The Ultimate Guide to Sustainability for Your Sydney Office

These days, every business needs to be pitching in and doing what it can to be more sustainable. We’ve all got a responsibility to protect and nurture the environment, and it’s important that your organisation is utilising eco-friendly practices in the office.

For that reason, we’ve put together a sustainability plan that any office-based company can enact, and thereby, have a much more positive impact on the environment. Read on for the best tips on sustainability in the office.

Establish a green team

Creating a Green Team is a fantastic first step toward forging a more sustainable workplace.

Depending on the size of your business, a Green Team can consist of two or three individuals, who are responsible for implementing more sustainable practices among your workforce. This doesn’t have to require a big-time commitment either – a couple of hours a week is sufficient time to make some seriously impactful changes.

It’s important that throughout this process, your Green Team takes the time to learn everything they can about sustainability. That way, they’ll be able to impart advice and tips to your other staff members, allowing crucial information to organically spread throughout your company.

Waste management – small waste


It’s important to start small.

One of the easiest yet most impactful changes you can make in the office pertains to recyclables. Every office environment is full of recyclable material. For example, the average office worker uses about 50kg, or 10,000 pages of A4 paper every single year… a mind-boggling amount. What makes that even more concerning is the fact that roughly 45% of this paper waste ends up in the bin each day.

The most common small recyclables you’ll find in the office are:

Coffee cups, cans, food containers
Soft plastics (if accepted by RedCycle).

It’s a simple one, but placing plenty of recycling bins around the office makes it much easier for your employees to do the right thing. That will ensure that these recyclables are actually ending up at the right facility.

Add signage to your bins too, ideally with visuals of common waste items. That will ensure your workers are making the right decision when placing waste into the bin… after all, it’s up to them whether these bits and pieces are disposed of properly.

Getting rid of paper is the ultimate goal, but we’ll discuss that in more depth below.


Plenty of recycling bins
Signage to advise what can be recycled and what can’t
Educate your staff on the importance of recycling
Preventative measures, such as reusable coffee cups.

Food waste

The first step to combatting food waste should be to get an idea of how much waste your employees and your business produces. Have your green team conduct a simple survey among staff, to get a better sense of who is buying lunch and who is bringing food from home.

Food waste is a big problem in Australia. In fact, every year, we waste about 7.6 million tons of food. What’s more, this waste contributes to roughly 3% of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

The best way to combat waste is always to prevent it. Therefore, encourage your employees to bring their own containers. If possible, have your green team get in touch with cafes and food vendors in your building, to establish a system whereby they are happy for your staff to bring their own takeaway containers.

When it comes to waste receptacles, your office should be providing green waste bins, along with visuals to show your staff what can and cannot be placed in these bins. Some food waste is permitted in green waste bins, while some are not.


Encourage your staff to bring their own containers
Green waste bins
Set up a composting station if viable
Educate your staff on the importance of not wasting food.

Waste management – larger waste

Sydney office waste regularly consists of not only small recyclables and food waste, but much larger waste items also.


The most prominent of these larger items is e-waste. At Sydney City Rubbish, we find ourselves removing e-waste from offices consistently. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t employ professional rubbish removal firms to deal with their e-waste and as a result, old computers, tablets, phones, and other devices simply end up in landfills.

Click here for more information on what items constitute e-waste.

Implementing a program for recycling your e-waste, in conjunction with a Sydney rubbish removal company is absolutely necessary. If required, have a scheduled removal of e-waste once a year, so that your e-waste is taken to a recycling facility, where parts can be recycled and reused in the manufacturing process.


Work with a professional Sydney rubbish removal company
Identify types of e-waste in your office
Educate staff on the importance of recycling e-waste.


Desks, tables, chairs, and other office furniture can be a headache to remove. Whether you’re redesigning, stripping out, or just need a change, it’s important that you remove old furniture safely and dispose of it responsibly.

Thankfully, there’s a sizeable market for second-hand office furniture and your rubbish removal company will be able to help. It’s simply not good enough to dump this second-hand furniture in a landfill, where the materials will go to waste and contribute to pollution.


Work with the professionals
Sell second-hand office furniture
Recycle where necessary
If buying new furniture, opt for recycled materials.


Change the lights

LED lighting is extremely efficient, using up to 75% less power than incandescent bulbs and traditional halogen globes. Making the switch to LED lighting in the office is easy, affordable, and great for the environment in the long run.

Work with a Sydney office design company to replace your lighting.

Power saving measures

The costs of wasted electricity are substantial, both financially and environmentally. Unfortunately, most office-based businesses around the country are responsible for wasting huge amounts of energy.

Computers, phone chargers, and other electronic equipment draw power when not in use, even in sleep mode, or without a connected device. This can be avoided by ensuring devices are turned off, and powerpoints are also switched off when not in use.

The same goes for lighting; by ensuring you’re turning lights off when staff has left the office, you’ll be leaving a much smaller carbon footprint.

Turn the lights off
Turn devices and powerpoints off
Educate staff on the importance of the above.


Cleaning products

There is a wide range of cleaning products available, but not many of them are good for the environment. A workplace cannot be truly sustainable unless you’re cleaning with eco-friendly products, that are safe for all. These are actually quite easy to find, and there are many sustainable office cleaning companies around Sydney.

Discuss cleaning products with your cleaning staff/contractor
Educate staff about the cleaning they may do within the office.

Eco-friendly practices

There are several other eco-friendly practices you can enact that will create a greener workspace and conserve water. For instance, installing low-flow taps, ensuring cleaners are using minimal water, and using more energy-efficient appliances.

Install low-flow and more water-efficient taps
Energy-efficient appliances, like dishwashers
Educate staff on water-saving practices.

Big moves

Going paperless

The best way to eliminate waste is to fight it at the source. These days, with the huge range of technology available, there are no excuses for not going paperless (or as paperless as possible).

Maintaining your archives on cloud-based software, eliminating all printing of documents where possible, and utilising applications to replace hard copy paper are all excellent ways to eliminate paper waste in your office.

In the long run, you’ll enjoy a range of benefits, such as a cleaner workspace, less spent on paper supplies, and the satisfaction of knowing that your organisation is doing its part for the environment.

Invest in technology to eliminate paper use
Change processes to eliminate paper
Educate employees about the importance of only printing when absolutely necessary.

Editing the configuration of your office fit-out

Changing the layout of your workspace can aid energy efficiency and keep costs down. For example, if you configure desks and furniture to maximise the natural light in your space, you’ll be able to save on electricity by using fewer lights.

Work with an office design company to maximise this approach.

Bring in the professionals

Truly sustainable businesses need to be working with a professional Sydney rubbish removal company. This is a critical component to ensuring that your business has its waste removed responsibly.

At Sydney City Rubbish, we’re very well versed in every aspect of professional Sydney rubbish removal, particularly when it comes to commercial waste. We’ll remove your office rubbish and ensure it’s properly recycled, repurposed, and reused where possible.

For office waste removal in Sydney, get in touch with us here.

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