How can we green our company HQ?
Posted by NEF Gordon on 4 August 2015 at 1:45 pm
How to help your company HQ become greener with minimal hassle
Of all the reasons to go green in business, I shall provide you with just two; it is good for the environment, and also, good for your bottom line. If you’re saving money whilst concurrently helping to improve the world in which you live, what are the downsides?
A recent survey suggests that consumers are willing to back green business, with 82% of consumers claiming to be well informed about which brands hold a strong track record for sustainability, and 75% of them more partial to buy or trade with those particular brands. In an environment where every pound is stretched and each penny counts, optimising efficiency in every aspect of your business is ideal – if not paramount – to success, and optimising your energy efficiency is no exception.
Going green may initially seem like a tedious and time consuming process, but in reality, it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways which businesses can become more eco-friendly, for example:
- Change your light bulbs
If you choose to switch to energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs instead of the more traditional incandescent bulb, you could be using up to 75% less energy, and by replacing just one traditional bulb with an energy saving light bulb you can save an average of £3 a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency - so imagine the savings when you replace all your light bulbs!
- Turning off equipment
Leaving the office on time to beat the evening traffic, may be at the forefront of your mind at the end of a long day, but before you rush off home, remember to turn off all equipment. By doing this, you can potentially reduce your energy usage by 50% and a further 25% if you switch your appliances off whilst they aren’t in use throughout the day.
- Don’t print
Offices have a reputation for over use of the printer, so try to keep printing to an absolute minimum. Instead of passing memos, keep all office communications through e-mail or Skype. When you have to print, be sure to use both sides. By sending messages and memo’s through e-mail, businesses can realize up to 80% cost savings.
- Encourage alternative transport methods
From a ‘bike to work’ scheme, to a carpooling commitment, you should implement a program whereby your employees use alternate ways to get into work. This can not only help improve our environment, but it could even result in safer roads by reducing the number of cars on the roads.
This is a simple enough measure that can help your company become more green by reducing the amount of landfill waste it produces. Promote recycling by adding additional recycling bins around the office, making sure each is clearly labelled for use. As well as helping the environment, you can also reduce waste expenses for your business.
- Install sensors
An easy and relatively cheap way to cut down on your bills is to install occupancy sensors that detect motion and activate when movement is detected. You could install light activating sensors for meeting rooms, the office space itself, or break rooms in your office. You could also consider installing water activating sensors in the bathroom, so when taps are not in use there is no dripping water.
- Involve staff
You can appoint a ‘green committee’ with responsibilities including; making sure lights and equipment are turned off, and implementing cycle to work schemes or carpool programmes. You should also aim to have a monthly meeting to talk about further ways in which the business’s energy consumption could be reduced, or just to congratulate them and tell them to keep on track.
- Use bio degradable cleaners
Cleaning products are a necessary purchase for any business, keeping your work space clean, removing dust, allergens and harmful bacteria. Although they are a necessity you can easily switch to bio degradable cleaners. Not only will these reduce your exposure to harsh chemicals, it also reduces the introduction of these substances into the environment.
- Energy saving gadgets
There are many helpful gadgets to further reduce your carbon emissions and save you money on your monthly energy bills. For example, the multi-socket standby saver is easy to set up, and really comes in handy when you need certain things switched off and others that need to be left on standby. Any device on a timer, can be plugged into the two 'normal' sockets that are always on. Everything else can be plugged into the standby saver sockets; you can also use an extension lead and control even more appliances. Saving you up to £85 a year with just this product alone.
By following the simple tips above, you can cut thousands off your bills and make your business more attractive to eco-conscious consumers. Make sure you feature what you have achieved on your website, with things such as self-appointed eco-friendly office badges, along with any certificates you earn as well. Environmentally friendly actions don't have to be large to have an impact. Consistently reducing the amount of energy, water, and paper can make a huge difference, both to the environment and to your bottom line. How much paper would you save over the course of a year, for instance, if you always ran double sided copies? Everyone likes an environmentally friendly business. It’s easy being green, and there’s no need for hassle.
Thanks to Emily Farnan of makeitcheaper.com for contributing this guest blog. Makeitcheaper strives to help businesses to save money through switching energy and other suppliers.
Photo: Stanley Zimny
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