Gree office guide

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Greening the staff café or kitchen can involve using energy and water efficient fittings, selling locally produced organic food to composting and recycling wastes.

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  1. How to Transform your Office into one that’s Kinder to the Environment. Published by The Green Office Guide proudly supported by
  2. This guide is produced by the Auckland Environmental Business Network Inc. PO Box 147 263 1A Scotland Street Ponsonby Freemans Bay Auckland Auckland New Zealand New Zealand 09 817 2622 www.aebn.pl.net This guide is also available on-line at www.greenoffice.org.nz, along with a directory of suppliers of eco-products and services. The AEBN’s team, Rachel Brown, Caroline Peacock produced the information contained in the guide with editing support from:  Andrew Reeve – Sinclair Knight Merz  Lisa Martin – URS  Wendy Levi – Meritec  Simon Stockdale – Sustainability 21 The AEBN wishes to thank the following sponsoring organisations for their support in producing this guide:  Auckland City Council  Auckland Regional Council  BRANZ  EECA  Fuji Xerox  Interface Agencies  Ministry for the Environment We also wish to thank the great number of organisations and individuals, too numerous to mention, for their contribution to the guide. Important Note: While the AEBN has made reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy of the information in the Green Office Guide, it cannot be held responsible for any errors and omissions and under no circumstances shall be held liable for any injury, damage, costs or financial loss resulting from the use of this information. Version 1.02– 2 June 2002 © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002
  3. Contents Staff Café or Kitchen................................................................ ..1 Fitting Energy and Water Efficient Appliances & Fixtures...................1 Choose Energy and Water Efficient Appliances........................................... .................1 Reduce the Volume of Water.............................................................................. ..........2 Supplying Organic Foods.................................. ................................2 Buying Locally Made................................................................. ........2 Reducing packaging............................................ .............................2 Recycling Kitchen Waste ....................................................... ...........3 Guidelines for Caterers......................................................... ............3 Office Equipment, Furniture & Stationery............................ ........4 Key Issues to Consider when Purchasing...........................................4 Rules of Thumb for Purchasing Office Equipment...............................5 Choose Equipment that is Designed to Last.......................................................... .......5 Pay only for the Features you Really Need................................................. ..................5 Is Leasing a Better Option?...................................................................... ....................5 Choose the Right Equipment Mix.............................................................. ...................5 Buy New Zealand made............................................................................... ................5 Use Equipment Wisely.................................................................... .............................5 Have a Regular Maintenance Schedule for Equipment.......................................... .......5 Turn Equipment off when Not In Use........................................................... .................6 Choosing a computer............................................................... .........7 Specify What you Want............................................................................... .................7 Make sure you can UPGRADE your Computer................................... ...........................7 Check Warranties and Service Support.................................................... ....................7 Which Manufacturer?............................................................................... ....................7 Buying Second-hand computers...................................................... ............................8 Reusing Disks and CDs.................................. ...................................8 Choosing Photocopiers.......................................... ...........................8 Getting rid of your old Photocopier....................................................... .......................8 Choosing a Printer......................................................................... ...8 Choosing a Fax...................................................................... ...........9 Improve Indoor Air Quality & Reducing Electromagnetic Fields...........9 Office Furniture................................................................. .............10 Second hand dealers................................................................. ................................10 Issues for new furniture............................................................... ..............................10 Desks.......................................................................................................... ...............10 Solid Wood Desks.................................................................................................. .....10 Particleboard Furniture...................................................................................... .........10 Chairs......................................................................................................................... 10 Stationery............................................................................. .........10 Paper......................................................................................................................... .10 Letterhead, Business cards and other printed materials...................11 Reassess if you really need to print! .................................................. .......................12 © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page i
