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TUC offers ten 'green' resolutions for 2008

02 January 2008

The TUC Green Workplaces project has found that a typical workplace produces ten times more carbon dioxide emissions than those produced by the homes and personal lives of its workforce and it continues to rise .

Despite this trend, the Green Workplaces project has uncovered several examples of successful green initiatives across the UK, including recycling projects and schemes to reduce electricity usage. The TUC wants workplaces to be a major front against climate change in 2008 and has used examples of good practice to draft a guide for employees and union reps on how to green the workplace.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'When it comes to tackling climate change, people tend to look towards international agreements or what they can do at home. But more than half of the UK's carbon emissions are produced at work or through work-related transport. There's a lot more we can all do to reduce our workplace's carbon footprint.

'The TUC's advice should help everyone to act together and have a greener workplace. It's not about making people feel guilty, but about removing barriers to being green at work. Union environmental reps will be working with staff and managers to make UK workplaces greener in 2008.'

Ten resolutions to make your workplace greener in 2008:
1. Remember the three 'Rs'. Try to recycle as much as possible, but remember that reducing paper usage and re-using paper is even better.
2. Make sure that your workplace is the right temperature, ideally between 19 and 24 degrees centigrade. This will make for a greener, healthier working environment.
3. Flexible working options, such as home or remote working, can reduce your carbon footprint by avoiding the commute into work.
4. Consider video-conferencing as an alternative to travelling to meetings.
5. Ensure that all bulbs are low-energy.
6. Make sure furniture or equipment is not blocking any heating or windows.
7. Find out if your workplace is properly insulated and draught-proofed.
8. If you're the last to leave the office, make sure you turn everything off, such as lights, computer equipment, appliances, motors and machinery.
9. Talk to colleagues about working together to green your workplace. Collective action is more effective than individual efforts.
10. If you're unsure about how to reduce your carbon footprint at work, consult your union environmental rep. If there isn't one in your workplace, why not become one yourself!

The TUC Guide to greening your workplace is free to download at www.sustainableworkplace.co.uk

www.tuc.org.uk


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