Let’s face it… the environment is a hot topic of conversation these days. With pressures to use less paper, to recycle, to use energy-efficient appliances, to conserve water, to carpool, to keep your air clean, etc., the challenges are endless. The communities in which we live and work provide natural services that are essential to our health, to our quality of life, and to survival. And we all want to survive, and thrive, don’t we?
We work hard to take care of our bodies (at least we should) by eating our vegetables, getting enough sleep (four hours is not enough), and exercising (that treadmill isn’t going to walk itself). And so, it is important to take care of our homes and the places where we work too. Conserving energy benefits each and every one of us.
Businesses are often criticized for their non-environmentally friendly processes and errors, but there are several things that your company can do. You don’t have to be the Exxon Valdez or some mega-liner… you can make some easy changes right in your office.
Here are five simple ways that you can help save energy for your business, and do good for the environment:
GET AN ENERGY AUDIT:
Just like you might do at home, you can have a certified auditor come to your business to look for ways that you may inadvertently be losing or wasting energy. The benefits of an audit are really endless as you identify ways to improve office comfort and improve your health and safety and that of your colleagues.
DON’T BE SO DEMANDING:
This might be more difficult, but take the time to analyze the peak hours for your business. With more and more companies embracing remote work, and with companies globalizing and taking on clients around the world, you may find that your business doesn’t need to stick to those peak hours of 9AM – 5PM. By staggering work hours and start times, and by allowing trustworthy employees to work from home (or a coffee shop), you can create less energy demand during those peak times.
TURN OFF THE DANG LIGHTS:
OK seriously, why is this one always so difficult? Have you ever walked around your building turning off the lights when others leave them on? Of course you have! So why not consider how to save electricity in your business by using light timers or sensors, or ensuring that offices are not lit when not in use.
MR. GOLDEN SUN:
Natural light is good for us; really, really good for us. If your office has windows, make sure that work spaces are well positioned to take advantage of the natural light coming in through the windows. The less kilowatts you use, the less your electricity bill will be (oh, and remember that whole thing about peak demand?).
BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE:
Yes, we’re talking about inside, but the point here is to think about your heating and cooling systems. Does the heat need to be on all the time during the winter, or the air conditioning on all the time during the summer? I’m not saying that we should make you and your colleagues uncomfortable, but you can look at the temperature settings and increase or decrease just a degree or two, and it can make an extraordinary difference on the energy drain. You could also look into a self-regulating system like a Nest (that’s what we use at Bee Line!)
Being cognizant of your energy usage and being thoughtful about negative impacts to the environment needs to be top of mind for business owners and managerial staff. Businesses across the globe are under pressure to implement more sustainable practices, and we suggest you be the leader and not the follower.
Rather than be in the news as a business that is not protecting our earth, get ahead of the game and look at what you can do to save energy and be more conscientious about your business practices. And even better, why not document what you learned from your audit and during the process you took to make improvements?
Share those skills and recommendations with other companies so that they too can have a positive impact on their business, and save money in the long run. This isn’t about helping your competition; this is about good sportsmanship and partnering on what is important.
Warren Buffett has gone on record to say:
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
While each and every business leader across the globe faces a multitude of decisions, we understand that energy consumption is just one of them. But this is one where joining the bandwagon (or leading it) needs to take a front seat.
We all have to live here, so why not save some money for your business and feel good about doing it along the way? You’ll sleep better at night, and your colleagues will too because you will have provided them a better working environment, and you’ve made your company a place that they can be proud of.