Government-backed ecolabelling organisation Environmental Choice is finalising a specification to allow complying offices to display a badge proving they operate in a sustainable way.
In effect, the standards will be guidelines to going green in a business environment. You can see the draft here.
As workplace quality and environmentally better business practices are rising in corporate consciousness, the move is timely, according to Robin Taylor.
The general manager of the NZ Ecolabelling Trust, which runs Environmental Choice, says they'll likely start accepting applications next year.
Feedback is encouraged at this stage to ensure the final published specification is relevant and achievable for as many offices as possible.
Offices that apply will need to show commitment to recycling and waste management, with recorded ongoing improvement, including correct disposal of electronic equipment waste.
Among the considerations for licensing an office are energy consumption, materials used in the fit-out, consumables, waste generated (including e-waste), air and water quality, cleaning chemical usage, and emissions generated by imaging equipment and company vehicles.
“It’s an office environmental fitness check,” said Taylor, adding that the Office Activities specification is about how an office operates rather than its building. “Being inside a high green star-rated building is not essential, although it would be a helpful climate for aspiring to a green office operation.”
The 'environmental fitness check' is comprehensive, requiring an office travel plan to minimise peak-time urban motoring and encourage more environmentally desirable transport.