  4. Design your Document to reduce waste:............................................ .......................12 Specify 'Green' Printing:..................................................................................... ........12 Tell others about it!................................................................................... .................12 Paper Correction Fluid.................................................................................... ............12 Envelopes........................................................................................ ..........................12 Folders, file boxes, dividers etc................................................................. .................13 Indices & post-its............................................................................. ..........................13 Pens & Pencils................................................................................................ ............13 Pen holders............................................................................................ ....................13 Mobile phones....................................................................... .........13 Health..................................................................................................... ...................13 Environment................................................................................. .............................13 Cameras.................................................. ......................................14 Battery Powered Electrical Equipment.............................................14 Diaries........................................................................................ ...............................14 Sticky Tape....................................................................................................... ..........14 Stapler................................................................................................. ......................14 Rubber Stamps & Ink........................................................................ .........................14 Storage Boxes (or Gift boxes)................................................................................. ....14 Ten Simple Steps................................... ..................................15 1- Measure how much you use & how much you waste!....................15 2- Save paper ~ Think before you print. ................................. .........15 3- Save toner............................................. ....................................16 4 - Save energy................................................... ...........................16 5- Recycle as much as you can!.......................................................16 6- Share Stationery................................... .....................................16 7- Re-use Office Supplies ................................. ..............................16 8- Buy Recycled Products...................................................... ..........17 9- Return to Sender.................................................... ....................17 10 - Share Ideas and Keep Improving.............................................. .17 Bathroom......................................................... .......................18 Upgrade Lighting........................................................................... .18 Check for Leaks.................................................................. ............18 Reduce volume of water in toilets...................................................18 Reassess Urinals, Showers & Taps...................................................18 Look for Efficient Ways of Drying Hands..........................................19 Cotton Hand Towels..................................................................... ..............................19 Electric Hand Dryers............................................................................ ......................19 Disposable Paper Towels....................................................................... .....................19 Cleaners and Cleaning Services................................................20 Maximise Personal Health and Safety..............................................20 Minimise Environmental Impacts. ..................................................20 © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page ii
  5. Minimise Packaging........................................................ ................20 Avoid Synthetic Dyes & Fragrances.................................................21 Environmental Label Accreditation..................................................21 Look for Safe alternatives................................................ ...............21 Building, Surrounds & Fittings...................................... ............22 Get the Location Right................................................... .................23 Design for the Sun....................................................................... ...23 Minimise Earthworks..................................... .................................23 Minimise Construction Waste................................. .........................24 Design to Minimise Waste.......................................................................... ................24 Dealing With Waste............................................................................................ ........24 Choose Materials Carefully........................................................... ...24 Timber......................................................................................... ..............................24 Alternative Energy Sources......................................................26 Sun Power............................................ .........................................26 Lighting............................................. .....................................27 Conduct a Simple Audit............................................................... ....27 Assess Lighting Requirements........................................................27 Upgrade Fittings or Bulbs................................. ..............................27 Fit Timers or Sensors............................................................... .......28 Encourage Energy Saving Behaviours..............................................28 Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) Systems......................28 Maximise Natural Ventilation..........................................................28 Look after HVAC Systems..................................................... ...........28 Opt for Simple Heat Exchange Systems...........................................29 Insulate your Office.................................................. ......................29 Reduce Hot Water Demand.............................................. .........29 Assess Layout & Design............................................ ......................29 Don’t use it................................................................. ...................30 Use it wisely.................................................................................. .30 Use Alternative Energy Sources......................................................30 Conserve Water.............................................. .........................30 Maintain your system....................................... ..............................30 Paints and Oils............................. ...........................................30 Paints...................................................................... ......................30 Oils........................................................................................... .....30 © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page iii
  6. Floors & Coverings............................................................. ......31 Uncovered floors..................................................... .......................31 Timber Flooring ............................................................................................. ............31 Look For Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification ...........................................31 Floor Coverings........................................................ ......................32 Carpets............................................................................... ...........32 About the material and the manufacturer............................................................ ......32 During its use......................................................................................................... ....32 Office Gardens.................................................................... .....33 Composting or Worm-Farming............................................................................. .......33 Reduce Stormwater Runoff................................................. ......33 © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page iv
  7. Staff Café or Kitchen Greening the staff café or kitchen can involve using energy and water efficient fittings, selling locally produced organic food to composting and recycling wastes. For more detailed information: Fitting Energy and Water Efficient Appliances & Fixtures Supplying Organic Foods Buying Locally Made Reducing Packaging Recycling Kitchen Waste Guidelines for Caterers Fitting Energy and Water Efficient Appliances & Fixtures Choose Energy and Water Efficient Appliances Purchase AAA - ‘triple A’ and Energy Rating labelled appliances  Purchase highest possible ’A’ rating. .A dishwasher with the ‘triple A’ rating uses water efficiently.  Purchase highest possible Energy Rating e.g. a fridge or dishwasher with more stars uses less electricity  Buy new "Smart" appliances that use "fuzzy logic" to think ahead, e.g. refrigerators that adjust temperatures to suit individual opening habits, or dishwashers and washing machines that control water levels according to load.  Build in a range hood or extractor fan to eliminate cooking smells and moisture.  Install a switch that automatically turns storage cupboard lights on and off when door opens and closes.  Conduct regular maintenance check-ups, checking for leaks or faulty appliances. Make sure that staff knows who to report to if leaks are found. Special Note: EnergyStar features are part of the US EPA programme for office equipment (sleep mode, power down, etc). Equipment either has EnergyStar features, or it does not. There is no rating system as such. EECA are the NZ agents for the US EPA for the EnergyStar programme. The Energy Rating scheme is a different system to the EnergyStar. The Energy Rating scheme covers actual energy consumption. It is used mainly for white-ware and domestic appliances, but it is being expanded. It is a combined scheme between NZ and Australia. It will be compulsory in NZ from 1 April 2002 for shops to display the energy label all appliances covered by the scheme. © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 1
