Blog14 May 2013

Green Office week: Seven ways to make your office more energy efficient

Green Office Week
(13-17 May 2013) is all about simple and practical ideas to make your workplace more environmentally friendly. By making just a few small changes, such as encouraging greater resourcefulness and less waste, your company can not only make a real difference to the environment but it can also save money. Here are seven ways how.

1) Switch off lights

Just one standard bulb can use 60 watts of energy per hour, so by turning off the light for an hour a day will save 22,000 watts a year. Think about how you are using your lights – does the toilet light really need to be kept on when it isn’t being used? Do the meeting room lights really need to be on when no-one is in there?

2) Put to sleep/switch off your computer

Plenty of people leave their computers running overnight, and fair enough: you’re going to be in the office again in a few hours, why waste time booting it up? Even though there is a surge of energy when your computer is turned on, it is not as much as the energy used when the computer is running for a long period of time. Doing small things such as turning off your computer’s monitor or putting your machine to sleep when you are not using it (rather than leaving it on standby) will greatly save on energy bills in the office.

3) Deep clean your air conditioning unit

As air conditioning units age, they become less reliable and less efficient. Admittedly replacing the units is the most efficient solution but this is probably cost prohibitive in most circumstances. Therefore a thorough maintenance check and deep internal clean is the next best step. A regularly serviced unit will cool a room more quickly and therefore as it is in operation for less time, it will use less energy.

4) Invest in an energy monitor

These devices allow you to keep track of your energy usage and also to spot energy-guzzling gadgets around the office. In fact they can become quite addictive, so by installing one of these for just a small costs you’ll see your electricity bill come rocketing down.

5) Recycle

The typical office environment can get through piles of paper in a day. Before you print something out, take a moment to think if it really needs to be printed. In fact email and document sharing systems are cheaper and easier and much more sophisticated than ever before and many businesses are working increasingly online to reduce their paper output. Even the smallest amount of paper you use can be recycled. Make sure your office has a designated area for recycling paper, organise regular collections from a recycling company and if you can switch to online entirely.

6) Ditch your vending machine

With their bright lights and cooling systems, vending machines are a huge energy drain as they tend to be switched on around the clock. By replacing the vending machine with a ‘food-fund’ for your employees, you not only save money but make the work environment a healthier place by removing the temptation of junk food.

7) Create an ‘eco-warrior’

With each industry and office environment comes a load of specific etiquette and way of working that only the employees truly understand. By giving one person the role of eco-warrior they can work within their company’s individual constraints but champion green office working all year round.