As we rapidly approach Earth Day, we’re seeing more and more stories around energy efficiency, reducing carbon footprint and going green. Aside from all the buzzwords and jargon though, what does it really mean, and how can you make a difference in your own workplace?
Becoming energy efficient will not only contribute to the future of the planet, but it will save you costs on energy bills, and help you to improve and protect your reputation among clients and customers as a responsible and sustainable business.
And it’s not as difficult as you might think. We’ve shared our top tips below to creating a more energy efficient office:
- Overhaul your workstations
Many offices still rely on desktops at their workstations. Desktop computers use 80% more energy than laptops. If you trade in your desktops for laptops, you’ll soon begin to recoup the initial costs through huge energy savings.
The next best thing to switching to laptops is to use LCD monitors instead of power-guzzling CRT screens. LCD screens use between half to two-thirds of the power that CRT screens use.
When you’re choosing equipment, make energy efficiency one of your prerequisites, whether these are printers, scanners or computers.
- Change habits
If you don’t have the budget to overhaul your office equipment at the moment, you can change how you use it, and still make a massive difference. For example, make it a habit of unplugging scanners, printers and PC’s when they are not in use, and don’t leave laptops on when you leave work. If you really don’t want to turn it off because you want to pick up where you’ve left off the next day, leave it on ‘sleep’ or ‘hibernate’ mode. Don’t forget you can set up your computers to go into hibernate mode at the end of every day, ideally within 15 minutes from finishing your work.
Don’t just limit this to the office equipment. Make it a habit to turn all devices off when not in use, including turning the lights off at the end of the day. Educate and incentivize your employees to encourage them to be equally aware about saving energy, and to pick up energy-saving habits.
- Do an energy audit
Check with your utility company to see if they offer a free energy audit program. The audit company will carry out a survey and tell you whether or not you’re using energy efficiently. Ask them to help you identify areas where you can cut down energy use. For example, maybe you could use excess energy only during off-peak or low hours.
- Use a power strip for electronic equipment
Most electronic equipment continues to draw some trickle charge from the power outlet even when they are powered off. Think about using power strips for groups of equipment, so that when everyone leaves work at the end of each night, the power strip can be turned off and all the equipment shut down together.
These are just some very simple ways to use energy efficiently at the workplace. Overall, just encourage people to only use equipment when they need it, think about replacing equipment and existing bulbs with CFLs and LED lights, keep control of your cooling and heating and you’ll have an office you can be proud of on Earth Day.