Becoming energy efficient will mean becoming more competitive in the future, and it will save you money in the present. Here are some suggestions.
“Going green” is becoming incentivised by governments, and will provide tax breaks to businesses that take steps toward energy efficiency and acknowledging their responsibility to the environment. If your business does so, it can save itself money and prepare itself for adjustments that it will have to make in the future as energy prices and resources, including petrol, become more expensive and inexpedient to rely upon solely.
There are, roughly speaking, two general ways that one can “go green”: reduce one’s carbon footprint by simple measures that are efficient and sensible, and the more daring route of going as green as one can in order to become a leader in the field, and be able to market oneself as such. This article shall consider three energy-efficient routes that belong to the former and two the latter- but adopting any of them is a good step for those who want to avoid energy wastage.
Cut back on your consumption
A simple, first step toward making one’s business energy efficient is trimming the excessive use of energy-draining equipment. This can mean simply leaving all appliances off when not being used (a small but shrewd adjustment, as many devices are left in ‘standby’ mode unnecessarily throughout the day, draining your company of money and leaching energy- this accounts for a surprisingly large portion of nationwide grid use). Optimising the energy settings on all computers at work can be another way to conserve energy throughout the day, as can simply turning off printers, scanners and other devices when not in use. Using printers that do double-sided printing can effectively halve your paper expenses, and use up less power than printing a page of text on a single side each time.
Finally, you can simply “dematerialise” aspects of your working life: do not use excessive amounts of paper in the workplace when there are options for communicating digitally with colleagues and clients; instead of posting hard copies of any number of work-related items they can be digitally sent using efficient on-line services. One can convert documents to PDF for paperless sharing, use software to eliminate blank pages from necessary print-outs, read or send emails instead of letters, as well as review files digitally instead of on paper.
Use energy smart products
An amplification of the first, the second tip is to use energy efficient products that help to slash energy usage even more. There are many products to invest in to help with this, for example, the smart multi-plug strip that has an on/off switch that can sense when it is receiving idle current, and can turn off a number of machines at once when they are not being used.
Lighting is a key area where one’s business can become acutely efficient. The type of bulbs, the types of fixtures and lamps, and also the way lighting is used can make a big difference to the energy-efficiency of a business. A typical, screw-in incandescent bulb is highly inefficient: a mere 10% of the output is light, whereas the slightly more expensive supermarket alternative- the swirly-shaped compact fluorescent bulbs- provide more light, less heat and last around 9,500 hours longer. It makes business sense to switch, as it simply saves more money and power.
There are also a great variety of LED lamps that provide highly-efficient lighting service for use in businesses- both the LED lamps and bulbs cost more (not excessively so) they provide extreme efficiency and cost-saving over long periods. They are a wise investment. To give you a picture of this, a Light-emitting diode (LED) bulb can reduce energy consumption by 80-90% and last an astonishing 100,000 hours- ten times more than a compact-fluorescent bulb.
Take an energy audit
A third way that one can make their business energy efficient is to undergo an “energy audit”, which is often a free service provided by some local utility providers, which can instruct business owners on how to reduce usage and save money. They can advise on where and how to insulate in order to save money on heating in the long-term and where to upgrade hardware and products in order to save on electricity over time.
Reduce your carbon footprint
A lateral-minded way to spread energy-efficiency is to encourage workers to partake in car-pooling, especially when their travel expenses are covered by the company, or if the company uses vehicles for their everyday business. It can also save costs if workers are travelling on public transport in major cities like London or Tokyo, where prices for travel are high. There is also the environmental impact to think of as a green company: it is estimated conservatively that 8 billion gallons of petrol in the US alone would be saved if every car took just one extra person.
Switch your energy supplier
For those who are truly energy conscious, changing one’s energy supplier from those that wholly invest in the finite stocks of polluting fossil fuels to those that are sourcing their supply from majority hydro, wind, biomass, tidal and other renewable sources will be a major step in the right direction. Doing so will mean that your company will be helping to advance the rising stock that represented by renewable energy as well as providing your company with excellent green credentials in order to be able to trade with partners that place a high value on such a state of affairs. Doing so can be relatively cost-effective compared to sticking with alternative energy suppliers who rely on finite resources and who have to compete within a competitive field; moreover, in the long-run the costs of fossil fuels can only rise, whilst those of renewables can only reduce as demand increases. Moreover, you will not be draining the grid of unnecessary reserves from high-demand sources- and you will be able to receive rewarding tax credits and other benefits from the government in order to help you do so.
If your company is going green, they will not be in poor company: Tesco, Coca-Cola, Dell, Honda, Toyota, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, and Bank of America to name just a handful have already adopted policies that attend to and recognise the need to change toward greener policies that include energy-efficiency. If the behaviour of the world’s most profitable companies is a signpost for the direction of commercial trends then energy-efficiency should be considered as more than just the right move for idealist, but for the prudent also.