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A day in the life of an office eco-champ

Office Sustainability Insights

February 28, 2019

We know things can get crazy. Deadlines loom. Emails pile up. Meetings go long. But even amid a busy workweek, you’ve got what it takes to be an office eco-champ. Whether you’re an intern or manager; a new or seasoned employee, if you’re passionate about sustainability, you can lead a Smart Office Challenge (SOC) and help reduce your office’s footprint.

So what does a day in the life of a green-minded employee look like?

8:45 a.m. — You arrive at your desk, relieved that no one has noticed the coffee stain on your shirt. (Drinking while walking is a dangerous combination.) The sight of your new laptop gives you a rush of eco-excitement. Not only will your new device wrangle complex spreadsheets with ease, the Energy Star sticker tells you this laptop will consume a fraction of the power its predecessor did.

10:25 a.m. — You pack up your old laptop and make your way downstairs where your company’s e-waste drive is in full swing. With more than 40 million tonnes of electronic waste produced each year, you’re keen to make sure yours is recycled responsibly. Along the way, you pass your manager in the hall. “Are we taking my car to the client meeting this afternoon?” you ask, discreetly covering your coffee stain with the laptop.

“No,” she replies. “We’ll do it remotely.”

You make a mental note to thank the folks in IT for installing the new teleconference equipment, which is awesome for two reasons. One, teleconferencing reduces the company’s travel footprint. And two, it looks like a toddler bomb went off in your car, and having your boss sit in a debris field of animal cracker crumbs would have been slightly awkward.

2:30 p.m. — You check your inbox after your successful conference call and are greeted with a long string of emails you’ve been cc’d on. You scroll down to find the original and click REPLY instead of REPLY-ALL. It’s not necessary to respond to everyone, and you know the carbon footprint of sending an email is four grams. That makes sending 65 emails roughly the same as driving an average-sized car about a kilometre .

4:03 p.m. — You’re late for your meeting with HR. You print off the benefits form you need signed: double-sided, of course, on FSC-certified paper. They say the typical office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year, but there’s nothing typical about you. Besides, the company’s Print Responsibly Challenge is heating up, and you have no intention of letting Bob from Payroll sneak ahead.

5:00 p.m. — Time to head home. You switch off the power bar to prevent your electronics from using energy overnight. Tomorrow is another day, and with any luck you’ll make it through with a clean shirt.


Want to make every day a Smart Office day? Living Planet @ Work’s Smart Office Challenge is a fun way to engage your colleagues in shrinking your office’s IT-related eco-impact. Get started today.

© Staffan Widstrand / WWF

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