Go green to save green

Katie Smith
Katie Smith

Promoting energy efficiency in the workplace  provides a variety of benefits, from improving operations and productivity to saving the environment — and money, too. Energy efficient equipment and maintenance services can seem challenging. But such simple steps as improving air quality, changing lighting and introducing a recycling program can improve the bottom line.

Companies have a stake in an energy efficient workplace. Businesses that use green practices are healthier places to work and often more comfortable for employees. The use of green cleaning solutions that contain fewer chemicals could alleviate adverse symptoms for employees with respiratory problems. Light-emitting diode or compact fluorescent lighting combined with natural light allows for cost and energy savings while decreasing employee headaches and eye strain. Such other measures as improvements to ventilation and controlling moisture and pollutant sources can address various health concerns, including severe asthma, and ultimately reduce the number of sick days. A healthy staff is a more productive and innovative staff.

The green effect also affords opportunities for money savings. Despite the initial higher costs of LED and CFL light bulbs, they have a longer life and use less energy, generating savings of up to $200 a bulb. The simple practices of turning off lights and equipment not being used, wasting less paper by printing double-sided, sending e-documents instead of printing and installing light-motion sensors in areas that aren’t frequently used all save energy and ultimately money. The website at www.energy.gov lists the tax credits, rebates and other savings for which businesses could be eligible by promoting energy efficiency. The website also offers resources for  more energy savings tools.

Offering a work environment that’s energy efficient aligns with consumer and employee values. This green advantage puts you ahead of the competition with clients and shows employees you value the environment, which in turn generates high morale. High morale translates to a boost in productivity, loyalty and innovation, allowing your organization to retain creative employees as well as attract  prospects.

Since it’s likely more regulatory constraints on emissions and energy use will be implemented, having an energy efficient plan in place shows your organization is proactive and puts you ahead of the competition.

Green practices play an essential role in good business practices. Applying ecological processes to your organization creates a healthy environment for employees, reduces waste and recognizes the role businesses play in paving the way for change.