Becoming a green business can save money and benefit the environment. Here are five simple ways you can be more eco-friendly…
1. Switch off
All those little red and green lights you see as you leave your workplace in the evening are consuming electricity and costing you money. Each one does not consume a lot of power. But put them together and leave them running on standby from 6pm to 9am every night, and it starts to become a considerable amount of electricity. Setting up a system where you can turn off all office electronics by flicking one switch is an easy and convenient way to save money.
An investment in some simple kit that measures and records your electricity consumption will quickly identify the easy and sometimes surprising savings. One organisation found that the office air conditioning was running extra-hard to cope with the heat generated by electrical equipment on standby. Turning off the electrical equipment when it wasn’t needed created a double saving.
2. Introduce a car share scheme
Each UK car pumps out around 200 grammes of emissions for every mile it travels. If you take a car off the road by getting two people into one car, you’re going to eliminate an awful lot of emissions – and save those two people a lot of money over a working year. If there are four people in the car, the savings are going to be at least doubled. Then there is the reduction in the costs of car parking… Who knows – they might even treat the car-ride as a business meeting each morning, increasing company productivity!
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – which is surely a key principle for the eco-friendly environment. There are a number of car-sharing schemes already in operation. Have a look at LiftShare for example. There are also many local schemes. The more members these schemes have, the more they can offer their members and the more flexible they can be.
There are cost benefits to a company that organises and promotes recyclingschemes for its employees. It eliminates waste – and waste is becoming increasingly expensive. All it requires are systems and some equipment.
Being an employer who considers your workers interests, and someone who cares about more than money, will build morale and worker commitment to the business.
But a badly planned scheme can backfire. Consider the issues from your employees’ point of view. Make recycling as convenient and troubIe-free for them as possible. A good place to start is to purchase special colour-coded recycling bins from The Green Office. Easy separation and sorting at source is the heart of a good recycling scheme.
4. Installing energy efficient light bulbs
There has been a technical revolution in lighting in the last ten years and the results are starting to appear in retail shops. There are now LED light bulbs on the market that use less energy than the CFLs and last for 25 to 30 years! Yes, years! They cost just around double the price of the CFLs that revolutionized the market just a few years ago, so you start saving money after a year or so. As these sweep through British commerce and industry it will transform energy consumption. Make sure your company is one of the first to benefit.
5. Be temperature wise
Larger organisations know all about the government’s energy efficiency schemes. Even if you are not in the big league, you can still benefit from an energy management system. It will help you establish an optimum temperature in your office and then minimize energy use. As soon as you start thinking about office temperature, you should consider your building’s ability to retain heat. Does your heat fly out the window? Do you lose heat through walls, floors or ceilings? And don’t forget about office behaviour. Are you losing heat because simply because people don’t bother to close doors? Would self-closing door hinges pay for themselves perhaps?