Why A Green Office?
Definitely one can’t deny the growing environmental awareness and concerns today. The planet today is in fact in danger as issues particularly pollution (of any type), climate change, and massive deforestation activities spread around the globe. It is truly significant that business should also play a part in saving our world from further destruction. It’s not just about encouraging employees to commute by public transport anymore. Genuine issues such as workplace health and safety, energy efficiency, and resource utilization can be greatly improved when a business decides to go green.
A healthy, hygienic, and clean working environment should always be the first priority in the organization. An unhealthy or unhygienic office always delivers bad performance caused by unsatisfied and physically or mentally unfit workers.
A Green Office provides you with an improved and clean working environment. In such an atmosphere, employees work more effectively and contribute more to the organization which in the end helps the company itself. In a clean commercial environment, employees stay healthy and don’t fall sick because of the degraded hygiene. It also leaves an excellent impression about the clients you are handling, after they visit you. Green businesses are also great for the healthiness of workers and customers, with less danger of inhaling toxic VOCs. An immaculate business environment always allows you to impress customers and establish stronger relations using them.
How Can My Business Start Going Green?
There are small techniques employees can be green in their personal offices or cubicles; however, the key key to going green in the workplace is to persuade administrators to look at eco-friendly and value effective policies. An overall business strategy has to be implemented to shift business processes towards a more eco-friendly orientation, and requires a separate discussion altogether.
There are some simple ways to live green within your office that wouldn’t require much policy changes. Here we outline 7 simple steps businesses can take to make their office a little bit more eco-friendly.
1. Green Cleaning
Eco friendly cleaning supplies, often known as green cleaning products are cleaning products made by manufacturers which are usually more concerned about the harmful influence of their products towards consumers then typical mass-market products that serve the same purpose.
Green Cleaning Products
Green cleaning products are mostly made out of organic and natural substances. The term biodegradable is also usually associated with environmentally friendly products. What exactly creates this change mean? The meaning of biodegradation is the deterioration of organic substances from the aid of other living organisms like bacteria and microbes. This means wastewater from your cleaning activity is less likely to pollute the environment because it can be naturally broken down by nature.
Grean Cleaning Services
Switching to more green cleaning products doesn’t mean you need to compromise on standards. These days there are many eco-friendly products and cleaning services on the market that could tackle probably the most difficult of cleaning jobs without the use of harsh chemicals. Of course, you will also desire to make sure that you find a excellent cleaning service, which guarantees that your office and workspace is kept looking at its best.
2. Green Office Furniture
Unlike energy-consuming products for example appliances, furniture is somewhat innocuous towards the environment during that period between factory and landfill known as “in use.” The impacts on indoor air quality, however, are similar to Britney: Not that innocent. Your cubicle accoutrements off-gas volatile organic compounds from glues, varnishes and sealants. That new furniture smell is often a supply of ear, nose and throat irritation, nausea and dizziness. But once your desks and chairs have been brought in to the world, they should be inspired to live long lives.
Eco friendly office workstations aren’t just best for the planet, but tend to offer significant benefits for your health. Some mass manufactured work furniture still use finishes and paints that let off harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which could cause chronic diseases and irritations. To avoid this and also to improve the general air quality inside your work area, use eco friendly furniture complemented by way of a good ventilation system, open windows, and a few hardy greenery.
3. Generating Your Own Energy
When it comes to efficient lighting modules solar lights top the charts. Fluctuating energy prices due to volatile fossil fuel markets cause the same effect towards business and their operations costs. Businesses that are able to cushion changing energy prices by using renewable energy and energy efficient electrical and electronic devices allow themselves to be more flexible by reducing operating costs from energy consumption.
Solar technology is now abundantly available, and at very competitive prices.
- Seven Reasons Cheap Oil Can’t Stop Renewables Now
- The cost of wind and solar power keeps dropping all over the world
- There’s a sunny future ahead for rooftop solar power: here’s why
- 6 charts that show renewable energy is getting cheaper
- Solar and wind power are now fully cost competitive with fossil fuels – is it time to switch over?
Generating your own electricity now doesn’t mean you need to own your own power plant. Nowadays you can install one on your own rooftop and power your office or factory. Installing solar charging stations allow your employees (and customers, if you have a waiting room) to charge their devices without adding to the company power bill.
4. Eco-Friendly Lighting
The need for eco-friendly lighting technology has created a conspicuous revolution in the domain of lighting. Retrofit lighting is a result of this revolution. Lights and fixtures are replaced (retrofitted) throughout the defined space with energy-efficient alternatives.
Energy saving LEDs save more electricity as compared to ordinary lights and has been the go-to product for energy-efficient lighting.
The major concern with business is always to reduce their electricity bills. For this reason most companies choose energy saving LEDs. LEDs coupled with efficient building management systems that can automate and regulate lighting can really reduce energy consumption costs.
