Energy saving ideas in the workplace

Direct Energy, December 19, 2023

4 minute read

Energy saving ideas in the workplace

Direct Energy, December 19, 2023

4 minute read

Running a business can be about a lot more than providing goods and services. And going to work can be about more than taking home a paycheck. Work can be a place to find meaning, live out your values, and build community. Efficiency-savvy companies can save money and establish their commitment to green office principles by making dedicated choices to cut down on waste and energy consumption. Any workplace can become more environmentally conscious through employee efforts, from entry-level up to the C-suite. Read on for a series of energy-saving tips for employees and managers that will help create a green workplace culture. 

Businesswoman arriving to work on bike
Businesswoman arriving to work on bike
Businesswoman arriving to work on bike

Green office suggestions for employees

Commuting and community

  • Consider biking or walking if the office is nearby or taking public transportation if it’s too far to get there under your own power.
  • Start a company carpool and encourage your coworkers to join. This can also be a successful team-building initiative.
  • Create an employee green committee to focus on awareness and initiatives that can be enacted immediately or brought before senior management.


  • Rather than letting monitors go to sleep, you can go green at the office by completely turning off your computer after each workday. It's also a good idea to shut off copiers, fax machines, printers, main lights, and conference room lights to further cut down on energy usage. This is especially important during weekends.
  • Use a laptop computer whenever possible. In addition to offering greater portability, laptop computers use 80 percent less energy than standard desktop machines.

A green office environment

  • Adjust the office temperature to 72 degrees or lower in the winter and 76 degrees or higher in the summer.
  • Keep exterior and freight doors closed whenever possible to limit the loss of treated air.


  • Even if your office offers paper products in the kitchen, you should bring in reusable dishware and bags instead. Passionate employees can go one step further by talking to the higher-ups and asking them to remove the paper supplies altogether.
  • Print only when necessary. Computers, tablets, and phones can easily show important documents, making the printer's job rarely necessary these days. When documents do need to be printed, choose instead to use recycled paper and print on both sides to be eco-friendly at work.
  • Remove unnecessary energy users like small appliances, electronic devices or additional lighting from workstations to reduce power usage.
  • Recycle whenever possible. In addition to reusing already-created materials, these efforts will eliminate the energy required to create new materials.

Green suggestions for managers

Materials and supplies

  • Switch to eco-friendly office supplies. Pens, staplers, notebooks and rubber bands — you need this stuff at the office, but not all of it is green. Many stores carry office supplies made from recycled materials. There are even green products like refillable pens on the market today, making it easy for your workplace to be green.
  • Green plants provide natural beauty in the office and also act as a natural air filter to remove pollutants and keep the air fresh. Some air-filtering plants don't require a lot of upkeep, making it easy for everyone to enjoy energizing plants in a cubicle or office.

Infrastructure and fleet

  • Install motion-sensor switches in rooms that don't see constant use, such as bathrooms, meeting rooms and lunchrooms.
  • Replace any applicable appliances — like refrigerators — with new energy- efficient models.
  • Review ceiling and wall insulation options for the office. Installing additional insulation will reduce total energy expenditures and increase employee comfort as well.
  • Install a programmable thermostat in the office to allow for easy temperature control and maximum energy savings during non-peak times.
  • Use fuel economy as one of the deciding factors when purchasing new company vehicles. Research hybrid cars or trucks if applicable.

Company culture

  • Hire a firm to perform a professional energy audit of the business to determine areas where energy usage is excessive.
  • Offer small rewards or perks to employees who use public transportation or carpool each day.

Find a partner in your provider. Sign up with an electricity and natural gas supplier that gives you control over your energy footprint. Direct Energy Business offers solutions tailored to meet the unique energy needs of companies of any size.

Make your office the greenest it can be

Whether you're an employee or an executive, you can make a dramatic impact on your company's energy usage and contribute to a green office. By leveraging these energy-saving ideas in the workplace and encouraging others to do the same, a company can reduce its energy usage and, ultimately, its bottom-line expenses, as well as living by more sustainable principles.

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