Buildings and workspaces are the best place to make changes related to your energy usage, making a significant impact on cutting down emissions.

Steps you can take

Carry out a simple energy audit

Carry out a simple audit of your building to help you identify the most effective options of energy efficiency improvements and take some steps to improve energy efficiency.

There are a range of low cost measures you can make as well as more expensive improvements that you could seek funding for.

Changing the way in which people in the building use energy and controls can also make a big impact on energy use.

Practical improvements to buildings might include:

  • insulation and draughtproofing
  • upgrading heating systems
  • investing in energy efficient lighting
  • fitting heating controls
  • putting in water saving gadgets
  • changing to more efficient means of heating water.

Switch to LED/ energy efficient light fittings

Changing your lighting to LED or energy efficient will help reduce your carbon emissions because it uses less energy than other bulbs.

It's a very simple and easy way to work towards making your office greener. Another benefit is that these bulbs need to be changed less often so there is less waste.

Green your home offices or workspaces

Encourage staff to green their home workspace in a variety of different ways such as using natural light, energy efficient heaters rather than using their central heating, introducing plants, LED light bulbs, remembering to turn off equipment when not in use.

Encourage every team member to carry out some actions to green their home working and to share what they've done to encourage others.

Create an eco council in your building or office

If you are in a multi-occupancy building - create an eco-council for the building to consider collective actions to reduce energy/ waste e.g. joint purchasing of stationery to reduce delivery miles, implementing recycling schemes at a building level, and representing tenants 'asks' to the landlord.

To build an eco-council, send out a short survey to the people in your building firstly asking them to suggest some key actions that could be taken to reduce waste and energy, then asking whether they would like to be part of an eco-council.

When you set up the first meeting, have a discussion around expectations such as how often you will meet and what you plan to achieve. Have regular meetings and make sure to report back to the other tenants to let them know what progress has been made and how you've helped to make your building greener.

If you are not in a multi-occupancy building, could you set up a eco-council for your office?

Introduce more greenery and plants into your workspace

Plants are not only pretty to look at, they’re also a brilliant way to improve your air quality thanks to their ability to purify the air.

Some plants like orchids and succulents even absorb carbon dioxide to convert and release it as oxygen.

Having indoor plants in your room can even help to reduce stress and create a peaceful environment, which can only benefit your productivity. There are plenty of low maintenance plants that require little care which are perfect for people with busy schedules.

Start a library of things

A Library of Things is a way to share equipment with others in your building, between your team, with partner organisations or even in your community.

It's a great way to avoid un-necessary purchases and save money.


  • Working from home toolkit
  • Taking climate action when you don't have an office
  • Sustainability Audit Template
  • Sustainability Policy Template
  • Starting an eco-council
Download a resource

To download a resource please submit your email address. We will use your email to contact you for feedback in order to improve our resources.

Great! Check your inbox and confirm your subscription.
Check your junk folder, just in case.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Download a resource

Case Studies

Actions from the North East and Cumbria

We've installed solar panels and LED lights, undertaken an energy efficiency audit and are developing an allotment.
David Barker
Willow Burn Hospice
50+ employees
We've started an eco-council in MEA House.
Anne Webster
MEA House
We've installed solar panels and LED lights to reduce our carbon emissions.
David Barker
Willow Burn Hospice
50+ employees

Have you taken action?

If you're a VCSE based in the North East and you've done something about the climate crisis, please share your action with us. We'd love to share it on this website, to inspire others.

Share your action →