  8. Triple A - AAA is for water efficiency and does not cover energy (although it does indirectly for the Council pumping station). AAA is about to be upgraded to an AAAAA system. It is an Australian system for which there is no NZ agent. Avoid  Fridges that contain CFC’s of HCFC’s – which damage the ozone layer.  Unnecessary appliances – e.g. electric can openers.  A ‘waste disposal unit’ – they use water unnecessarily to get rid of valuable material, which should be composted, or worm farmed! Reduce the Volume of Water  Flow restrictions are cheap, easy to fit and reduce the water flow; not only do you use less water but you also save energy by using less hot water. Some companies can design packages tailored to your office requirements, ensuring that both the temperature and flow system are appropriately controlled.  Install low flow tap systems to reduce water consumption.  A pressure limiting value can be used to reduce the pressure at the point where the town supply enters the property, reducing the pressure to all outlets.  Aerators are another option to consider improving the quality of water stream. Aerators simply mix the water with air resulting in a lower flow from your tap.  Install water filters to deliver optimum quality drinking water. Supplying Organic Foods The Staff Café or kitchen is a great way of promoting healthy eating within your work environment. The production of food rates pretty highly as an activity that degrades our environment, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce that. Organic food is not only better for you, but it is produced without the use of toxic chemicals and pesticides, thereby protecting our environment and also providing tastier and more nutritious food. For further reading on diet and health www.nhf.org.nz Also consider:  Using natural pest deterrents e.g. a Bay Leaf and herbs in dry foods to deter weevils.  Using a food-safe to keep out insects Buying Locally Made Buy local fresh food that is in season. Transporting food across the country uses energy, decreases the food's vitality and increases the chances of food wastage. Reducing packaging Packaging can be handy for takeaways, and a good package will avoid food waste. However, much food is excessively packaged so consider the following: © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 2
  9.  Buy your beverage supplies - sugar, milk, etc. - in bulk. Avoid single serves such as individually wrapped teabags and sugar sachets.  Bring your own! Have reusable containers and bags available for staff takeaways.  Insulated mugs with lids will last for hundreds of coffees - that's at least a week!  Strike a deal with a local café for staff discounts when they bring their own containers.  Plastics can leach chemicals into food - provide glass dishes especially for microwave heat-ups.  Choose recycled content packaging or packaging that you will be able to recycle.  Use mugs or glasses rather than disposable cups. Recycling Kitchen Waste It is important to make recycling systems easy to understand and use:  Install clearly labelled storage units with an easily operated lids to simplify waste separation of:  Food scraps  Paper/cardboard  Plastics  Aluminium or steel/tin containers.  Non recyclable waste  Make food scraps not too large  Choose a convenient, sunny place for your compost bin.  Integrate the recycling system into the kitchen design/layout.  Make sure al staff are aware of what is to be recycled and where the bins are located.  Clearly label recycling bins and put up plenty of posters encouraging people to recycle. Guidelines for Caterers If getting caterers in for a party or meeting make sure you give them clear environmental guidelines prior to accepting their quote for work:  Supply organic, locally or New Zealand grown produce  Buy local fresh and seasonal food whenever possible  Provide food packaging that is made from paper or card or potato starch, which are all compostable.  Separated recycling bins in café - food, paper, plastics, glass, aluminium cans and other © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 3
  10. Office Equipment, Furniture & Stationery Keeping your office supplied with machinery & stationary can be expensive. It also comes at a cost to the environment. Computers, copiers, printers, faxes consume a huge amount of energy and materials when they are manufactured and while they are used. They also create heat, which causes air conditioning systems to work harder. Click for more information Key Issues to Consider when Purchasing Rules of Thumb for Purchasing Office Equipment Choosing a Computer Reusing Diskettes & CDs Choosing Photocopiers Choose a Printer Choosing a Fax Indoor Air Quality & Reducing Electromagnetic Fields Office Furniture Stationery Mobile Phones Cameras Battery Powered Electrical Equipment Key Issues to Consider when Purchasing Greening your office challenges you to think about whether your organisations’ ‘needs’ can be met in different ways.  Can we lease, share or swap instead of purchasing?  Does the product have an environmental, energy rating or water-rating label?  Does the product have EnergyStar features or a ‘sleep’ mode for when it is not being used?  Does the supplier have good environmental credentials?  Is upgrading, reconditioning or extending the useful life of our current model a better option?  How long will this particular product last?  Will it be easily repaired or upgraded?  Are we paying for features we don't need and won't use?  How much energy or materials will it use?  Does the product contain recycled materials?  Can this product be recycled, sold or donated when we've finished with it?  Does it come with too much packaging? © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 4
