We are all more or less aware that human activities affect global changes in the environment. This is no longer a hypothesis, it is a fact. It became clear to us that we are all responsible, so we have to reduce our negative impact on the environment. There are a lot of recommendations and advice that teach us, how we can make a real change in everyday behaviour, with small changes, without disturbing any comfort.
There are a number of activities which the employees can adhere on daily basis in order to cut energy costs and the amount of materials used, and therefore maximize resource efficiency and minimize negative environmental impact. The human factor is of primary importance, the results of efficiency and cost savings depend on the willingness of you and your employees to change your habits and behaviour.
There are a number of ways to improve your awareness and make your businesses greener:
Maximize the usage of the paper
Use both sides of paper when printing a document. Do not throw away used paper in the garbage but sort it out and sell it to companies that recycle it. When purchasing paper make sure to buy recycled one or the one that is made mostly from recycled paper.
Avoid color printing whenever possible. All working versions of your documents print in “draft mode” (this reduces ink consumption). Recycle toners, you do not always have to buy new ones.
Regulate Heating and Cooling
Adjust the heating and cooling systems. Offices are often overheated during the winter and too cooled during the summer. This way huge amounts of energy is needlessly wasted because employees usually open windows to regulate internal temperature. Install thermostatic valves on the radiators and thus save up to 20% of energy.
Insulate the office
High-quality insulation “from the cellar to the roof” is always a good investment! There are two main reasons for this. First reason is savings in energy costs. Through walls, roof and basement of your office, space “loses” over 70% of the heat. That is why it would be good to consider walls and roof insulation, and to set carpets on the floor. When selecting carpet, make sure to choose eco-friendly ones like Zado carpets that are made of natural materials. Saving the environment is another reason for insulating your business. Using thermal insulation materials, and therefore reducing the amount of energy use for heating and cooling, you are actively helping the environment – by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), due to the fact that the heating is “responsible” for approximately 1/3 overall CO2 emissions worldwide.
Use energy efficient lightning
Replace lighting. Primary investment in LED lighting isn’t small but over a certain period of time it will pay out. Turn off the lighting when not needed. It often happens that the lighting is switched on during the day when there is no need for it and that is stays on when employees go home because of the negligence and carelessness. Make sure to change that.
Do not use Screen Savers
Set a company policy that disallows the use of screen savers. Instead, set monitors to power off after the same amount of time; it’s just as easy, but more eco-friendly.
Shut down computers
Turn off computers when not using them. It often happens that the employees before going home leave the computers on, which needlessly consume energy in “standby” mode.
Be eco-friendly when cleaning
Use eco-friendly products for cleaning and organizing your work space. There are a lot of instructions on how to make your own cleaning agents, but if you do not have time to make them yourself, buy only those without phosphorus.
Save on Fuel
If you have the ability to provide a collective transport to work for your employees, do it. If you are buying vehicles for your company, consider the possibility of buying hybrid cars. Whenever you can, organize video conferencing instead of traveling to distant destinations.
Shop smart and recycle
Buy used printers and copiers (they are much cheaper, but can be as good as new). When purchasing new equipment try to make smart choices. Buy equipment that is high quality and that doesn’t gets dated quickly. Call the company engaged in the collection and recycling of electronic waste and sell them your old appliances instead of throwing them in the trash or storing them unnecessarily.
By doing this, and changing your habits in the office, less energy will be consumed for the same work. Energy efficiency doesn’t mean to save energy by lowering the quality of your products and services, but to use resources wisely. All these measures are aimed to reduce consumption and thus save the money and the environment.