Offices and office buildings rate very high for energy usage, waste and leave a huge carbon footprint on the environment, whether you can see it or not. It takes a team effort to improve your offices ‘green rating’ meaning each person has a part to play. That’s why PBC’s Kildare and Dublin offices have been working hard since 2012 to reduce our impact on the environment.
What is PBC Sustainable Energy Program?
In Premier Business Centres we are conscious about our carbon footprint and the safety and wellbeing of our clients and staff. This is why we established our sustainable energy program in 2012. We have continued our efforts consistently and constantly tweaking and improving our policies to further save energy and reduce our impact.
We have implemented some simple changes, none of which require capitol investment or have a negative impact on our service. These changes have made a huge difference to our energy usage and their cost. In fact, we have succeeded in reducing our energy consumption by 24% since implementing some of the below changes.
Here are some of our top tips to make a more sustainable office environment.
1. POWER SAVING MODE
Introduce and encourage power saving mode on computers and laptops. This reduces power usage and lessens the impact on your computers RAM compared to leaving it on when not in use. Switching off computers from the power supply at the end of each day also reduces energy usage and prolongs the lifespan of our computers.
2. REDUCE SINGLE-USE
Reduce ‘single-use’ items in the office. Stop ordering plastic cups for water, instead buy more glasses and reusable water bottles. The same goes for disposable cups for hot drinks. Encourage staff to bring in homemade lunches rather than creating more waste with plastic containers and wraps. Help employees by providing adequate storage for lunch items and perhaps supply employees with some company branded reusable items.
3. CENTRALIZE ORDERING
When you allow every individual office to place their own stationary order, the costa – and the waste – are huge. By centralising the order you can reduce costs, prevent over-ordering, and control stock more efficiently.
4. GO DIGITAL
Try to drastically reduce printing in your organisation. Most of the documents we print are single-use and are disposed of soon after. Going digital means fewer supplies, less energy and less time is needed. Ask suppliers to digitally send invoices and you do the same. it’s a win for everyone!
5. PROMOTE OFFICE DILIGENCE
Little changes like switching off lights and closing windows has a huge impact on energy consumption and heat loss. If you have air conditioning in your office, make sure it is used in the most efficient manner possible.
6. CLARITY AROUND NEW GUIDELINES
Make sure it’s easy for staff to follow the new guidelines. If its easy, people are more likely to make it a habit rather than something that is complex and takes too much time. Appoint one staff member as leader of your Green Team to encourage others and promote individual accountability.
7. CONSIDER A GREEN ROOF
Another huge step we can take to encourage sustainability in our offices is a Green Roof, like the one on our O’Connell Street Business Centre. Also known as a ‘ living roof ‘, they are full of benefits not only for the environment but for businesses too. This ingenious system was first adopted by the Vikings and has worked for centuries. There is a tremendous amount of heat loss in the winter from a roof.
Having a mini eco-system on top of our building helps to mitigate weather issues by keeping the heat in and the cold out throughout the year. They look great, can be built on top of any existing roof and encourage the local eco-system to thrive, including harmless and vital bees whose population is dwindling.
Implementing just some of these simple changes can save up to 57 tons of carbon emissions over just 12 months and a gave a 24% decrease in energy consumption for one of our PBC locations. It could not have been achieved without the support and cooperation of all our staff and clients. Take a look at a case study of one of our Business Centres to see how small changes had a huge impact. With investment into sustainable energy initiatives, we can also help keep our energy cost down, meaning for our clients we are less likely to see energy cost increases.
Creating a sustainable office may seem daunting at first but working together to make small changes has a huge impact.
Author Bio: Katie McGarr is a daytime writer for Premier Business Centres, one of Ireland’s longest running providers of professional serviced offices, virtual offices, and meeting rooms. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for home decor ideas, she enjoys writing tips about career and office design.