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Setting up an eco-friendly office is straightforward and can be done with minimal cost.
#1 Encourage staff to switch off lights in rooms when not in use
Even better, install an occupancy sensor to automatically switch off lighting when a room is not in use. For entrance and external lighting, install simple timers to automatically switch lighting on and off at present times and ensure that the office does not remain lit at night. Installing small signs at light switches and around the office can help drive positive behavior.
#2 Daylight harvesting
Where possible, open blinds and shading to let natural light in, allowing you to switch off lighting. A lighting control system can automate this process and automatically adjust light levels at the workplace to ensure constant levels of illumination.
#3 Replace old CFL and incandescent light with LED lighting
Good quality, well-priced LED lighting is readily available now. Apart from saving energy, LED lighting provides a nicer, less harsh light than most CFL bulbs, lasts longer, and will reduce your energy use. In a commercial environment, you may need to consider the use of LED panel lights instead of screw-in LED bulbs.
Screen savers use energy and it is best to disable these and simply put the display to sleep after a few minutes. If you have a desktop PC or a notebook with a large external display(s), a TrickleStar® USB Motion Sensor is a simple, easy to install solution that can optimize energy at the desktop and pay for itself in less than a year.
#5 Include Energy as a topic in company communications
The best way to get your employees to be more energy conscious is to provide ongoing education and encouragement. Include eco-friendly tips and advice in regular newsletters and offer facts about the environment, energy consumption, and company trends. Don’t get too heavy or technical, though—keep the tips quick and easy to implement.
#6 Create an Employee Energy Committee
Some companies have energy committees. These groups, made up of a few volunteer employees, focus on creating and managing energy-saving initiatives. An energy committee can also be in charge of finding new ideas for conserving energy and monitoring the office’s energy-saving initiatives.
#7 Car Pooling
Provide incentives or perks for staff such as preferred parking for those who carpool to reduce fuel consumption and C02 emissions when they carpool.
#8 Be an Energy Role Model
As a manager, it’s important to set a good example for your peers. Inspire action by serving as an energy role model who promotes positive energy practices for the office. Work with your management team or energy committee to brainstorm energy-saving strategies. The more your employees see you taking eco-working habits seriously, the more inclined they’ll be to follow suit. Employees and managers can have a huge impact on their companies’ energy use through simple ongoing initiatives, both big and small. Try launching a few of these practices at your workplace as soon as possible. You’d be amazed at how quickly you can start seeing results.
#9 Purchase sustainable supplies
Where possible purchase sustainable office supplies such as paper, drinking cups, cleaning agents, napkins, toner and ink cartridges, compostable cutlery, and paper towels. Staples have a good selection of these supplies that can be ordered online.