16 Ways to Create an Energy-Efficient Workplace
According to research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American ages 25-54 spends nearly nine hours a day (8.7) on work and work-related activities. And as top companies around the globe reap the benefits of green practices, the importance of energy efficient workplaces has never been more relevant. Any workplace can become more energy conscious through employee efforts, from entry level up to the C-suite. We've collected 16 ways employees can create a more energy-efficient workplace with ease.
Energy-saving suggestions for employees
- Start a company carpool and encourage your coworkers to join. This can also be a successful team-building initiative.
- Turn off computers and main lights or conference room lights when leaving for the day. This is especially important during weekends.
- Adjust the office temperature to 72 degrees or less in the winter and 76 degrees or more in the summer.
- Use a laptop computer whenever possible. In addition to offering greater portability, laptop computers use 80 percent less energy than standard desktop machines.
- Recycle whenever possible. In addition to reusing already-created materials, the efforts will eliminate the energy required to create new materials.
- Create an employee energy-saving committee to focus on energy awareness and energy-saving initiatives that can be enacted immediately or brought before senior management.
- Remove unnecessary energy users like small appliances, electronic devices, or additional lighting from workstations to reduce power usage.
- Keep exterior and freight doors closed whenever possible.
Energy-saving suggestions for managers
- 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 each day.
- Install motion-sensor switches in rooms that don't see constant use, such as bathrooms, meeting rooms, and lunch rooms.
- Replace any applicable appliances — like refrigerators — with new Energy Star models, and replace office lightbulbs with fluorescent alternatives.
- Use fuel economy as one of the deciding factors when purchasing new company vehicles. Research gas-electric hybrids if applicable.
- Install a programmable thermostat in the office to allow for easy temperature settings and maximum energy savings during non-peak times.
- Review ceiling and wall insulation options for the company. Installing such insulation will reduce total energy expenditures and increase employee comfort as well.
- Plan to use heavy equipment during off-peak hours for additional energy savings.
Whether you're an employee or an executive, you can have a dramatic impact on your company's energy usage. By using the tips above and encouraging others to do the same, a company can reduce its energy usage and, ultimately, its bottom-line expenses.