Over the last couple of years, sustainability has been slowly taking over the business landscape. Interestingly enough, not as a way for businesses to ramp up their green credentials and improve branding, but more as a logical transition to more efficient and humane work environments.
However, not every business can afford to go full-green and install expensive upgrades like solar panels and green roofs. So, what can you do then to make your premises more sustainable? Let’s take a look.
Unplug the devices
Have you ever heard of standby power? It is the energy draw your computers, telephones, and similar devices produce even when they are shut down. According to Technopedia, this draw averages between 10% and 13% of your total consumption, so for step one – unplug all of your devices at the end of the shift. Step two would be to utilize the built-in power management options of your devices and establish workplace routines aimed at efficient consumption.
Cut the loose ends
Some premises are simply not built for sustainability and making them such requires substantial investment. In these circumstances, moving to smaller, more efficient offices and arranging your shifts around them makes a more sensible solution. If you end up with some overlaps, you can always sign the subscription to a remote coworking space where your employees will be able to complete their tasks. They operate on a similar logic as public transport and produce similar savings.
Take care of the lighting
For a start, do your best to maximize the natural lighting with expanded windows. You will consume less energy and your employees will enjoy various benefits. As for the evening and night hours, be sure to replace all of your incandescent bulbs which emit 90% of energy as heat rather than light with their more efficient CFL and LED cousins that last far longer. Finally, let the lighting be handled by the motion sensors that will turn lights on and off based on the occupancy.
Recycling is an absolute essential in the fight to minimize the negative impact excessive waste has on our planet. Well, the good news is that as much as 90% of the waste produced by an average office can be recycled. To achieve these numbers you will have to implement more than a few measures ranging from installing marked recycling stations throughout the premise to extensive employee training. But, it is important to know that this kind of efficiency is achievable.
Take care of the temperature
Installing office-wide insulation and replacing your window for the double-glazed variety may require a bigger investment on your behalf, but you have to know they will repay themselves in the long run. According to some estimation, proper insulation can save you anywhere between 10% and 50% on energy bills. Double-glazed windows will let you go a step further and eliminate considerable heat losses (between 18% and 25%) made by the traditional ones.
Reward the employees
Finally, any form of green agenda will be pushed into the ranks far easier if the employees are on board. So, be sure to reward your workers for any kind of green activity like commuting in public transport or by bike, recycling, preserving the energy or coming up with sustainable initiatives of their own. If you want to, you can even let the employees form a green committee and discuss these ideas.
As we can see, sustainable upgrades don’t have to be too expensive. But, they make all the difference in the world. So, why wouldn't you jump the bandwagon and make your establishment a part of this green tide swiping over the business landscape?
Guest post by Carolin Petterson
About the Author
Carolin Petterson is a Business Lady and contributor for number of high-class websites. She loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions, but her specialties are sustainability, sustainable business and green living.
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