How to be Sustainable Guide
Whether you are moving into one of our Green Star rated buildings, an industrial space or a retail unit, we want your operation to be sustainable and to have as minimal environmental impact as possible. The following are some general guidelines to help you achieve greater sustainability.
We spend more awake hours at work than we do at home, so it’s just as important, if not more important, to make sustainable decisions at the work place.
Our Samson fitout guide has sustainable principles at its core, for full guidelines refer to your Building User Guide - remember that tenancy alterations and fitouts require landlord approval, so make sure you get in touch with your plans!
The overarching objectives of the Lesee’s chosen fitout should be to:
- Reduce energy
- Conserve water
- Reduce waste
- Reduce pollution
- Improve indoor environment quality (IEQ)
- Reduce operating costs
For a full and comprehensive sustainable fitout guidelines refer to the Ministry for the Environment’s Guide to Sustainable Office Fit-outs or the Circular Economy Model Office Guide. If you want to prove to your client base how sustainable your fitout is, you can also have your fitout assessed and rated by the New Zealand Green Building Council.
Moving creates vast amounts of waste and a large carbon footprint due to transportation but there are sustainable moving options in the Auckland market now. For example, Leaf Box avoid excessive waste by providing purpose made carry containers, The Moving Company partners with Reclaim for recycling and Crown offset their carbon footprint. You can read more about these companies by checking out their websites.
Day to Day Operation
We are a lucky country in that on average 80% of our electricity is supplied by hydro power, a renewable energy source, but if you want to ensure that your operation is supplied by 100% renewables then consider signing up with Ecotricty – New Zealand’s only 100% CarboNZero certified energy supplier.
The biggest contributors to your electricity bill are your lighting, HVAC use, and general operation, so here are some tips:
- Install sensors
- Use LED or alternative energy saving bulbs
- Open the blinds to let in natural light but then close them on really HOT days so the HVAC doesn’t have to work so hard
- Ask that staff TURN OFF their computers at the end of the day
- Most Samson tenancies with HVAC units have a fresh air option, get used to not using HVAC every day and open the windows more. The fresh air makes your staff more productive too!
One of the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to divert waste from landfill, this is due to massive methane and carbon emissions that landfill release into the atmosphere as it breaks down the waste.
Tips for diverting waste from landfill:
- EDUCATE your staff about splitting waste in order to send a minimum to landfill, Samson are happy to help you train your staff and there is building specific information your user guide. Then educate your cleaners so they deposit waste into the correct streams!
- Use Method Recycling Bins to support your staff to split their waste into different waste streams, the bins look great and proudly display that you are an office that splits your waste too.
- Choose compostable coffee pods, or preferably no pod options at all! But if you are a Nespresso loyalist make sure you join up to their own recycling system where you can send envelopes full of capsules back to them for recycling, they’ve made it very easy for the consumer!
- Collect your soft plastics and set up an office roster to take turns dropping them off at your local supermarket. Check out the online locator here.
- Compost! Food in landfill creates methane, the worst of the gasses for creating global warming. You may be lucky enough to be in a Samson building that has a Hungry Bin for composting, but if not, you’re welcome to enquire about whether one could be installed in your tenancy. If you're a cafe or restuarant we hope you have smart processes in place to mean that there is minimal food waste, your food waste and compostable packaging waste is best collected in a We Compost collection bin, they'll even email you each week the volume you have diverted from landfill - we love numbers proving good work, we recommend sharing this information with your customers!
Make sure you do your due diligence when selecting commercial cleaners as many now commit to using less harmful chemicals, less materials and commit to preparing their staff for a life beyond cleaning. For example, CMOS, Westferry Property Services and The ECO PRO Cleaning Co do all of the above.
Educating your cleaners on building processes and checking that they are correctly following these instructions is essential. Too often we find that cleaners misunderstand the waste separation policies and all waste is combined into one bag that goes to landfill.
Consumable cleaning products.
- You want to reduce your staff’s exposure to harmful chemicals so make informed decisions about the cleaning products used and available in your office. EcoStore products are well known for using more natural and less harmful ingredients, plus their plastics are plant based and recyclable. For an independent assessment of your products check out Environmental Choice NZ
- You can even make choices about the toilet paper you use, for example SmartAss and Green Cane are New Zealand businesses that produce sustainable toilet paper and paper products.
It’s important to report any water waste you witness like leaking taps, running toilets and urinals to Samson maintenance. Contact us if your water consumption is reported as being above average or if you experience a usage spike.
If you’re a café/restaurant make sure you are supplying compostable takeaway containers to your customers, we recommend offering discounts to customers that bring their own reusable containers or coffee cups as it all helps empower the consumer! If you’re a retailer aim to use paper bags over plastic, and better still, encourage no bag use at all.
Sharing Tenancy Space:
If you have excess space and are considering subleasing part of your tenancy, consider offering it to a charity that needs affordable office space. You can advertise your space to such organisations on the Do Good Jobs website.
Do your staff go to lots of meetings? Hire an e-bike for the office from Boltra or Big Street Bikers and experience the speed and adrenalin rush of taking an e-bike to your next meeting.
Do you need to take a taxi? Then take a Green Cab, you might get a ride in one of their EV’s and your fee also contributes to tree-planting and other green initiatives.
Failing these options, support Auckland Transport because we all benefit from better public transport, or even better still, walk!
Offset your carbon footprint:
Consumers are increasingly seeking out businesses that can prove they have a reduced carbon footprint or even better they are certified CarboNZero, if you have been thinking about this for your business there is no time like the present, contact New Zealand’s certified carbon reduction organisation EnviroMark and join up to Sustainable Business Network.
Here is a list of CarboNZero or Cemars certified businesses you can use in your office:
- Ricoh photocopiers and printers
- Yealands Wine for your next office party!
- Bauer Media Group for media to publish your content in
- Clemenger Group for your marketing needs
- Kiwi Express Couriers or Urgent Couriers Ltd for deliveries
- Toll Freight for even bigger deliveries
- TaxiCharge NZ for safe delivery of your staff!
Donate, don’t throw out!
There are many charities out there that will pick up your unwanted furniture and give it a second home rather than being sent to landfill. All Heart NZ and Habitat for Humanity are just two of these organisations.
Fitout removal/make good:
Construction waste doesn’t need to go to landfill and should be recycled, at Samson we use Green Gorilla to ensure we meet our target of 80% recycling of our construction waste. Speak to your fitout contractor to ensure you are doing the same.