Fifty Shades of Green

Is Your Company Sustainable Enough to Satisfy Your Customers And Employees?


These days it seems so easy to be green. Many companies have made great strides over the years to recycle, reduce waste, and switch to energy efficient business practices, but in a recent survey by Staples Advantage Canada, we discovered that many people feel that more can and should be done.

The survey revealed that corporate social responsibility, recycling programs, and environmental impact rank high among qualities people look for when doing business with an organization. 93 per cent of people care about the impact their organization makes on the environment, and nearly 60 per cent believe their company should enforce greater sustainability practices.

In addition, over 95 per cent of survey participants said they would be willing to take part in an eco-friendly initiative at work if it required employee participation.

If your organization would like to do more, check out one of these 50 ways to be green at the office:

  1. Take part in National Clean Your Office Day on April 24th.
  2. Buy Green office products – Staples Advantage has over 2,000 to choose from!
  3. Use only environmentally friendly products for cleaning.
  4. Recycle or donate dated technology so it doesn’t end up in landfills.
  5. Develop programs that encourage associates to carpool.
  6. If you are in the business of delivery, look at eco fleet options to save on fuel and emissions.
  7. Provide employees with filtered water and reusable cups.
  8. Ban Styrofoam in the office.
  9. Shrink your packaging to the smallest size allowable when shipping.
  10. Lower energy consumption by installing sensor lighting.
  11. Trim C02 emissions by removing 1 out of every 3 fluorescent light tubes in the office.
  12. Give employees the option to work from home and trim real estate costs and C02 emissions.
  13. Provide an incentive program to employees to purchase hybrid automobiles.
  14. Set up clothing donation bins at the office to encourage associates to recycle.
  15. Start a green committee to manage sustainability initiatives in the office.
  16. Install PC energy management software to track the power-down of electronics.
  17. Use a ceramic mug for coffee or tea.
  18. Print double sided whenever possible.
  19. Install low flow faucets and toilets.
  20. Invest in solar panels for energy.
  21. Save energy by banning screensavers.
  22. Use recycled toner for printing. It’s cost effective without compromising on quality.
  23. Turn the heat down a degree in the winter and a degree up in the summer.
  24. Don’t allow your property maintenance company to use pesticides.
  25. Offer premium parking spots to associates who carpool.
  26. Consider moving everyone to laptops instead of desktops. They use less energy.
  27. Buy Energy Star fixtures.
  28. Develop partnership with environmental organizations.
  29. Ensure paints are no or low VOC when renovating.
  30. Implement a litterless lunch day at the office.
  31. Put a paper recycling bin at every printing station.
  32. Switch to LED or CFL light bulbs around office.
  33. Invest in office plants for cleaner indoor office air.
  34. Buy only chlorine free paper with a high recycled content.
  35. Provide air dryers in bathrooms and common areas.
  36. Offer bike parking and incentives.
  37. Buy your power from a green energy company.
  38. Lower the office temperature after hours and on weekends if no one will be in the office.
  39. Eliminate the use of PVC plastic.
  40. Hold waste reduction weeks at the office.
  41. Use Terracycle Zero Waste Bins to recycle k-cups in the office.
  42. Eliminate large garbage cans at work stations and provide smaller bins that only hold 2 cups of waste.
  43. Provide bins in all eating areas to segregate recyclables, organics and general waste.
  44. Green your rooftop.
  45. Buy multipurpose office machines.
  46. Set up an exchange of unwanted office supplies, furniture or equipment so they can be reused.
  47. Consolidate online orders to reduce the amount of packaging materials used and delivery trips made.
  48. Perform an energy audit to find areas for improvement.
  49. Put up signage by recycling containers to make it easy for employees to participate in your recycling program.
  50. Bring attention to your sustainability initiatives by holding events around national environmental celebrations like Earth Day.

More results from our survey:



4 Steps to Reduce Digital Clutter

Spring cleaning at the office shouldn’t stop at the physical space around you. This is the perfect time to organize your computer desktop and email inbox. This can seem like a daunting task, we know.. So we’ve put together a few simple ways to approach your digital space to help reduce the clutter.