  11. We’ve done some of this work for you and included suppliers in our Green Pages. Rules of Thumb for Purchasing Office Equipment Actively purchasing 'greener' products or services is a complex task and can be time consuming for any purchaser making informed environmental choices. Looking for third party accredited labels provides credible, verifiable information on the environmental claims of products and services. If there isn’t a suitable piece of equipment that has a eco-label, then you should consider the following: Choose Equipment that is Designed to Last Look for design features that support upgrade, repair and remanufacture. How will your business needs change in the next 3 to 5 years? Pay only for the Features you Really Need Many offices pay extra for models with features they hardly ever use. Is it more economical to buy a simpler model and outsource more complex or demanding jobs? Is Leasing a Better Option? Leasing instead of buying outright can give your business better cash flow and greater flexibility. An 'operating lease' (as opposed to a 'financial lease') means the supplier has a commercial interest in maintaining your equipment! Choose the Right Equipment Mix The distinction between what you can do with photocopiers, printers, faxes and computers is starting to blur. Having fewer pieces of equipment can save you money and lessen your environmental impact. Buy New Zealand made Most office equipment is no longer made in New Zealand – however some is. It’s much better to buy products that are locally made or assembled to reduce transport. Use Equipment Wisely Think before you copy or print. Print using ‘draft’ feature to reduce toner use. Turn it off when its not being used. Some printers and photocopiers can print on both sides of the paper (duplex printing) which halves the amount of paper used and reduces the space required in filing systems. Have a Regular Maintenance Schedule for Equipment  Ensure that all equipment is serviced and maintained regularly to ensure efficiency and no escape of fumes from chemicals.  Fix small problems before they become big expensive problems.  Ensure that operating equipment is in well-ventilated rooms.  Don’t forget to include the maintenance contractor on your green suppliers list – what are their policies and practices? © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 5
  12. Turn Equipment off when Not In Use © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 6
  13. Choosing a computer Some computer manufacturers are designing their computers to be easily dissembled, or are taking responsibility of the end of life cycle of computers, and looking at issues concerning recycling or the reusing the equipment. Ensure that your system has EnergyStar features, and that you learn how to enable them. Specify What you Want Buy a system that suits your needs – don’t buy features that you won’t use. {Contact the Consumers Institute for more information}. Make sure you can UPGRADE your Computer To avoid waste and get the most from your outlay, make sure you know:  Which parts can be upgraded or expanded, memory, disk space etc?  How easy is it to access the components for repair or an upgrade?  Compact computers e.g. laptops often have limited upgrade options and can be costly to repair than desktop models. However they do use a lot less energy, and produce a lot less heat, which means less energy for cooling.  If the rechargeable battery in laptop computer no longer holds its charge, it may benefit from a rejuvenation process developed by Millennium Batteries. Check Warranties and Service Support Check out warranty and service support offers and also find out about charges on replacement parts after the warranty has expired. An extended warranty, if available, can be a sound investment. Which Manufacturer? The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition conducts an annual survey of computer manufacturers and publishes a report card. The report card analyses the information on the web-sites of computer companies to compare and measure the environmental qualities of electronic equipment and the environmental performance of companies. Grading environmental performance is also intended to encourage brand-name firms to place information concerning various attributes of corporate "clean and green" responsibility on their web-sites, thereby allowing consumers to make more informed decisions. In the 2001 Report Card the top manufacturers, based on their activities in the United States, were: 1. Canon 4. Fujitsu 7. Hewlett - Packard 2. Toshiba 5. Sony 8. Brother 3. IBM 6. NEC 9. Apple For more information on the issues and evaluation criteria used visit www.svtc.org. © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 7
  14. Buying Second-hand computers You may be able to buy what you want for half the price. But once again, do your homework. Reusing Disks and CDs Old floppy disks, which otherwise might be called waste can be wiped and reformatted for reuse. Rewritable CDs are recommended as a 'low waste' tool for storing data from regular backups. Choosing Photocopiers Purchasing the right photocopier, with a good service agreement, will result in reduced paper use, air pollution and land-fill space. You also should consider if you can share a copiers with a neighbour or whether it is more cost effective to outsource your copying. . The main considerations are:  Choose the right capacity. E.g. copy speed & monthly volume.  Only get the features you need – but look for opportunities to expand… Can you add paper-handling features such as document feeders and sorters?  Compare your running costs of small copiers with larger capacity ones.  Ask your supplier if they collect or refill or recycle toner cartridges.  Look for EnergyStar energy saving features – for example a power-down feature when the copier is not in use.  Ask for a duplexing unit (this can print on both sides of the paper).  Make sure you can use recycled paper in your copier.  Locate you copier away from workspaces to avoid ozone emissions.  Can the copier also print directly from a PC and act as a printer?  Find out if your manufacturer will recycle or remanufacture toner cartridges before you buy.  Think about buying a second-hand or reconditioned copier. They are far cheaper and often just as reliable for smaller volumes. Getting rid of your old Photocopier Contact the manufacturer first and see if they have a take back or recycling programme; contact the Recycling Operators of New Zealand (www.ronz.org.nz) if they don’t. Next time make sure your supplier takes it back for remanufacture and avoid the headache of dealing with old equipment. Choosing a Printer Choose a printer that is efficient with both ink (toner) and paper.  Buy a printer with a long warranty - 3 years is recommended. © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 8
