Know how Your Office Can Reduce its Carbon Footprint
Most people will be pressed on working in an office environment at some point in their life. A lot of us heard rumors that offices are one of the most energy-consuming buildings and use a lot of resources on a regular basis. Even though there are a lot of ways to reduce the energy consumption in an office, it still consumes a lot and wastes a lot of resources.
A study says, low-cost building system energy conservation measures (ECMs) while maintaining thermal comfort and good indoor air quality for existing office buildings in Mediterranean climate, taking an eight-storey office prototype building for analysis. The low-cost ECMs explored include raising indoor temperature cooling set point, lighting control, air economizer, night purging, and utilization of condensate drain to cool the direct expansion unit condenser to improve the overall system coefficient of performance.
You want to live a more environmentally responsible lifestyle, so you start up cycling at home, improve the way you sort the recyclables you collect at the curb, and begin purchasing your food from local vendors. While this is going on, at the office, the computer is left on throughout the night, you only print on one side of the paper, and the temperature in the office is kept at 68 degrees. Since the place you occupy at work is not legally considered to be yours, it is simple to disregard the need of eco-friendly living there. Or perhaps you are already the eco-warrior of your workplace, but you would benefit from hearing some additional suggestions. Here are some suggestions to help you lessen the impact your office has on the environment.
Determine the size of your personal carbon footprint
The most effective method for getting started is to calculate the carbon footprint of your place of business. You can actually keep quantitative statistics on how well your office is performing in the field of sustainability rather than just going into this with guessing. This will allow you to make more informed decisions. Either engage environmental consultants or place an internal manager in charge of the green efforts. Both of these options are available to you. You may also find a carbon footprint calculator for businesses on this page, which will help you get a better hold on your own footprint.
Modernize your workplace
You have complete control over the level of difficulty and breadth of exploration that this takes. You can begin by simply replacing your building's light bulbs with ones that use less energy, such as LEDs or other energy-efficient options, and seeing the results. You could also consider upgrading to windows that are more effective at retaining hot and cold air, getting the heating and cooling systems tuned up to ensure that they are operating at peak efficiency, purchasing energy-saving appliances that have been awarded the Energy Star rating, or investigating the possibility of upgrading older equipment such as boilers that are inefficient.
Ensure that you recycle everything possible
Make careful to recycle any electronic devices in your possession once they have reached the end of their useful lifespan. You can recycle your electronics by using a company that specializes in e-cycling or by participating in a manufacturer's take-back program. Check to see that the alternative you pick has some reliable data-wiping methods in place to ensure that your information is kept private. Investigate the possibility of recycling more products, such as paper, plastic components, used office furniture, and so on.
Ensure that nothing is running
Be sure to turn off all of the lights at the end of the day, and always leave the lights off in rooms that aren't being utilized. You can also make the most of power strips by plugging many computers into them and then simply turning off the power strip when the workday is done. This is another way to maximize the use of power strips. Additionally, computers should have power management settings that can be activated by the user.
Be mindful of how much paper you use
Keeping a close check on the paper in an office is one of the simplest things that can be done to cut down on waste. Printing should only be done when absolutely required; when it is, use the feature on your printer that lets you print on both sides of the paper, and save the other side for scrap paper. The elimination of the need for paper altogether is something that many organizations are still working toward. Even though technology has been hailed for decades as the future of commerce, there is still a significant amount of paper clutter in most companies. If it's at all practicable, you should try to cut down on paper usage by moving all of your conversations and documents online.
Make education of workers a priority
Ensure that each and every employee in the company is on board right from the beginning. Instruct staff to log off of their computers and turn off the lights after meetings, and include information on green initiatives in company memos and newsletters. The establishment of interdepartmental goals and incentive systems for the department that achieves the greatest amount of waste reduction is an enjoyable alternative.
Take part in the "Green Office Week" event
There is a Green Office Week held every May. Although this is a British event, there is no reason why you cannot participate if you are located in the United States. It's a fantastic plan for getting everyone to pitch in and working together toward environmentally friendly goals. The seven days of the week are broken up into sections based on themes, such as "Motivation Monday" and "Think About it Thursday." Visit the official website to acquire further information.
Keep recycling bins in convenient locations
Another straightforward one is this: If they are not already, make sure recycling containers are placed in convenient locations. Place them next to the water coolers and lunch places, as well as at crucial spots in the halls and around large table or cubicle clusters. In a similar matter, check to see if the company has a recycling program in place, so that the various types of trash are not just thrown in the same pile. Don't let your establishment be known as the one that puts recycling bins out there only to look good.
Set the temperature on the thermostat
Have you ever found that by increasing the temperature on your thermostat by one degree during the summer, you can save your energy cost by enough to pay for an additional meal at a nice restaurant? If you haven't tried it yet, you should at some point. You have the option of lowering the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees overnight when no one is there or lowering it by one degree during the day. According to estimates provided by Energy.gov, you can expect to see an annual savings of one percent on your energy cost for each degree you turn back your thermostat for a period of eight hours.
Give attention to the reduction of heat loss
It is not only for use in the house. In order to prevent warm or cool air from escaping through windows and doors, you should attempt to seal them. Fill in the spaces between the flooring. Consider installing double-paned glass in your windows to ensure that your warm air stays inside your home.
Consider the availability of other modes of transportation
Investigating the means by which your employees get to and from work is yet another worthwhile possibility to consider. There are a number of options available, including providing major transportation hubs with electric cars, supporting cycling programs, assisting employees in coordinating carpooling, offering to pay for employees' public transportation costs (or at the very least providing discounts on such costs), and educating employees about the benefits of driving fuel-efficient vehicles.
The practice of working from home rather than commuting to an office every day can cut down on the pollution caused by vehicle travel. Telecommuting is one alternative that should be seriously considered. Work that can be done by one person at a computer on their own can be easily completed by using remote access to other people's desktops or just communicating via email and the phone. In the event that they are required, meetings can take place a couple of times a week at the office. Obviously, this is not applicable to all kinds of businesses, such as a doctor's office; nonetheless, it is something that should be investigated in settings that focus more on projects.
Evaluate the need for business travel
As a result of the widespread availability of video conferencing in today's society, it is no longer necessary to travel halfway around the world in order to attend a conference, as was formerly the case. Make it a point to determine whether or not going on business travels is truly important. There are some that can't be avoided, but if you can avoid the emissions caused by flying across the county or the world by using Skype instead, it's definitely something to think about and keep in mind as an option.
Keep an eye on deliveries and errands
This is another rather straightforward task: just ensure that all trips that take place outside of the workplace are well-coordinated. If there is not an imminent hurry on anything, you can reduce the number of unnecessary trips you take by waiting a little while to gather any more items that might need to be taken to the post office. Make every effort to coordinate with your various suppliers in order to receive your shipments in the fewest number of trips possible. Ensure that the deliveries that your firm does are well-organized, so that everything can be dropped off in a particular area in a single trip rather than in multiple separate outings. In addition, make certain that the things are not too wrapped, and if at all possible, choose containers that may be reused.
Keep measuringBe sure to keep a record of your progress at regular intervals as you move along. Review the energy usage records of the facility, reevaluate using carbon footprint calculators, or keep working with a consultant as you make significant changes. It is simple to become fired up about being green at work, only to find that one's attempts to do so fizzle out as soon as a particularly hectic period rolls around. Make sure that one or two people's schedules have room for the green responsibilities, and encourage them to make this a top priority.