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When businesses talk about sustainability these days, it usually refers to the ‘green’ and energy-efficient practices to implement in their company. Reducing their carbon footprint is steadily becoming a priority for many companies. Regardless of the size of your business, you can implement certain steps that will give you a high return on investment while keeping your office green. If you are keen on doing the same but don’t know where to start, the following tips will be helpful.

 

Investment.

 

Assessing Energy Usage

The first step of saving energy is understanding where it is being consumed. Heating and cooling costs consume a large portion of energy in most businesses. Identify all those spaces where energy is being wasted, such as rooms or hallways that are rarely used. Try to keep such unused spaces separate and regulate the amount of conditioned air they receive. Approximately one-third of energy is wasted on unused spaces, so it is essential that you monitor energy usage and distribution throughout your company. Use a well-calibrated and programmed thermostat to control the heating and cooling efficiently.

Lighting is another aspect to consider. Use windows and even glass ceilings in certain places to allow more natural light in. This will reduce your dependency on artificial lights during the daytime. Dimmer switches and motion sensors are also a good investment.

10 Tips For Going Green

Now let us look at some tips that will help you in keeping your company green.

Adopt PCW

PCW or Post-Consumer Waste refers to the products that are made just from waste paper that goes into the trash can — such as shredder waste, used file papers etc. Using PCW allows you to take one step towards a green office as the production of PCW-recycled paper uses 45% less energy as compared to manufacturing paper from raw materials.

Switch to Biodegradable Cleaning Products

Biodegradable cleaning products are made of natural materials with no presence of harsh chemicals and toxins. Switching your regular cleaning agents with green cleaning products will protect the environment and it is also good for the people handling them. Buying them in bulk will save you money as well.

‘Daily Green’ Steps

Don’t make green activities a one-time thing. Practice it every day. Encourage your employees to carpool to work or use public transport. If your company uses a lot of paper each day, work on recycled paper and recycle your paper waste. Small steps such as switching off lights when not in use will also go a long way.

Use Alternative Energy

Alternative energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower and other renewable forms of energy resources. Using alternative energy will cut down your dependency on natural energy resources and help relieve some pressure off the environment.

Buy Recycled Products

If you are planning to buy furniture, change flooring, purchase paper or other office supplies, opt for recycled products instead. Use furniture made from reclaimed wood, same goes for flooring and other wooden or plastic items you need around the office. You get recycled stationary, high-quality copier paper, ink and toner cartridges, legal pads, laptop cases, books etc.

Encourage Energy Audits

An energy audit will help in uncovering any loopholes that result in the loss of energy. Sealing cracks and caulking the doorways will reduce your electric bill by 20%. Audits can point out instances where you can save energy and money. Some states offer a free energy audit , and some even pay for repairs. Take advantage of that.

Swap to LED and CFLs

LED and CFLs are a little expensive, but they are a great business investment. They use less energy and are devoid of mercury and other toxic gases that are present in fluorescent and incandescent lights. They last five times longer, thus saving you money as well.

Make The Website Green

There are several web hosting companies that participate in ‘green activities’ such as tree planting. They primarily use renewable energy, buy carbon credits etc. Use their web hosting services to build your website or blog so that you can combine their green efforts with yours.

Monitor Heating and Cooling In Different Spaces

If you are not using any meeting room or you rarely use a particular spot in the office, avoid heating or cooling that place as it wastes a lot of energy. Check how and where the conditioned air is being used.

Promote Recycling

Encourage your employees to recycle. Don’t throw out paper scraps, recycle glass and plastic products and send e-waste to recycling. Install recycling bins for different materials and trash compactors on the office premises. Get in touch with recycling service providers and recycle as much as you can, using different recycling equipment.

You will be making a huge impact by implementing green practices in your business. It’s never too late to adopt a green business attitude!