5. Eco-Friendly Energy Consumption
In cold temperatures, it’s fairly common for businesses to overcompensate using the heating – even though it’s freezing outside, does not mean staff should be boiling inside. Similarly, during heat waves, there’s no requirement for personnel to freeze with the over-performing air conditioning system. Thermostats are created to regulate temperatures – by maintaining the office ‘climate’ at more tolerable levels during the cold months and warm weather, this won’t only produce a happier, more productive workforce, however it will cut energy costs and, importantly, be less bad for the environment. There are many variations of thermostats available on the market, with automatic thermostats delivering the best performance and efficiency.
Multi-function machines with scanning and faxing capabilities reduce the requirement for multiple machines. Having one machine as opposed to four further reduces energy usage. Some copiers come built with the Energy Star feature that causes the equipment to “sleep” when not in use; this is the epitome of your energy efficiency.
By adapting a more eco-conscious approach to energy consumption, you’ll find the characteristic difference between conservation and efficiency. You can conserve or save energy by switching off the heat and putting on a sweater to address the cold. But that is conservation, not efficiency. The technique of retrofit lighting is based upon energy efficiency. “Retrofitting” your air-conditioning / heating system with a self-regulating thermostat is based on efficiency. Reducing the number of single-purpose machines is conservation. Reducing the number of single purpose machines by replacing them with multifunction machines is efficiency.
The biggest benefit of adopting this process with the objective of efficiency is that you don’t need to sacrifice comfort to save.
6. Green Office Supplies
The majority of environmentally friendly office stationary and supplies are no different with regards to their appearance, feel and usability compared to traditionally manufactured stationary. This makes transitioning to more eco friendly stationary a great choice for those companies who would like to run a greener office, yet are hesitant about making major changes. The right office stationary that is certainly green is created by means of environmentally clean and sound procedures, uses recycled materials as well as utilizes reduced chemicals along the way. The end result is stationary which is essentially no exception, yet the product truly is best for the environment.
Let’s start with paper – the use of paper is really a staple of the workplace; it is easy to use as well as simple to get rid of. An effective way to reduce paper waste is through email. When talking with clients, decide if an email memo would just do and also the paper version. Set up files using the pc to maintain memos in the appropriate places. The use of zip drives and CD-ROMs can keep valuables in a space filled with paper. Notices to the staff could be paperless and also steer clear of the email box by placing a memo on the dry-erase bulletin board in the staff meeting room or kitchen. These boards also do well for presentations along with overhead projections or electronic software presentations, like PowerPoint. When distributing manuals to employees, think about using an e-book rather than a paper copy. If it is required to use a paper tablet to jot down a message, think reuse. Take old letters, pre-approved offers, etc. cut to size and staple in a homemade tablet.
This sounds illogical, but modern copiers actually reduce overall paper usage. Owning or leasing a multi-function copier machine, especially one built with a scanner, allows electronic document storage while on an office network. The scanner reduces paper usage and eliminates the requirement for bulky storage cabinets which loosens some office space. Some copiers have a tracking feature which can be accustomed to monitor which department, employee or project is applying essentially the most paper. This detailed report, allows a business to build up and start a plan reducing excess paper usage due to unnecessary printing.
7. The Issue with Plastics
Plastics are inseparable from our daily lives. The issue with plastics comes from our collective failure to dispose of it properly. Waste disposal has been a problem to humanity since the beginning of civilization, and even more so now with our globalized industry. Some plastics in the workplace are easily replace with eco friendly alternatives. Separation of waste for recycling is also a very simple move an office can take to go green. Just the presence of those blue, yellow, and green bins about the office sends off a very strong impression both to employees and the customer that there is some commitment in the company to making a difference.
A great step for any business that could make them a little greener would be to use promotional eco friendly water bottles. People, today, recognize that water is the most important element to their health. A big concern is actually buying bottled water, which is extremely bad for the environment. The bottles rarely get recycled. The energy consumed by creating and distributing these bottles of water is higher than the savings even if the plastic ends up being be recycled. Also, reusing the bottles greatly compromises the quality of the water.
The Bottom Line – Going Green Is THE Move
Being enviromentally friendly is incredibly simple and requires only small steps, like using recycled office paper, or shifting to low-VOC green coatings and finishes, or avoiding the use of plastic, and the like. Conservation and efficiency initiatives should be planned and experimented with for results. Costs of retrofitting and replacing equipment can be calculated for return of investment by estimating savings generated throughout the product’s nominal lifespan and comparing it against overall purchase and installation costs.
President Barack Obama said he wanted government entities to lead by example and intends to triple alternative energy sources for electricity by 2020, with all the goal of reducing pollution, boosting sustainable power generated from wind and solar and energy independence within the administration’s broader climate plan.
It makes sense that one of the largest power consumers in the world would make such an initiative. It would also makes sense to compare this to an individual, household, business, or community, which, collectively, form a country. Small changes, if done on a wide scale, can produce good impact.