Energy efficiency is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. This can be to help save the planet, reduce wastage, or save money on energy bills. Whatever the reason, it is always good to look at ways that you can make your environment more energy efficient. This also applies to businesses.
The below 10 points will help give you an idea of what type of changes businesses can make to initially improve your business’s energy efficiency. There are many other ways that can be established through dedication and a keen interest to make a difference.
Hire an Environmental Sustainability Manager
If you are interested in improving the sustainability of your business and are aiming to reduce your energy consumption, it is a good idea to hire an environmental manager or promote a current employee into the position. A dedicated individual whose main task is to keep your business environmentally friendly will have a keen eye for details and have an educated understanding of all things required to establish and build a sustainable future for your business.
Environmental and sustainability managers in larger corporations may have greater involvement and will have set KPIs to achieve several corporate responsibilities. Smaller companies will not necessarily need to go to the same lengths as corporate businesses, but the sustainability manager can have a positive impact on areas that will help the business stay greener and future-proof. In recent years, companies have become more interested in sustainability thanks to the help from initiatives from the Government. The publics’ interest in solutions for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability grows every single day, so genuine efforts to make a difference will look great for your company and brand – no matter how big or how small.
Upgrade Old Technology to New
The type of technology you should upgrade to become more sustainable and energy-efficient will be dependent on the type of workplace you are in. For example, if you are a warehouse manager, your priority may be to upgrade an LPG forklift to an electric alternative, whereas if you work in an office environment it may be a case of upgrading an old printer.
When thinking about upgrading old technology you may have concerns over the cost. With smart budgeting and a keen eye for a good deal, upgrades don’t always need to break the bank. Business loans and finance options can also help spread the costs. This kind of planning and budgeting can be appointed to the Environmental Sustainability Manager, but involvement from people within positions that use the technology you intend on upgrading is also of paramount importance.
Make Employees Aware of Your Goals
One thing that many managers and business owners forget to do is make employees aware of goals. This is not always on purpose and can sometimes be for the best. When you are trying to make your business more energy-efficient, however, you must make as many people aware as possible.
Energy efficiency can only be achieved in numbers. If someone is attempting to reduce electricity or water consumption whilst another person is making no effort whatsoever, the efforts to improve efficiency are wasted. By making your employees aware you can also make the process fun and educational. Incentives are also an option but not necessarily a requirement for some people.
Monitor Heating / Cooling Costs
Staying top of the energy you consume through your heating/cooling system is of paramount importance. These have high consumption and will waste a lot of energy and money if managed incorrectly. A set temperature for the office is a great idea. There tend to be disagreements when it comes to the most comfortable temperature for a room and it will also depend on the size of the room, but if you can agree on a temperature and stick to it, the staff will acclimatise over time.
It is important to remember that discomfort can cause a lack of productivity so if you intend on decreasing the temperature to save energy/money, be sure to monitor performance and fully assess whether the savings are truly benefiting you and the environment.
Car Share Where Possible
If you can encourage your employees to fairly car share, your business will lower its carbon footprint whilst also saving your staff money. One car driving to an office appose to three cars driving to an office will make a significant difference and if you can happily agree on who is driving and when it will not really affect your working day. The car owners may also save an amount of money which is a great reason to try.
Install Solar Panels and Sustainable Solutions
Many businesses are starting to install renewable energy sources such as solar panels. By producing your own electricity, you will reduce the amount you spend on running essential workplace equipment. You will also reduce the amount of electricity that is produced using unsustainable methods such as coal or natural gas. Once installed the solar panels are low maintenance and can secure energy for the building for up to 25 years. There is no disruption to the operational side of your business, and you’ll benefit from significantly reduced bills for your energy.
Install Motion Sensor Lights in Bathrooms
Many businesses opt for sensor lights in the bathrooms to help reduce electricity consumption. These are also a great way to increase hygiene as it is another surface that does not need touching when you’re in the bathroom. Bathrooms in smaller business environments are used less frequently than larger businesses, so they can be beneficial whilst also saving you money thanks to the low consumption bulbs. They are also very useful in larger businesses.
Install Push Taps in Bathrooms
When we think of energy efficiency we tend to think about electricity and fossil fuels. Water is not necessarily energy, but it is a resource that you can run out of. The UK is pretty safe when it comes to water shortages despite there being the occasional hosepipe ban in the UK, Nevertheless, we should think about ways to reduce water consumption and the installation of pump taps can help.
It is so easy to accidentally leave spin taps to turn on which results in the tap letting out water for an extended period. A push tap that turns the water supply off after a set amount of time will stop water wastage and can improve hygiene as you will not have to touch the tap after washing your hands.
Only Fill The Kettle To The Level You Need
A very easy way to lower consumption is by only filling the kettle with the amount of water that you require. Many will fill the kettle to the very top and then wait for the water to boil. This is both time-consuming and high in consumption with the average kettle being 1800 watts.
Turn Off Office Equipment After Work
It goes without saying that you should always turn off equipment that is not required after the working day. This includes computers, air conditioners, television, radios and more. It is likely that some equipment will need to stay turned on outside of working hours but making sure you turn off the basics will help reduce your consumption making you more energy efficient.
Many of these changes will help you become more energy-efficient, save money and make you a more sustainable business. The initial investment is worth the money so long as you can afford it. This kind of energy efficiency strategy can boost morale and even help you get more business from like-minded people.
Sam has always been interested in making small changes to make environments more energy-efficient and sustainable. Through years of article reading and hands-on experience, he now enjoys writing articles designed to help business owners and homeowners save money through sensible, realistic energy-saving solutions.