energy-efficient office

15 Ways to Create a Green Workplace

Any workplace can become more environmentally conscious through employee efforts, from entry level up to the C-suite. We've collected 15 ways employees can create a greener workplace with ease.

Green suggestions for employees

  1. Start a company carpool and encourage your coworkers to join. This can also be a successful team-building initiative.
  2. Turn off computers, main lights and conference room lights when leaving for the day. This is especially important during weekends.
  3. Adjust the office temperature to 72 degrees or less in the winter and 76 degrees or more in the summer.
  4. Use a laptop computer whenever possible. In addition to offering greater portability, laptop computers, use 80 percent less energy than standard desktop machines.
  5. Recycle whenever possible. In addition to reusing already-created materials, these efforts will eliminate the energy required to create new materials.
  6. Create an employee green committee to focus on awareness and initiatives that can be enacted immediately or brought before senior management.
  7. Remove unnecessary energy users like small appliances, electronic devices, or additional lighting from workstations to reduce power usage.
  8. Keep exterior and freight doors closed whenever possible to limit the loss of treated air.

Green suggestions for managers

  1. Hire a firm to perform a professional energy audit of the business to determine areas where energy usage is excessive.
  2. Offer small rewards or perks to employees who use public transportation or carpool each day.
  3. Install motion-sensor switches in rooms that don't see constant use, such as bathrooms, meeting rooms and lunch rooms.
  4. Replace any applicable appliances — like refrigerators — with new energy efficient models, and replace lightbulbs with LED alternatives.
  5. Use fuel economy as one of the deciding factors when purchasing new company vehicles. Research hybrid cars or trucks if applicable.
  6. Install a programmable thermostat in the office to allow for easy temperature control and maximum energy savings during non-peak times.
  7. Review ceiling and wall insulation options for the office. Installing additional insulation will reduce total energy expenditures and increase employee comfort as well.

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.

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