Many of us spend most of our working lives in an office, so cutting down on the paper and other products we use there is a major way we can do something positive for the environment.
One company which believes everyone can do their bit is Avery Office Products. As well as reducing its own impacts, the firm has taken an industry leadership position, campaigning with evangelical zeal for office workers to think about green issues and take action.
Avery, established in 1935, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of self-adhesive labels and paper products for laser and inkjet printers, and also supplies a range of other products for commercial and consumer markets.
In March 2009 the company launched Green Office Week, an initiative designed to get office workers around the country to take practical steps to help the environment. Before the launch, Avery commissioned research from YouGov which found that office workers wanted to work in a more environmentally friendly way, but were hampered by a lack of empowerment, practical guidance and resources.
So the strategy for the campaign was to offer practical advice and realistic guidance on the small things we can all do to make a difference at work. One of the key components of the campaign was sponsorship of a Green Office for Dummies guide.
Some 25,000 copies were printed and distributed to commuters at London railway stations as well as through the five main office product retailers - uniting the office products industry in support.
Avery also distributed an 'eco-button' which shuts down a computer screen when clicked, allowing users to monitor the impact of their own behaviour.
This year, the company built on the success of the first year with a string of initiatives. It recruited 82 'Green Office Ambassadors' to spread the word within their organisations, used social networking on the campaign's own microsite, as well as Facebook and Twitter, to engage office workers and introduced Green Office Week promo bikes in eight cities to promote the event.
Further exposure was gained by securing editorial coverage on radio stations through interviews with impressionist and green campaigner Alastair McGowan, corporate social responsibility expert Nicky Amos, Ian Byrne of the National Energy Foundation and Julian Kirby of Friends of the Earth.
Avery's commitment to the environment has been further demonstrated by innovative new products.
Its BlockOut labelling, for example, enables old labels to be hidden so that envelopes and packaging can be re-used. Most importantly, as a result of the company's effort, Green Office Week now provides an annual opportunity for office workers to make a difference.
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WEB LINKS: Avery Office Products www.avery.co.uk; Green Office Week www.greenofficeweek.eu