The environment, eh? We’ve been talking about the various dangers to it for decades now. If you’ve been wondering why we don’t seem to stop talking about it, it’s because the issue isn’t going away!
It’s not going to be solved overnight. But it’s important that all of us do our bit to help protect the world we live in. If you’re running a business, there may be even more pressure on you. Here’s an amazing guide to getting your office into a more eco-friendly state!
The impact of business on the environment
Nobody wants to take the blame for all the environmental ills that are occurring in the world right now. (Or should I say to the world?) But the fact is that business and industry is that is causing the vast majority of the problems we’re seeing. Now, admittedly, a low percentage of that is being caused by office workers. It’s mostly agriculture, oil farming, and the meat industry that are doing the damage.
But it’s still important for business owners who work in an office to take action here. A lot of the ‘green’ advertising you see these days are aimed at residential areas. This is despite the fact that residents are causing fewer problems. As you have to have so many people and facilities in an office, there is more damage potential from your office than from a home.
The government is willing to reward you for going green
So, maybe the fact that the world is kinda, y’know, falling apart as a result of climate change doesn’t bother you too much. After all, polls suggest that most people simply don’t care about the environment at all. But what if I were to tell you that there are direct benefits for your business in the form of rebates and tax credits for going green?
Ahh, now I have your attention! Yes: the government is willing to reward you in several ways if you take action to get your company in a more environmentally-friendly state. If you’re a shrewd businessperson, then you’ll know that this whole thing isn’t just a good move for the world around us. It’s also a smart business move!
Getting your electricity set up
If you’re moving into a brand new office, then you have somewhat of an advantage here. That’s because you have the opportunity to completely change the electrical system of your office before you move into it.
Of course, you can look into a system overhaul at any point. But it’s definitely better to do it before people have to move in and do work in it. If you start messing around with the electricity while people are trying to work, then you’re going to experience some downtime! Companies like Electrical Connection can send contractors over to help you go green with your electrical system.
Assessing your current electrical status
So you’re already in your office and working at full throttle every day. You’ve got several computers set up, your lighting, the coffee machines – all the electricals are ready and in use. In any office, electricity use is going to be pretty heavy. But does that mean that there isn’t room for improvement? Of course not!
It can be difficult to find out where you can improve unless you get things properly assessed, however. Electrical companies can also provide with you an energy audit. This will highlight to you how much energy your company is using and in what areas. This gives you the data you need to make the best improvements possible.
Can I use solar power?
Most people seem to be ignoring the incredible benefits that solar power can bring. There seems to be a widespread misconception that solar power couldn’t possibly bring us all of the electricity we’d need. And if it could, then wouldn’t we have to cover basically everything with solar panels? But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Indeed, you’d only need to use a relatively small amount of land in order to meet America’s energy demands using solar power.
Using solar power for your business is entirely possible. This, again, is something you can speak to an electrical company about. You may want to have traditional energy sources as a back-up, but solar power is much more reliable than people say it is. The benefits of introducing solar power to your business are many!
Using lighting responsibly
The lighting in most offices feels almost oppressive. The fluorescent lighting that the builders all had installed in the office in the first place are pretty unpleasant. One thing you need to remember is that the office environment has a huge impact on your employee’s ability to work well. And fluorescent lighting is notorious for affecting the people who have to sit under it in a negative way.
How can this problem be resolved? The most famous alternative when it comes to artificial lighting is LED. It’s brighter, less of a drain on your resources, and much more pleasant than fluorescent. You may want to consider a dimming system that will allow for less energy to be used when the lights are on. Which brings us to the other alternative: natural light! Most offices I’ve been in don’t need half the artificial light they use because the office gets plenty of natural light anyway.
Heating and cooling
The HVAC system in the office is another big drain on electricity and on the environment. But am I about to tell you to do without it? Heck no! Even though heating and air conditioning sound like the definition of luxury, they’re things you need in your office. After all, uncomfortable employees simply aren’t going to work as well as comfortable ones. And an unpleasant temperatures is perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to discomfort!
Heating isn’t as much of a concern as cooling is in modern offices. All those computers going at once creates quite a lot of heat. The best thing for you to do is make sure that no-one is chilly when you’ve got it on. If people are a little cold, then you can afford to turn it down a little! You should also make sure it’s turned off at the end of every shift. If you need to get a programmable thermostat to make sure that this happens, then do it!
The paperless office: just a myth?
You’ve probably heard about the idea of a paperless office. It’s something that many imagined a possibility many years ago, as the digital revolution began to take place. It became clear that much of what we once had to do on paper could now be done on a screen. So it did make sense that people would imagine some sort of business utopia in which no-one ever had to use paper ever again.
Of course, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Though the term ‘paperless office’ is still quite popular, it’s not really meant to be taken as literally anymore. It’s become clear over the years that we still need to use paper from time to time in the office. So what does the paperless office mean today? It refers to the cutting down on paper usage as much as possible. Once you realize how much paper usage can be cut down, the results can be extremely impressive!
Furnishing and supplies: going renewable and sustainable
The type of companies you choose to do business with is also going to have a huge impact on the environment. Yes, I know I’m basically writing a long list of everything you do in business and claiming that it’s bad for the environment. It can’t be all that much fun to read. But hear me out!
When you need to get office supplies or furniture you’re obviously going to have to go to a third party. But how exactly are they acquiring or producing these items? Think about the desks your office will need, for example. Does the company who you want to buy a desk from have sustainable practices? Is there responsible wood production involved, or do they basically destroy a forest and make no effort to repair the damage? It’s important that you look into companies that specialize in products from sustainable sources.
Remember the bathrooms!
When we talk about an office, we often forget to think about all the rooms that make up an office. One of those places, of course, is the office bathroom. And there are plenty of opportunities for saving on materials in there!
Do you know how many times I’ve walked into an office bathroom to find that there are taps still running? The waste of water is one of the biggest problems facing the planet today. Consider putting up a sign that reminds employees not to leave the taps running. Of course, if the tap is leaky then there’s not much they can do about it. Such a problem needs to be seen to by a plumber. Another thing you need to consider is hand drying. There’s a lot of research that suggests automatic hand driers are the best solution, environment-wise. But you’ll probably still need paper towels, just in case. Make sure you get these from sustainable sources, too!