Whether you are an environmentally conscious person, or your company has tasked you with finding ways to cut spending, you can make your boss green with envy by showing them how to make the company green. Once you present to them how much money can be saved, your boss will wish they had thought of those ideas first. If the company owns the building, then the steps to going green would be similar to a house; they would need to update the windows, heating, cooling systems, insulation, and any major appliances. These costs will seem large, but the point is how much money will be saved in the long run. Researching the facts will be the key to presenting this information to your boss. You will become close friends with www.energystar.gov and www.energy.gov , two government websites that can provide you with all things for energy conservation.
Show them the light
One of the largest items that can be changed in a building to help save energy costs are the light bulbs. If the offices still use incandescent light bulbs then they are using up to 10 times the energy they could be using with fluorescent lighting. If there are already fluorescent fixtures, find out how old they are. If the fixtures are more than 10 years old, replacing them with technologically up to date ballast fixtures can still save money. Light cans or spot halogen lighting can sometimes use even more energy than an incandescent bulb, if a low quality bulb is used.
Trying to save a few pennies by buying low priced halogen bulbs can actually double your energy costs compared to incandescent bulbs. The most efficient up and coming bulb is the LED. The LED bulbs in development now are said to save more energy than the fluorescents. Even if you do not own the building, simply changing the light bulbs to modern contained fluorescents can save almost half of the energy costs.
Keep Your Cool
Having the sun shining through your windows can be a nice feeling, until the heat from the sun makes the room too warm. Use thermal shades to help keep the radiant heat out, but let the light in. Sun heated rooms can cause cooling systems to work harder and increase energy costs. On the flip side, using honeycomb shades can help keep those cool drafts from windows out of the office. The better you can keep the cold out, the less work the heating system has to work in the winter. Just as in a home, managing your heat or cooling loss through your windows will make a large difference in energy costs.
Make Some Green
In every business there is going to be waste. It is estimated that 3/4 quarters of the trash created in any home or business can be recycled. With a little research – try www.energy.gov – you can find out if there is a recycling company in your area that would be willing to pick up your recyclables. There are some businesses that would actually pay a percentage of the salvage value of recyclables. If there is not a service available, it might be worth having an employee collect it all and take it directly to the center, who may then pay them for it.
LEED by Example
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an organization that helps direct people in building green. To gain a LEED certification, a business must take all aspects of intake and waste into consideration. Reducing waste water and water usage, usage of recycled materials, preventing waste of materials, considering sustainability of office furniture, and more are reviewed by LEED. Thankfully, LEED has several categories for awards including building construction, retail space, commercial interiors, and other areas. If your business takes the time and effort to reduce their environmental impact they can save money and bring more money in by appealing to potential new customers as a green LEED certified business. Check out www.usgbc.org for all the details on the LEED program.
Green Will Bring in the Green
Whether your company chooses to shoot for a LEED certification, or chooses to simply make smaller environmental changes in their operations, going green can give your company an edge. In today’s competitive world, and with customers working to go green in their home lives, it only makes sense that the customer will also look to buying items from a green business. If they have to choose between your company taking steps to help the environment and another that does not, your greener company will be the one that wins out.