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Offices fork out £160m on wasted lighting

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Failure by office workers to properly manage their resources is costing companies millions of pounds a year in waste.

With research suggesting that forgetting to switch the lights off carries an annual bill of £160 million for the UK’s businesses, it might be time to for firms worried about escalating bills to consider serviced offices, with the building operator taking responsibility for all services to the property including electricity, other utilities and telecoms.

Incorporating these additional bills, into your rent could be one way to more effectively manage your costs, particularly as research – conducted ahead of Green Office Week – suggests that UK office employees are wasting millions by failing to employ good environmental practices.

Figures from Avery also show that 36 per cent of people in the UK admit they simply do not bother to make the effort to be greener. Despite the fact office workers are aware recycling is a great way to reduce waste, just 11 per cent choose environmentally-friendly office supplies.

Similarly, only 34 per cent of office employees consciously cut down energy consumption, even though it impacts companies’ budgets.

Corporate social responsibility expert Nicky Amos said: “Office workers are aware of the environmental impact of their actions, but many leave their conscience at home when they go out to work.”

Green Office Week, which runs between May 14th and 18th, has been set up to create awareness among office workers about the steps they can take to reduce energy waste.

Avery marketing director and founder of Green Office Week Gregg Corbett suggested firms were not doing enough to encourage good environmental practices among employees.

He believes many companies do not recognise how much money they could save by being greener.

Mr Corbett said: “Too many businesses still believe that being green and trying to reduce energy comes at too high a financial cost.

“It’s clear that the day to day actions of staff really do have a direct impact on an organisation’s finances, particularly when it comes to utility bills.”

In a bid to improve staff behaviour, the expert recommended engaging them in thought-provoking and engaging campaigns to highlight the importance of a green working environment.

The Avery study also showed that 47 per cent of workers were not interested in reducing power consumption because they did not have to pay the bills.