Written by Kaitlin Krull from Modernize.
Current energy trends suggest that businesses contribute to the majority of our country’s energy use and carbon footprint—something we at Modernize take very seriously. However, there are ways to decrease this output and offset the negative environmental impact of this energy use. Here are a few examples of how and where corporations can employ green initiatives.
According to The Journal of Sleep Disorders and Research, enhancing natural light in a workplace improves performance. This is good new for companies looking to go green—you can save energy by increasing natural light where possible, while also improving employee morale. Supplement the daylight with LED or CFL rather than traditional fluorescent bulbs.
Another way you can keep a close eye on your energy use is to install a smart thermostat. Choose a model that can sense occupancy, which will only work to heat or cool areas that are in use. Use the smart thermostat to keep track of the energy your company is using, since a majority of energy bills in a typical office environment are related to your HVAC performance. You can even reward your employees when you’ve had a particularly “green” month.
Also make sure your employees, especially maintenance staff, are briefed on the importance of turning off and unplugging appliances that aren’t in use. Implement a recycling program and make sure that receptacles are accessible in all areas of the office. Be sure to research what types of recycling your local center accepts, and be clear about what items don’t belong in the receptacle. Invest in eco-friendly supplies, such as recycled paper. When you need to update a room, make sure to buy eco-friendly, water-based paint. Rethink all of your supplies and consider affordable, eco options.
Going green in manufacturing facilities can make an enormous positive impact. The first step to improving the efficiency and eco-friendliness of your facility is to get an energy audit. This will call attention to the areas where the most energy is being wasted. Instead of striking out blindly, use this information as a guide to go after the problem areas, whether that includes old machines that are inefficient, wasteful lighting, or simply an irresponsible use of a well-equipped facility. When constructing a new facility or renovating, choose eco-friendly and recycled materials without harmful coatings of chemicals.
Devices that require more power require more cooling. If your company’s data centers are inefficient, consider getting an assessment of your energy use, and performing an IT systems redesign if needed. Green Revolution Cooling's innovative immersion cooling technology can reduce cooling energy by up to 95 percent, while reducing server load by 10% - 20%.
Bathrooms, kitchens, and other common areas need to be ready for use by dozens of people—but at times, they’re not used at all. This makes conserving energy in these areas somewhat of a challenge, especially if the people using them don’t take responsibility for turning lights off or unplugging appliances. To help alleviate this problem, install automatic lights in common areas, as well as water fixtures with timers so that faucets are not left running. And most importantly, get the workplace community involved in the company’s efforts; post notices reminding employees to conserve energy, water, and resources whenever possible.