While some companies become more sustainable by overhauling their workplaces into state-of-the-art, ecotastic offices, most businesses don’t have the money or the ability to do that. Instead, we must try to green the spaces that we have, which are often decades-old buildings with drafty windows and aging HVAC systems. Fortunately, there are plenty of long-term changes that your company can make to become more sustainable – without affecting their business practices or breaking the bank. In that vein, we’ve outlined below 6 simple ways that almost every company can implement to reduce its carbon footprint.
Evaluate your current carbon consumption
You can evaluate your company’s carbon consumption in a day either by hiring an expert or getting an emissions-conscious office manager to do the review. It’s important to assess where you currently stand in order to know how you can improve. By benchmarking the present number of greenhouse gases generated, you will be able to develop an appropriate strategy to follow.
Give your office an energy upgrade
These don’t have to be expensive upgrades, but instead can be simple tasks like investing in good blinds and shading, upgrading your windows, conducting maintenance on your office’s central heating system, and switching to energy-saving light bulbs. Replace your old, inefficient incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs to save your company both electricity and money.
Turn off and unplug
Get the members of your team into the habit of switching everything off at the end of the day and implement energy saving modes on everyone’s computers and monitors. Before you head home, make sure all of your office lights, equipment, kettles, and microwaves are turned off fully – by this, we mean switching off the plug sockets. More often than not, electrical equipment siphons power when in it’s in standby mode – so to ensure there is none wasted, switch them off and unplug at the wall. This will not only reduce your consumption, but also your electricity bills. Throughout the work day, make sure that all computers are set to “energy saver” mode. This makes the machines turn off their monitors and go to sleep more quickly when not in use — not have a bright screen constantly glowing can save a lot of energy.
Meatless Mondays can be really fun – but also somewhat controversial. It’s difficult to get everybody on board, but with some healthy persuasion, the right incentives, and good cooking, meat-free Mondays can not only reduce your emissions, but also perk everyone up at the start of the week.
Encourage working from home
This can be tough for bosses who can’t imagine actively encouraging staff not to come into the office, whereas the majority of employees love the idea. Thanks to high-speed broadband, powerful home computers, services like Skype, and virtual office software, it’s now easier than ever to work from home. Of course, it’s not always suitable; face-to-face meetings do have to occur, but if you give each of your employees one day a month to work remotely, the amount of emissions saved from less cars on the road is a great way to improve your company’s carbon footprint.
Measure your progress
Ensure you’re staying on track and consistently reducing your carbon footprint by measuring your company’s progress. With your benchmark report you took initially, you can create a timetabled strategy of what changes you’re implementing and how much energy you’d expect to save against the amount that is actually being saved. You can then adjust your plan accordingly.
About the Author: Zac Colbert is a writer covering a myriad of technology subjects, including eco tech 2.0, mobile workforce management solutions and sustainable design. He writes for green blogs, magazines and online journals, focusing on ways to inspire companies to become more sustainable.