New Zealand businesses are being given a toolkit for stepping up on sustainability, productivity and workplace wellbeing.

The Smart Office Guide, produced by the NZ Sustainable Business Network in partnership with the NZ Government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, provides information on resource efficiency, energy efficiency, sustainable procurement, sustainable fitout, smart management practice and improving the health of the workplace. It also incorporates worksheets, checklists and information on useful resources.

Other useful elements include advice to help businesses understand what to look for when leasing new premises, and how to negotiate with landlords to ensure the tenancy will be energy efficient and thermally comfortable.

For every topic, the low-cost or no-cost measures are highlighted, from encouraging carpooling, providing reusable mugs and enabling flexible working practices through to developing and implementing waste management plans, making more effective use of IT and choosing more environmentally sound cleaning and hygiene products.

“Right investment” strategies and advice have been developed for each key area of business operations, along with to-do lists for the recommended actions.

Throughout, the bottom-line payoffs of each type of initiative are explained, whether that is fewer staff sick days because the office is more thermally comfortable, or savings on energy bills.

Users are encouraged to employ tools such as NABERSNZ’s free self-assessment tool to establish benchmarks for their current performance, and to then communicate improvements to staff and stakeholders to generate engagement.

Users are being encouraged to provide feedback to SBN on the outcomes of implementing the guide’s practices. This information will be used to help form a database of best practice and also inform future updates to the guide.

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