Inbox Organization:
Creating folders and subfolders is one of the easiest ways to get started with organizing your inbox. You can take one of two approaches depending on what style works best for you: sort emails by category/project or by sender’s name. Do the same with your sent items so that you keep a consistent filing system. Make time at the end of each day to sort through your inbox and file emails in order to stay on top of your new filing system. If you subscribe to emails to keep up on industry news and events but find it difficult to read them every day, create a folder and file these away for another time – just make sure you look through the folder at least once a week to keep it from getting cluttered.
Computer Desktop:
Do you have tons of files saved haphazardly on your desktop? We’re guilty of it too – you need to save something to access it quickly but before you know it your desktop is full with documents, organized in no particular order. Not only does this lead to visual clutter, but most companies don’t back-up desktop files to the company server so you’re at high risk of losing files should anything happen to your computer. Take the time now to sort through your desktop and file everything into folders that are protected through your company server.
Document Organization:
Similar to your inbox, creating new folders is the best and easiest way to organize your documents. Organize your files with a system that works for your needs, whether it’s by project or category, and by year. Now is also a good time to decide what to keep and watch to delete. If you have files on your computer from years past that you haven’t touched and know you won’t need to access again, delete them.
4 External Storage:
Purchase an external storage system such as a hard drive or usb key to store any large files. This will help keep your computer clear of large or outdated files, which in turn helps with the unit’s day-to-day speed and performance.

What are some of your best practices for organizing your documents and email inbox at work? Leave a comment below to let us know.

Mark your calendars and sign-up to reduce your digital clutter on Friday April 24, National Clean Your Office Day!


To assist in the organization of your computer, check out some of these external storage options from Staples Advantage Canada:

3 Easy Ways to Clear Your Mind at Work

We all have a million things on the go and with so much happening at the office on any given day (meetings, deadlines, projects, phone calls, emails…), we jump from task to task trying to tackle as much as we can. What can keep us from staying on track is the distraction of other projects sitting on our desks or open documents and windows on our computers. Before we know it we’re working simultaneously on five different tasks and we haven’t even finished the one we started with.

A simple and effective solution: clear your desk to clear your mind. We’ve put together three suggestions to reorganize your desk to help optimize your workday activity:

Clearing your desk helps you focus on the most important tasks.
Start by removing everything from your desk and only putting back the essential items: laptop/computer, phone, notepad, a few framed photos, and a desktop organizer to neatly keep pens, highlighters, scissors and any other office products that you access on an ongoing basis. Take all the non-essential items (additional notepads, paperclips, stapler, extra pens, etc.) and find a place for them in a drawer or small box or basket.
Say goodbye to piles of paper and stacking folders.
Create an effective filing system that’ll work for your needs. Any items you access on a daily basis (phone lists, department calendars), find a place to post them neatly on your cubicle walls, or file them into one binder so your most frequently accessed information is in one place. Next, create folders for ongoing projects or urgent assignments and organize these according to priority in an inbox tray or a desktop filing system. All other items should be sorted and organized more permanently in a drawer or filing cabinet, properly labeled for easy location.
Start a to-do list.
If you always have a mental list of things to do, or lists and reminders pined all over your office, take this opportunity to create a new habit of keeping ONE to-do list.. Writing all your action items down in one central place will help you manage your time and your tasks, and once on paper it’ll help alleviate the stress of having to remember it.

 Click here to register your office for National Clean Your Office Day on Friday April 24!



To assist in the reorganization of your office or desk, check out some of these products and tools from Staples Advantage Canada:

10 Million Reasons To Clean Your Desk

“A good spring clean at your work station doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or time consuming task.”
With the amount of hours we spend at the office, it’s no real surprise that there are a great number of germs and bacteria floating around.

According to the UK Daily Mail, the average worker comes into contact with 10 million disease causing bacteria lurking on your mouse, keyboard, and phone (Resource).

While some bacteria are inevitable, it raises the awareness and the importance of doing a thorough clean at your desk and in the office to eliminate dust and illness causing germs.

Use these simple tips to thoroughly clean your desk space and get rid of lurking germs and bacteria:

Remove everything from the surface of your desktop;
Take a micro-fiber cloth to wipe down and dust the entire surface space, including hard to reach corners, shelves, monitors, and even books and binders;
Use a disinfectant cleaner or wipes to clean all areas of your workspace. Pay special attention to high traffic areas of your desktop such as the mouse, keyboard and phone;
Don’t stop there – breakrooms are notorious for harbouring lingering germs. Tackle this area by using wipes or disinfectant sprays to wipe down microwave doors and handles, tea kettles, coffee makers, fridge door handles, and anything else that comes into contact with lots of hands
Get the best cleaning results with some of these great cleaning products from