  15.  Include a duplex (double-sided printing) facility to save paper.  Look for printers that can print multiple pages per sheet (useful for printing presentations and large reports)  Buy an EnergyStar Rated Printer.  Make sure your ink (toner) cartridge can be refilled or remanufactured  For colour printers a separate toner cartridge for each colour (red, yellow and cyan) may be cheaper to operate than a combined colour cartridge. Hot tip: Generally laser printers are more expensive to buy but have a lower cost per page than ink-jet and bubble-jet printers. Cheaper running costs and less waste can be achieved when you buy a laser printer with long life print drum and also buy remanufactured cartridges. Choosing a Fax Fax machines are a common feature in any office. Faxing itself isn’t bad, they use minimal electricity; eliminate the need for envelopes, labels and stamps. It’s just how you fax that makes the difference. Buy a plain paper fax machine as you can use Goose (Good on one-side) paper in them.  Use a recycled fax paper  Can you send and receive faxes direct from PC and avoid the need for a fax machine altogether? (Often an old PC can be re-used as a fax server)  Design small cover sheet or don’t use one at all! Improve Indoor Air Quality & Reducing Electromagnetic Fields  Buy products that have low or no formaldehyde, trichloroethylene or benzene in them.  Put air cleaning plants in your office some of the recommended indoor varieties are: Peace Lilly, Dracina, mother-in-law’s tongue, English ivy, Chinese fern, parlour palms. If you have more light then choose spider plants or flowering plants (e.g. chrysanthemums or azaleas)  Ensure sufficient air exchange through good ventilation. No matter how hard you try there will always be indoor air pollutants. It is important that they can escape from the building. (Contact BRANZ for information on Building code regulations)  Use cleaning agents that are low in volatile organic content (check out the product label for VOC content) For those concerned about electromagnetic fields, (these are created by any electricity – copiers, computers etc.), consider the following:  Smart wiring using low voltage electronic signals from switches to a centrally controlled computer.  Increase your own distance from the source (e.g. computer screen). E.g. Design light fittings at least one metre apart and at least one metre from people. © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 9
  16. Office Furniture When choosing furniture for your office consider the following:  Can you get it second-hand?  What are the life cycle issues associated your furniture?  Is it ergonomically designed thereby reducing the risk of OOS (occupational overuse syndrome) or posture or other health problems? Second hand dealers There are a huge number of second hand office suppliers. You can get some excellent furniture at great prices from these dealers. Any furniture you buy meets OSH regulations for health and safety and won’t result in workplace injuries. Issues for new furniture Think about the many issues associated with the raw materials, VOCs, manufacture, transport and use of the furniture (consider its life cycle) Desks Solid Wood Desks  Make sure it is not made from a tropical hardwood.  Look for ‘FSC certified’ timbers from suppliers that practice sustainable forest management. Particleboard Furniture  Ask for formaldehyde-free, or low formaldehyde particleboard or options with non-toxic preservatives. Chairs When purchasing a new chair look for an ergonomic design that will provide good back support. Also, ask the supplier or manufacturer if they have considered any of the following:  Product life cycle assessment  Minimal toxicity in glues and materials  Maximise re-usability of components & materials  Re-upholstery or refurbishment services  Furniture leasing option You can also consider donating any surplus office equipment to schools (esp. low- decile schools), not for profit organisations, or pass onto second hand dealers. Stationery There are plenty of opportunities to green your office stationery. Paper "The paperless office is as far away as the paperless toilet"! © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 10
  17. When choosing a paper make sure think about the following:  Buy recycled  Buy chlorine free (TCF)  Buy NZ made  Look for an Environmental Label Buy Recycled You can choose between pre-consumer of post-consumer recycled content. The higher the recycled content the better, although some quality papers sometimes limit the recycled content to 80% as recycled paper fibre is shorter than virgin fibre! Remember For every tonne of recycled paper we save 17 trees, 42,000kwh of electricity, 26,000 of water and about 27kgs of air pollutants (source Fuji Xerox).  Pre-consumer: Material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. The paper sourced from companies is generally of high quality, providing a regular supply and would otherwise be disposed if in the landfill, if it wasn't collected.  Post-consumer: Material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. Much of this is collected as mixed grades of paper, which include newspaper, office paper, magazines and cardboard packaging.1 Buy Chlorine Free  Elemental Chlorine Free (contains some chlorine derivatives) versus Totally Chlorine Free (TCF contains no chlorine compounds). Chlorine free may also be referred to as “Oxygen Bleached”. Buy New Zealand Made  There are a few papers still made in New Zealand. Some are recycled. In terms of transport usage, an Australian recycled paper would be the next best thing. Look for an Environmental Label  Some papers come with an environmental label (e.g. Nordic Swan Environmental Label certification from Europe) Remember: Reuse or recycle (where you cannot avoid) all waste paper. It means savings in stationery bills, as well as reduced disposal fees. Letterhead, Business cards and other printed materials A simple way of reducing the environmental impacts associated with printing of business cards, letterhead and other materials is to adopt a green print purchasing policy. 1 Information sourced from the Southern Sydney Waste Board © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 11
