The decisions we make at work can affect our careers, but have you ever thought about how your office behaviours affect the environment? Businesses can easily cut down on their energy consumption if everyone is willing to work together. It doesn’t have to take much effort, but the benefits financially and for the environment are well worth the changes. Elysian Energy founder Scott Wells shares his best tips on simple changes a business can make to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Put your computer on standby mode if you’re in a meeting, on the phone for a while, or on your break
- Turn off all computers, monitors, printers, and copiers at the end of the day. Use power boards so you only have to flick one switch and not to have to hunt for them all – it’ll be less of a chore this way. If you can’t turn off the computer, turn off the monitor at least. If this isn’t an option either, use hibernate mode on your laptop and desktops. Make sure you’re turning off all equipment over weekends and holidays. This includes kitchen appliances too.
- Turn off lights in rooms as you leave them, and in rooms that are not being used. During the night, leave only lights on that are needed for security and safety reasons.
- Print only when necessary. This will not only reduce paper wastage but also help to cut your energy consumption.
- Educate your employees and colleagues on energy saving features of the devices they use in the workplace and let them use these features to help reduce their environmental impact.
- Encourage awareness of sustainability. It could be as simple as sending an email every Friday to remind people to turn off their computers for the weekend.
- Replace existing halogen bulbs with LED lights. They consume less power and have much longer lifespans.
- Seal off any small drafts. Even small drafts can result in the business losing substantial amounts of their heating and cooling costs.
- Install locking boxes over thermostats to prevent people from fiddling with it during the day.
- Consider investing in solar power. Solar panels can be expensive, but the savings you make on electricity will cover the costs in no time.
- Buy energy efficient devices. These machines cost more up front but will save you money in the long run. When buying a new copier, make sure you buy one that is the right size for your business. Don’t buy one that is bigger than you need as it will just use more power unnecessarily.
- Install skylights where you can and minimise artificial lighting. Sunshine is free!
- If you can afford it, swap out desktop computers with laptops. They use 90% less energy than standard desktops. Also, swap your laser printers for inkjet printers. They also consume 90% less energy comparably.
- Consider installing motion detectors to control the lights in frequently unoccupied rooms such as restrooms and copy rooms. This way lights will only be turned on when the rooms are being used.
Businesses have a duty as producers of emissions to reduce their carbon footprint. By adopting some of these things, you will be on your way to making the future a cleaner and greener place. Being energy efficient doesn’t have to be difficult. It may be hard to get into these habits but setting an example for your employees will help making them the norm. Perseverance has built successful people and businesses, it can also help us to build a better future.