Turning your office to a more sustainable place of work proves to offer countless of benefits for the company and its employees. Aside from being able to help our environment, an eco-friendly work space can also do wonders for your company because of the efficient changes you will be making.

If you run a small to medium office, here are some simple changes that you can do to make it more green.

eco friendly office

Use eco-friendly products.

There are often so many products used inside an office, including papers, inks, pens and plastic items. Replace your old office items with environmentally friendly products to reduce your carbon footprint. You can start small by using recycled paper, refillable ink cartridges and recycled kitchen products (cups, plates, etc.). This small step is already a great start, though it might not seem like it.

Use non-toxic cleaning products.

Another thing that you should be mindful of is the cleaning product/chemicals you use, which can be very toxic not just to the environment but also to your employees. Get rid of the harmful chemical cleaning agents in your office and opt for natural and organic products. There are several brands nowadays that utilize natural ingredients for their cleaning products. Additionally, there are also cleaning companies for hire that use green products and methods.

Save electricity.

Implement certain rules within the company where your employees can learn to use electricity wisely. Make it a practice to turn off computers, photocopiers and other equipments when they are not in use. Switch off lights or A/C systems in rooms that are not being used too. Additionally, replace your light bulbs and power-using equipments or peripherals with energy efficient systems as much as possible.

  1. Encourage carpooling.

Transportation can be pretty wasteful if everyone comes to the office in their own cars. To save up on gas usage and also to cut down pollution, encourage carpooling to your employees. If your company has extra finances, consider providing transport services for your staff.

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Implement the 3R rule in your office – reduce, reuse and recycle. Employees should be attentive it they can reuse certain items at the office, including disposable cups or paper towels. This practice should be taken to heart by your staff so they can continue to do the 3Rs even at their own desks and even in their own homes.

  1. Aim for a paperless office.

Completely removing paper from an office maybe impossible but there are steps you can take to reduce your paper usage. For example, you can cut down on producing printed materials and opt for digital documents instead. Also, consider outsourcing some departments so that you won’t have to worry about processing in-house papers. You can hire bookkeepers from outsourced companies to take care of all your reporting, payroll and accounting needs. This does not just cut down your paper usage within the office, it’s also an efficient solution that can significantly trim down your office expenses in the long run.

If for instance, you have an existing SMSF and you would like to make investment on property, you are able to borrow through limited recourse plan. For those who just made up their mind to set up the SMSF so as to buy properties must first consult an adviser qualified to give advice regarding the specific case. Below you can find the other rules related to borrowing funds that are suited for anyone who would like to buy property investment and would seek a few basic details regarding the process.

SMSF borrowing rules

Single Acquirable Asset

This is any money that is borrowed by the self managed superannuation fund to obtain property should be used to purchase ‘single acquirable asset’.  With this, buying of land and developing it is not allowed. To buy an existing property and to develop it is likewise not allowed. This rule also means that you are not allowed to sub-divide the property or you cannot enter any agreement that will give a right to completed property like off the plan development as opposed to the completed property only.

Allowed Lenders

Any bank or financial institution, related parties like the SMSF members, family trust or company or even combination of both is able to provide limited recourse loans.  If your SMSF borrows from related parties, your upfront and ongoing fees might be reduced. The payment terms can also be set up in a more flexible scheme. More details at http://ezinearticles.com/?Self-Managed-Super-Funds—What-Are-the-Benefits-of-SMSFs?&id=7096081

Arm’s Length and Related Parties Transactions

Few circumstances can be applied on the arm’s length transactions. Once the limited recourse loan originates from related party then the SMSF dealings and related party should be at arm’s length. An example would be the interest rates that should be set at market rates.

Unless the property is real business or listed securities, SMSFs cannot be used to buy assets or property from related parties. If the property fulfills the requirement, each should be acquired on its market value. Moreover, SMSF cannot buy properties that are residential investment from related parties.

Sole Purpose Test

All super funds need to adhere with SIS s62 or sole purpose test. This states that any investment agreements should be for the purpose and benefit of the retirement of its members.

Renovations

As for this regard, property renovations bought through limited recourse plans, the rule that will be applied is the single acquirable asset. The asset should be the same property of which the lender originally got the security over the arrangement of the loan. In this issue, the laws and policies are not yet clearly defined. Yet in general, renovations which do not result from different asset in line with property acquisition with loan of limited recourse are allowed. However, the SMSF is not able to borrow or draw down any extra funds to the fund renovations.

If the SMSF is making use of its own money for the maintenance, repair or improvement of the asset and the change does not result in a different asset, then it can seem that the improvements done are acceptable.