Energy Saving Ideas in the Workplace
Going to work can be about more than just pulling in a paycheck. Efficiency-savvy companies can save money and establish their commitment to green 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 greener, more efficient office.
Green Suggestions for Employees
- You can be a green employee by changing your commute. Consider biking or walking if the office is nearby, or taking public transportation is 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.
- 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.
- Adjust the office temperature to 72 degrees or less in the winter and 76 degrees or more in the summer.
- 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.
- Use a laptop computer whenever possible. In addition to offering greater portability, laptop computers use 80 percent less energy than standard desktop machines.
- 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.
- Create an employee green committee to focus on awareness and 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.
- Recycle whenever possible. In addition to reusing already-created materials, these efforts will eliminate the energy required to create new materials.
- Keep exterior and freight doors closed whenever possible to limit the loss of treated air.
Green 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 or carpool 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 efficient models.
- LED lights can be a big benefit to both companies and the environment because they last much longer and typically use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs. And LED lighting technology better mimics natural lighting than CFL light bulbs.
- Use fuel economy as one of the deciding factors when purchasing new company vehicles. Research hybrid cars or trucks if applicable.
- 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.
- Install a programmable thermostat in the office to allow for easy temperature control and maximum energy savings during non-peak times.
- Review ceiling and wall insulation options for the office. Installing additional insulation will reduce total energy expenditures and increase employee comfort as well.
- 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.
- 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. 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.