In 1969, walking on the moon was a giant step forward for mankind. Now, taking a big step toward creating a better planet for future generations means a smaller footprint. According to the Department of Energy, every year much of the energy consumed by the US is wasted through transmission, heat loss and inefficient technology — costing American businesses money and leading to increased carbon pollution. Currently, the US uses 25% of the world’s energy, even though the U.S. only makes up 5% of the world. This is not sustainable, but these practices will make you part of the solution. Here’s five easy steps every employer and employee can apply at office — and at home too!
The best way to adopt green in your office is to incorporate these steps into your office policy or employee handbook:
Five easy steps for every employee
- If your office has large windows or natural light, turn off electric lights during the day to save energy.
- Don’t print paper unless it’s necessary. Consider using cloud storage for documents vs. paper files.
- Be sure to turn your computer to sleep mode when you go to lunch, take a work break, or are away from your desk.
- Power strips that are plugged into the wall draw energy constantly, even if there is nothing plugged into them. Many that have equipment plugged into them have power buttons that can be turned off at night. Automatic timers are convenient and can manage this too.
- Unplug appliances in the kitchen that use electric panels with lights, like coffee pots, when not in use.
Five easy steps for your office
- Traditional office lighting is expensive to replace and manage, draws as much as twice the energy of LEDs and in retail establishments requires cooling. Have you ever gone into a dressing room only to come out sweating? Replace high energy lights with LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs cost a little more upfront, but last between five and 10 years, a value that far exceed incandescent and CFL lights. Vancouver lighting manufacturer O’Ryan Industries makes best-in-class LED’s and offers a free energy and cost savings audit! Plus, LED is better for your health with no Mercury, making them safer for if they break.
- Measuring your energy bills and consult with your local utility company to find ways to save money and reduce energy. For Clark County, you can contact Clark PUD
https://www.clarkpublicutilities.com/myaccount. Take time to educate employees about sustainable practices so everyone is doing their part. You can find Sustainability classes online complete with slideshows, images, and videos.
- Conduct a carbon audit and track monthly consumption to determine your greenhouse gas emission.
- Take time to educate employees about sustainable practices so everyone is doing their part. You can find classes online complete with slideshows, images, and videos.
- Set targets, timelines, and metrics in order to reduce your energy footprint. This can be a helpful tool to keep track of your energy usage and to set attainable targets in your effort to create a sustainable office.
Conservation practices take a little extra time to plan and implement, but they are vital in reducing the energy footprint of your office and home. Considering many of us spend much of our lives at work, we are focusing on business best practices and adopt them wherever we can! Procurement is equally important and affects the energy footprint so know where products are made, learn about their life cycle and energy rating before making any purchases. Check out this handy resource from UL called Spot which identifies certifications for each manufactured product.
For a comprehensive list for sustainable steps in your office, please check out the Sustainable Business Checklist. Isn’t it time to appoint a conservation champion in your office who will attend local events, learn about environmental initiatives and meet other green businesses?
These are just a few ways to create a more sustainable office. Reducing your energy footprint is important for the environment and is a great way to save money for your office. Below are a few resources to help you set and achieve sustainability goals. We hope you join us in trying to reduce our energy footprint! Be on the lookout for more sustainable posts from us, we have lots to share!
- The Natural Step Sustainable Principles of Success
- The Triple Pundit Social and environmental impact of an organization’s activities and economic performance.
- Sustainability 101 Slideshare by Laura Pasquini