  18. The printing industry uses hazardous chemicals for inks etc, requires energy and water, and generates waste. In encouraging cleaner practices, opportunities exist for printers to reduce the environmental and health and safety impacts, increase productivity and reduce cost. By specifying greener printing you can encourage printers to operate in a cleaner and safer standards. Printing Industries NZ has a downloadable guide in the Industry Links section of its web site. The three ways of reducing the environmental impact associated with printing are: Reassess if you really need to print!  Can you use the Internet or e-mail instead?  Is a printed document the right medium for your information? Design your Document to reduce waste:  Reduce your paper needs by maximising margins and avoid large amounts of colour to minimise ink requirements  Choose the right paper for the job  Avoid laminates & other toxic finishes  Think about how you plan to distribute your finished product Specify 'Green' Printing:  Specify recycled paper with a high post-consumer content or chlorine free.  Ask for mineral oil free inks (100% vegetable based ink)  Use 100% recycled black ink  Ask about safe cleaners - vegetable cleaning agents (VCA's) Tell others about it!  Always put an environmental message on your printed material e.g. “Printed on recycled paper using mineral oil free inks”. Paper Correction Fluid Some correction fluids contain hazardous solvents such as trichloroethylene. A few alternatives exist including:  Opt for low toxic water-based correction fluid, or  Simply avoid using it! Envelopes  Buy recycled content envelopes  Select window envelopes that contain ‘glassine’, a wood fibre product, which is recyclable, as opposed to plastic windows.  Use a reusable, resealable envelope for return mail rather than an additional ‘reply paid’ envelope.  Print addresses directly onto the envelope to avoid self adhesive labels © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 12
  19.  Purchase ‘reuse address labels’ to reuse envelopes. Folders, file boxes, dividers etc Folders (e.g. Binders, Lever arches or Ring binders)  Buy cardboard rather than plastic binders  Look for ones that use recycled card (no glues or solvents only sizing agents)  Look for environmental certification (e.g. Blue Angle certification from Europe) Indices & post-its The general rules apply:  Buy board or paper dividers rather than plastic  Buy recycled card (no glues or solvents only sizing agents) Pens & Pencils  Buy refillable pens or pencils  Encourage staff to label pens and to be responsible for not loosing them Pen holders Why not make your own out of:  Used tins, or  Empty boxes, or  Other interesting containers. Mobile phones Mobile phones have become a common tool in business, however along with this are a set of environmental and health concerns. Health For those concerned about the health effects of mobile phone we recommend you:  Minimise the length of calls  Use a hands free kit to keep the phone away from your body  Ask your supplier ‘Specific Absorption Rates’ provided with all new phones Environment Cell phone batteries contain nickel and cadmium and should not be disposed of in the normal waste system. Some mobile phone manufacturers are now collecting old batteries and phones for safe disposal. In May 2001 Nokia launched it New Zealand recycling scheme to encourage customers to recycle phone, batteries and accessories. Both Telecom NZ and Vodafone also offer a battery disposal service and are currently offering credits against new phones and prize draws as incentives. Simply return it to Telecom or Vodafone or one of their authorised dealers and it will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 13
  20. Visit the Auckland Regional Council website for disposal of any other hazardous wastes. Cameras To avoid the wastage associated with production, development and printing of conventional photographic film we suggest you opt for a digital camera. Battery Powered Electrical Equipment Walkmans, dictaphones, calculators etc mainly require batteries to operate. We recommend that you:  Purchase solar powered equipment (e.g. calculators, radios) or  Purchase rechargeable batteries with a battery re-charger.  If the rechargeable battery in lap-top computer no longer holds its charge, it may benefit from a rejuvenation process developed by Millennium Batteries. Diaries At the end of each year diaries are updated. This creates waste :  Purchase a quality refillable diary but only get the sections you need and will use.  Some computer programmes have a diary or scheduler, which means you can print out your schedule on a monthly or weekly basis – as is needed. Sticky Tape Combining a material (e.g. plastic, cellulose, and fibre) makes sticky tape with a sticky substrate. Some companies who make sticky tape are looking at the life cycle impacts of their products, (e.g. recovering solvent for reuse). We recommend you:  Opt for Cellulose (Cellulose is a plant fibre) and is biodegradable.  Buy locally made products from manufacturers who are recovering solvents. Stapler There is a range of staplers from which to choose (e.g. electric or manual).  Use a manual stapler that meets your size requirements.  Buy locally made or assembled stapler Rubber Stamps & Ink A number of stamps are used in offices (e.g. draft, received, file stamps.)  Look for ‘safe’ or vegetable based inks.  Look for refillable ink cartridge. Storage Boxes (or Gift boxes)  Choose recycled card (no glues or solvents only sizing agents)  Look for an eco-label © Auckland Environmental Business Network 2002 Page 14
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