How to Help Your Office Go Green 
Let’s say you’re an office manager or business owner – or even “just” a regular employee – and you want your place of business to set up shop with green office furniture and components.

This is a new idea to your business, and you’re wondering how you can convince the folks who wield the power to say yes to such a decision to agree that this is the best thing your business can do.

What to do? What to do? What to do?

Here are some ideas:

Put together a green “mission statement.” Present it to your boss and see if you can’t have a meeting with his or her boss and then ask to present it to the powers that be at your company. In this statement, do your research. Check out the Worldwatch Institute, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and other green sites for statistics about how much waste businesses in this country create.

Be sure to wow them with these nifty facts provided by the USGBC:

In the United States alone, buildings account for:
• 70% of electricity consumption,
• 39% of energy use,
• 39% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,
• 40% of raw materials use,
• 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually)
• 12% of potable water consumption.

Remind them that by going green your company also will:
Reduce operating costs
Enhance asset value and profits
Improve employee productivity and satisfaction
Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Hit ‘em over the head (gently) with the following fact, one that goes straight to your boss’ favorite line on her company’s balance sheet – the bottom one:

Back in 2005 the Commonwealth Fund reported that the year 2003 saw “407 million days of lost time at work” by sick employees.

If you can, find out how many sick days your company’s employees took last year. If all employees took just one fewer sick day per year off – and the USGBC reports that green (that is, healthy) buildings mean fewer sick days for employees – how much money would your company save a year? Not only in sick leave paid out, but in productivity gained?

Show that number to your boss, your company president, your HR director. Watch their eyes pop right up out of their heads and quickly ask for permission to get some folks together to research the benefits further.

And don’t be surprised how fast they’ll agree to your proposal.

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