By Louise Blake |
It’s been trendy for a while for companies to promote their eco-friendly credentials, but as 40% of U.S energy use comes from commercial and residential buildings the time for action over our energy-draining offices is long overdue.
Congress has finally taken the bull by the horns and set aside cash that promises to make significant steps forward in the fight against out-dated environmental practices.
The Senate Bill 761 Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 has earmarked $250 million dollars to help property owners make their buildings more energy efficient. A move backed by hundreds of American companies, including the U.S Chamber of Commerce.
In addition the bill pledges $200 million dollars for state and local government that act to enforce tighter environmentally friendly building codes. This means that federal agencies have to cut back the energy used on computers and data users as a means of promoting efficient energy usage across the workplace.
Impact On The Modern Office
The modern office has to evolve and this cash injection will certainly help to fund measures like cutting back on how long PCs and other electronic devices can be used to the sourcing of more environment friendly office equipment. Though the changes won’t be completely revolutionary at this stage, it’s a move in the right direction, one that will impact the day-to-day workings of companies and their employees.
Green office solutions and their benefits
Saying that even the smallest changes to your daily routine can have a huge impact on the environment around you is going to sound like a broken record. However, it seems that people, including the government, are finally starting to listen.
The environmentally conscious market has been growing and expanding, so it is extremely easy to buy eco-friendly or zero-carbon products. Choosing energy efficient devices for the office, such as energy-saving light bulbs and implementing standby savers and energy controllers can save more energy than people think.
Buying eco- friendly products:
Instead of constantly implementing saving water and energy plans for your office, it could be a lot more useful to purchase all the products responsibly in the first place. For instance, being very careful of where the products are from and who made them are all aspects that need to be considered.
When placing a bulk order of stationeries for your office, it is important to consider many the amount of packaging and transport costs that will contribute to the overall footprint of your supplies. When it comes to packaging, arrangements can be made so that the left over packaging can be send back to the supplier so they can reuse it, which over the whole company will make a great difference to your own footprint.
Fair Trade products
If your office has a canteen and catering services, then ensure that all the products stocked are all fair-trade. There are tonnes of Fair Trade products that you can buy from coffee to fruits. This will not only encourage your staff to use environmentally responsible products but also get them into the habit of using it in their own homes.
Almost all offices recycle, but only a selected few actually use recycled products. There is no point in recycling and assuming that your job is done. For the recycling industry to grow and expand, offices need to utilise the myriad of recycled products that are available from pens to light bulbs. By both recycling and using recycled products, you’re fully guaranteeing that your office is eco-friendly.
Insulation can help maintain the temperature and lower your offices’ heating and cooling bills. The thicker the insulation, the more energy efficient your office is. Most of the heat that is put into your office is wasted through the walls. Getting insulation for your office is probably the most effective energy saving measure you can do.
Living green walls:
The implementation of living green walls in modern offices is already gaining momentum, with more and more companies seeing their benefits.
Living green walls are vertical gardens, which are attached to either the exterior or interior of buildings. Living green walls are perfect for offices. Considering the large amount of time that we spend in our offices, it is essential that the air we are breathing is purified. Plants are useful because they can absorb pollutants from the air which provides for cleaner, healthier air for all of us.
Not only does it liven up your building, it also reduces energy costs by up to 20%. Living green walls are an excellent way to not only save energy but also reduce noise pollution. To put it in a nutshell, it only has positive benefits and can improve the ways in which your office can be made more environmentally friendly.
From reducing how much energy you use every day in the office to implementing living green walls which can have a great effect in the long run, there are many to make your office eco-friendly. The bill has been extremely successful from cutting nearly 400,000 pounds of carbon emissions and 175,000KWH of electricity. It’s certain that this bill is definitely not going to be overlooked like many other eco-friendly campaigns.
How eco-friendly is your office? Do you think this bill will make a difference?