With an international summit looming in Glasgow in a few short weeks, a growing focus is being placed on the concepts of net-zero emissions, carbon footprint, and sustainable energy practices.
For the business owner, it is perhaps an opportune time to conduct a “green audit” – to assess and manage daily business practice in keeping with those key global initiatives.
The further benefit to the business is that adopting leaner and greener practices can also mean potential reductions in operating expenses.
Assessing Energy Consumption
Typically one of the largest utility overheads is the monthly electricity bill. On the plus side, a few relatively minor tweaks in daily practices can result in quite a significant reduction to this overhead.
Nightly shutdown: At the close of business, take some time to assess the state of the office or workplace after staff members have left for the day. How many lights remain on overnight? Fluorescent lighting is relatively cost-efficient, but an excessive number of light remains on after hours in many cases. Consider switching off lighting that is not needed for nightly security purposes.
In the darkness, take a close look at how many red standby lights are visible in the workplace. Electrical devices still draw current when left in standby mode, which can be quite a significant expense in many workplaces over time. Consider switching off such devices at the power point, as part of the nightly office shutdown routine.
Energy-wise equipment: When considering upgrading or replacing office equipment, spend some time assessing the energy rating of new devices. These days, most electrical goods provide an energy rating, and the lowest rating should be sought. Consider also the possibility of upgrading to a machine which fulfills several functions – for example, a combination printer/scanner/photocopier is a more cost-effective proposition than two or more separate devices, all drawing power. Check a provider like gulf business systems for solutions.
Switch To A Paperless Office
Over past decades, businesses have moved progressively towards the paperless office concept. Despite this, many still rely heavily on print and hardcopy documents and files. Consider moving as many processes as possible to cloud technology. A further cost saving method related to making this switch is often realized due to the fact that access and storage of cloud based data is often far more efficient in terms of the manpower required to search, file and retrieve electronic documents.
Cloud technology has evolved to become highly stable and secure, with ease of expansion as the data storage need grows. Physical office space is also freed up as storage facilities like filing cabinets and archive shelves reduce.
Develop A Green Audit Process
Once new practices and routines are established, consider incorporating a routine check of compliance into the office audit program. Most businesses will already be running a series of audits – workplace health and safety, finance and account audits, employee and supplier performance audits.
Make a green audit a part of the business operating procedure – the benefits for the environment and the business operating expenditure can be significant.