to day behaviour either, with the national Pilot BeGreen Office Audit finding that:
- No less than 36% of office workers still admit to failing to turning off their computers every night, extending energy usage into the night when it is not needed
- An overwhelming 86% of office workers are unnecessarily printing off hard copy documents rather than proof reading them on screen, contributing to excess paper waste that can easily be avoided
- Only 23% of those surveyed have ever used a pen or writing instrument made from recycled material
“With no real inroads being made by corporate Australia in tackling these environmental issues, I believe environmentalists and government agencies need to shift their focus. A lot of the attention over the last 12 months has been on individuals and large industrial organisations but we really need to start challenging corporate Australia to start making simple changes that make a real difference if we are going to change the status quo,” suggests Arron Wood.
“I mean changes do not have to be difficult or expensive. It doesn’t take much to open a window, shutdown a computer or order recycled stationery products,” Arron Wood added.
But it is not all bad news. Slight improvements have been made in office recycling. Office workers are now more likely to be putting recyclables in the recycling bin on a regular basis (85% up from 73% a year ago), are more likely to work in an office that only uses recycled paper (33% up from 25% a year ago) and are more likely to have a bin for recycling paper (86% versus 80% a year ago).
“Recycling is a positive step towards helping the environment, but there is certainly more we can do when it comes to choosing office products. Materials such as CD cases which would normally end up in landfill are now being used to make pens and markers, such as those available under the Pilot BeGreen range, meaning the simple act of choosing a pen can have a positive impact on the environment,” Arron Wood suggests.
Arron Wood’s tips for corporate Australia:
- Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer – it uses less energy
- Switch to green energy produced from renewable sources such as wind and solar
- Purchase office products made from recycled products, such as pens and markers from the Pilot BeGreen range
- Transport is a major greenhouse emitter. Look beyond the office and encourage staff to take public transport, ride or even walk to work
- Bring all your household energy and water saving habits into the office. Although it may seem insignificant turning off lights, turning off taps, composting food waste, using less packaging, turning down the heating thermostat and turning up the cooling thermostat when multiplied by all the offices in Australia makes a difference
The Pilot BeGreen research surveys were conducted nationally by telephone, among a representative sample of full and part time office workers aged 18 years and over, by Newspoll (with a sample size of n=371 in Jan 2007 and n=399 in Dec 2007).