Who doesn’t want to make the world a better place? Supervillains, of course. But that’s not you. No, you work hard each day to make a good life for yourself and those you love. And to do that, you need an office space that will help you get the job done. Now, wouldn’t it feel so much better to also work somewhere knowing the office furniture and office supplies you use were actively making an environmental impact? Yes, it would. Juniper Office is a big advocate for sustainability and since the average person spends at least one third of their life working, the office environment is a great starting point for sustainable practice.
What is an Eco-Friendly Office?
First and foremost, we need to define what an eco-friendly office is. Really, the root of an eco-friendly office can be summed up in one word: Intentionality.
What we mean by “intentionality” is that every aspect of the office space has been carefully considered, with the environment in mind. From deciding what kind of lightbulbs to use to the chemicals used by cleaning staff to the type of furniture that fills your space. Making these decisions while accounting for their environmental impact outside your office is what makes an office eco-friendly. It’s not about doing everything “right,” but trying to be better.
Why Should You Make Your Office More Eco-Friendly?
You may wonder why it is important to make your office more eco-friendly. With the number of hours a day offices around the world operate, they are no doubt going to have some sort of impact on the earth. 29% of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings alone. Corporate America has the responsibility to do whatever it can to decrease its carbon emissions and to help create a more sustainable future.
The top two causes of these carbon emissions are the materials used in building construction and the use of energy. (If you’d like to learn about if your building is environmentally conscious, check out LEED, the green building design rating system.) If companies can be conscious of these two issues, greenhouse gases can be reduced.
However, there is a lot more to making an environmentally friendly office. One simple option is to consider the hybrid office model. A hybrid office model will allow for employees to continue receiving the important face-to-face interactions they need to succeed in the office, while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Need more proof the hybrid model could help save the planet? Here’s what Global Workplace Analytics found:
“Global Workplace Analytics estimates that remote workers could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons every year, and that’s just if people worked out of the office for only half of the work week.” - Green Child Magazine, August 2020
What is Sustainable Furniture?
Two key things to consider when selecting sustainable office furniture are recyclability and recycled content.
The first--recyclability--refers to the ability to recycle the furniture after you are done using it. If you get a desk, different components of the desk may have a higher recyclability percentage. Here are some of Juniper’s stats:
Packaging - 100% recyclable cardboard
Shipping Pallets - 100% recyclable
PET - 100% recyclable
Steel - 98% recyclable post-consumer
The second consideration is the recycled material content of the products. This refers to the types of materials that go into making a product. It is best if these materials are “post-consumer” which means they were previously used for something else and now have a new life in the office supplies or furniture you’re buying. Like recyclability, you want to examine the percentages of this recycled material and the higher the better. For the sake of transparency, here are Juniper’s:
PET - made with 50% post-consumer plastic
Surfaces (desks and tables) - made with recycled content core
Steel - manufactured with 95% recycled steel
You also want to check if the furniture you’re buying is certified by a larger organization. Here are Juniper’s certifications:
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Mix
- FSC 100% Greenguard
- Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) Member
- Rainforest Alliance
These certifications help keep us accountable as well as provide our customers insight into how we run our business and what’s important to us. But for us at Juniper, these certifications weren’t enough. We wanted to do more for the environment. That’s why we partnered with the National Forestry Foundation in their 50 Million For Our Forests campaign. A portion of every Juniper sale goes towards reforestation efforts which supports wildfire recovery, restores native ecosystems, improves water quality, and so much more. You can read more about our green statement on our website.
As you select the perfect office furniture for your greener office, there are many things to consider. Let one of those things be sustainability, like our green furniture materials. We believe in the power of good intentions and small acts making a big impact. For any help creating the eco-friendly office of your dreams, we are here. Call, email, or live chat with us on our website!