At present consumers are genuinely worried about the negative impact companies have on the environment and because of this they relate better to companies who are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Revenue achievements of green friendly brands, companies and organisations support this notion.
Green living at home has proven to have immediate positive benefits to our respiratory system and the reduction of air pollution. Studies have indicated that because an average employee spends approximately 1775 hours in their workplace being green within your working environment is just as important as being green within your home.
Many offices have paint, carpets and upholstery that contain VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), gases containing a variety of chemicals that can negatively affect the health of employees. The gas is also found in printers, correction fluids, carbonless copy paper, and permanent markers. Offices are also an easy playground for the asbestos exposure. Asbestos, normally used as insulation, is lethal carcinogenic material, an agent directly involved in causing cancer. Having a green office will subsequently reduce the above health risks and many others. Reducing the printing of paper, copying of documents can eradicate a large number of VOC’s.
A greener workplace can mean a lighter carbon footprint, a healthier and more productive place to work for your employees, and beneficially contribute towards your company’s triple bottomline. Listed below are some practical tips on how to make your office green. Going green should be a culture and should be visible at each step the company takes.
Create Your Own Light Bulb Moment
As previously mentioned energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs save approximately 25-35% of electricity. LED lighting and Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) both use 40W per light bulb while traditional incandescent light bulbs use up to 60W per light bulb.
CFLs are a great alternative to incandescent light bulbs as they use up to 60% (and as much as 80%) less electricity than standard light bulbs. CFL’s are slightly pricier than incandescent lights but last fifteen times longer, resulting in a substantial saving on the electricity costs for your business, which will more than compensate for the extra initial cost.
Create a Green Building
George Grieve, Managing Director of Vital Health Foods says, “ By coating our roof of our manufacturing facility with a special paint called SPM Thermoshield, Vital Health Foods has reduced their electricity consumption by 12% per month and 15% during peak demand, resulting in savings of more than R 200 000 over an eight month period. SPM Thermoshield reflects the sun thereby reducing the need for air conditioning in the building. This product may also be used on the external and interior walls of your company.”
‘Extend’ Your Power
Many employers and employees don’t realise that their computers, televisions, printers and even water dispensers don’t completely stop using electricity when they’re turned off. The vast majority of electrical appliances continue to draw what is known as an ‘idle electrical current’, even when they are not in use.
Up to 75% of the electricity used to power office equipment may be consumed while the products are turned off! An easy way to avoid this is to plug office equipment into a power strip also known as an extension block, power board or plug board.
Recycle and Reuse
Research indicates that It takes 3 tons of wood to make 1 ton of paper, and the production of that 1 ton of paper releases 5690 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Many also don’t realise that when paper decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane, 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Recycling plastic, glass, aluminum cans, cardboard, and even your old office equipment are easy and cost effective ways of going green within your office. Contact your local recycling providers and help reduce your offices contribution to waste pollution.