More and more workplaces are realising the benefits of going green. While going green can significantly cut operating costs and provide enormous savings for your office, cutting energy use helps reduce pollution and carbon emissions. However, going green is more than just about reducing energy consumption, as we’ll see in this article.
Why Go Green?
There are many reasons for greening your office. Other than reducing energy bills, going green can free up considerable business expenses to allow upgrades for equipment, for example, new computers or office chairs, in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia. Cutting back on overhead costs can allow you to direct the savings to updating office facilities, equipment, or other aspects of your business.
The Australian government’s 2001 ‘Green Office Guide’ suggest that businesses can save up to $180 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy and cut around 80 per cent from electricity bills. The use of paper, air conditioning, equipment, and office materials can be re-adjusted to keep your office green and lower costs.
1. Simple First Steps
If you’re just getting started in greening your office, there are simple things you can do.
Recycle and choose recycled. Choose recycled paper for printing and serviettes and paper towels for the kitchen where possible. Recycled printing cartridges and toners are also commonly available. Provide recycle bins for used materials.
Standby equipment. Set all equipment to standby after a short idle period can save you considerable amounts of money.
Switching off equipment. Equipment can be switched off at the power point for the weekend and overnight rather than being left on standby.
Lighting. Make use of natural light where appropriate and use compact fluorescent lightbulbs where possible. Once you’ve decided you’re committed to greening your office, you may decide to make some bigger changes to further reduce wasteful energy consumption around the office.
2. Energy Efficient Equipment
The international ENERGYSTAR standard program makes it very easy to choose energy efficient appliances and equipment for home or office. Anything from faxes, computers, fridges, and photocopiers can come with an energy rating.
Look for the label for more information about how much energy is required to run the equipment.
Check different setting and provide a general office policy as to optimal idling and operating settings.
Consult the manufacturer for further information about how much energy is consumed at each setting.
Train staff on using the new equipment properly to facilitate faster integration.
3. Green Powering Your Office
Green power is generate from renewable resources such as wind, mini-hydro, solar, and biomass. Green power is available to 96 per cent of Australians. Green power leads to reduced greenhouse gas emissions than conventional energy sources. Look for an accredited program in your local state or territory. Alternatively, businesses can choose to generate their own energy by installing solar panels. Your business may be eligible for subsidies and tax breaks relating to this, so do obtain advice before making a decision.
4. Rethinking Business Processes
Office processes, such as filing, storage, and information sharing can be updated to reflect your new green approach to working.
For example, employers can encourage a movement toward a paperless office by sharing documents electronically rather than requiring print outs.
Digital copies of large documents can be made available on the intranet and distributed instead of by hand.
Office layout and design can be optimised to improve office procedures to reduce energy overheads. Suppliers oroffice furniture in Sydneycan assist with helping set up an open plan office or creating effective work hubs that are less energy intensive.
Offices can lay out a policy for paper use and encourage digital filing rather than paper filing of records.