According to Energy Star, half of the energy used in the United States in used by commercial and industrial buildings. Committing to green office practices can help modify this statistic while yielding financial benefits too. Eco friendly companies enjoy lower utility bills and the peace of mind knowing they are doing their part by minimizing their overall impact on the planet. Small changes in the daily routines of employees can help create a more eco friendly company.
A Green Office Keeps Lights and Equipment Off When Not in Use
A simple, easy way to become a green office is to turn off lights in unused spaces. Lighting in commercial buildings accounts for up to 35% of the electric bill. Eco friendly companies implement a policy that encourages employees to turn off lights in bathrooms, supply closets, conference rooms and offices when they are not utilized. Eco friendly companies encourage employees to unplug cell phone chargers when not in use and use power strips to shut off power to equipment at the end of the work day.
Eco Friendly Companies Use Efficient Lighting
A green office uses CFL lighting and LED desk lamps to conserve energy. Since Energy Star certified bulbs use up to 75% less electricity than standard incandescent light bulbs, green offices can dramatically reduce their electric bills by switching out standard bulbs with energy efficient bulbs. Instead of using overhead lighting, encourage employees to use LED task lighting instead. Green offices also use natural light whenever possible to light workspaces.
A Green Office Upgrades Old Equipment to Energy Star Models
Green offices embrace new technology and seek out Energy Star laptops, computers and other office equipment to reduce energy requirements. Utilizing the power management settings on office copiers, computers, fax machines and printers can help save additional power.
Eco Friendly Companies Recycle and Use Green Packing Materials
To minimize paper use, encourage employees to use both sides of paper when printing. Set up recycle bins throughout the office space to recycle paper. Place recycle bins for plastic soda bottles and pop cans in break rooms. Work with a local recycling company to recycle cardboard instead of throwing away. Reuse packing material when possible and consider using packing materials such as eco friendly bubble wrap or biodegradable packing peanuts instead of foam when packing products.
Green Offices Utilize Renewable Energy
Embracing renewable energy is a key component to creating a green office. Whether it means paying additional to a local utility company to support renewable energy or by adding solar panels to the rooftop to generate energy, green offices explore renewable energy opportunities to enhance their bottom line and minimize reliance on traditional fossil fuel energy sources.
Creating a green office begins with looking at energy use. Reducing overall energy use can put a business on the road to becoming a more eco friendly company.