June 5 marks World Environment Day, an annual event that raises awareness of our responsibility to take care of the earth and how we can best support sustainable development. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, World Environment Day is celebrated every year in a different city with a different theme. It’s a high profile cause attracting huge celebrity support and breaking world records for its contributions and changes.

This year’s theme is Small Island Developing States. The aim is to help protect the island nations around the world that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The 2014 host city, Barbados, currently leads the way in solar energy and is overcoming climate-induced challenges, such as rising sea levels, by moving towards a green economy.

Get involved

Your business can help the environment in a number of ways and cut your business energy  consumption at the same time. Here are 6 ways to make your workplace more sustainable:

• Make the most of natural lighting by using an effective office layout and use surfaces to reflect light into interior areas. Occupancy sensors can be used to increase, reduce or switch off electric lighting in unoccupied areas.

• Convert sunlight into electricity by installing solar panels. This will help reduce your carbon emissions and lower your business electricity usage

• How old is the equipment in the office? Assess whether you need an upgraded gas boiler – newer versions tend to be more energy efficient. An effective maintenance regime will save energy.

• Be energy conscious: recycle, reduce waste and switch off appliances at night.

• Offset your carbon footprint by bringing a bit of nature to your office. Bring in plants, set up a window garden or pitch in for communal lunches with your colleagues.

• Encourage team bonding by setting up carpooling schedules – not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also be creating a friendly and inclusive vibe that will everyone can benefit from.

Do you have any tips on how to create an environmentally friendly office? Leave a comment below.

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