Ten Ways for Companies to Save Energy

Ten Ways for Companies to Save Energy

by Chris Suri, Eco Coalition Senior Editor

There was a time when making decisions about saving energy only had to do with the bottom line. Those days are gone, and the decision-making process for the responsible business owner now involves integrating sustainable principles and practices into their daily operations. Additionally, our planet itself must be added to the energy-conscious company owner’s business model. Listed below are ten energy-saving ideas for businesses that can save your company money in different ways and better society through helping to foster a sustainable and overall business-friendly global economic environment for all companies in the future. People, planet, and profit can be integrated to form creative solutions to the energy-saving demands of today’s business climate. Consider implementing the following sustainable ideas to your employees and into the daily work operations of the business:

  1. Unplug: Electronic appliances can consume almost as much energy during the time they’re in standby mode as they do during the relatively small proportion of the day when they are actively being used. This is particularly important in the case of pieces of digital equipment, which often use more energy than their analogue equivalents. (Yarrow, J. 2007)
  2. Alternative cooling: Portable air conditioners are a great way to save on cooling costs. The average 1200 sq. foot office can see cooling costs as high as $3,000 per month (2). Instead of cooling the entire office, get each room a portable cooling unit that’ll do the same job at a margin of the cost of normal cooling.
  3. Turn Off the Computer: This is separate from unplugging stuff. Simply switching your PC off can prevent an extra 1,000 pounds of greenhouse gases each year (2). How much greenhouse gas emissions could be prevented if the entire company turned off their computer when they left for the day? If for any reason you have a program running or have a deep-rooted aversion to turning your computer off, then just set it to sleep mode before you call it a day.
  4. Switch Office Lighting to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Did you know that Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs? Did you know that they last ten times longer? If you find out how much they cost at your local supplier and do the math and you will find out why one is a no-brainer.
  5. Use Recycled Paper: Some businesses may have tried to go this route years ago and decided not to because of the paper quality. Well this has not been an issue for quite some time now. In fact, recycled paper is cheaper! Check out www.impress1.com for an example of a green printing company that has risen above the rest with their green operations.
  6. Don’t Burn a CD for Everything that is Done: Going Green doesn’t mean going getting rid of all paper in favor of E-waste producers! (5) Burning CDs puts much Co2 into the atmosphere than you may realize.
  7. Invest in Green Power Strips: If you do not want to add the responsibility of unplugging appliances to your employees you can still purchase power strips that automatically turn off at night.
  8. Make Responsible Travel Decisions: Saving energy should not stop when your employees leave the office. Make the eco-friendly travel arrangement when possible. If you are sending a team of sales representatives to a conference from Los Angeles to Sacramento, have them take the train.
  9. Build Green: If your business is interested in making an investment in a large renovation or planning on moving to another office and redoing the facility, consider a deconstruction and re-reuse approach, such as the type that is advocated by www.reusenetwork.org (6). Techniques such as designing a building so that it significantly reduces the amount of water needed for operation locating a site so that it does not disturb any nearby wetlands, soil or streams – are being utilized by more companies, according to the recent Facility Sustainability Survey Report by Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium (7).  Implementing as many green building practices as you can afford in the short-term. The environmental benefits, tax incentives, and energy savings will add up over the long-term.
  10. Make the Switch to Solar Energy: Some larger companies may want to entertain the idea of solar energy panels as an alternative energy source. Incentives and long-term benefits make this an attractive choice for firms with the flexibility to take a step towards utilzing a clean energy source that will be around for a while while investing in the company’s future.

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Did you know…

Breathing air in highly populated and polluted metropolitan cities can reduce your life expectancy by 2 to 3 years?

70% of toxic waste in U.S. landfills consists of e-waste, items such as hard drives, monitors, servers, etc?

Data centers around the world consume more energy in one year than the entire country of Sweden?

At least 36 states in the U.S. are expected to face water shortages within the next 5 years?

Over 200 million items of e-waste are thrown away every year in the U.S.?