Good housekeeping practices to save your department carbon and money

Updated on 24 November 2022

Some ideas on efficient work practises and help stop unnecessary wastage within your department

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  1. Switch to networked printers - saves paper (duplex printing), ink (use greyscale) and energy (one machine for fax, photocopying, scanning and printing.)
  2. Use recycled paper (save trees and carbon)

  3. Reduce number of general waste bins and use recycling facilities, as nearly 30% of waste in general waste bins is paper that should be in paper recycling bins. Our recent waste audit identified sizeable financial savings that could be made if staff stopped putting paper into general waste streams.

  4. Where possible use electronic file management systems, this reduces the amount of paper used and requires less admin.

  5. Make a checklist for last person (appoint someone?) out of building to ensure all lights, computers, monitors, printers, photocopiers, coffee machines are switched off.

  6. Identify where timers could be fitted on machines that could be off at a regular time each day, e.g. coffee machines- switched off from 6pm- 8am. Estates can provide timers

  7. Instead of going to meeting by car, use train, bus or if possible cycle. Could you use web or teleconferencing instead?

  8. Walk or cycle to work, saves petrol and parking.

  9. Avoid using portable room heaters, report any use of supplementary portable electric heating.

  10. Report any dripping taps or broken/damaged windows.

  11. Where practicable ask technicians to switch off user equipment e.g. fume cupboard when not in use.

  12. Report areas i.e. Lecture Theatres or IT Suites where power down is not implemented overnight, weekends or holidays.

  13. Ensure buyers are purchasing the most energy efficient (A+) option for
    electrical equipment

  14. Check that room air conditioning units are fitted with a timer.

  15. Reduce resource use before re-using or recycling as this saves the most carbon

  16. Ask for brochures, catalogues etc… to be sent electronically.


Other tips

Speak to other staff - they may have good ideas on more efficient work practises and be able to stop unnecessary wastage within your department.

Technical solutions e.g. variable speed drives, wind turbines etc… will be considered and managed by estates.


Estates and Buildings

Guide category Environment and energy