Between driving to work everyday, using the computers, the lights, and other electronic communication, the office is a little bit like one giant carbon footprint squashing out the earth’s resources and contributing to global warming. While about 70% of businesses are making more “green” decisions and purchasing more products, the problem still remains. This is primarily because no matter how many green products we use and how much we try to carpool to work, we still have a lot of paper to toss out, computers to power and lights to turn on. Here are 5 energy conservation tips for the workplace.

  1. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them. Have you ever looked at a skyline at night – when people are safe and sound in bed? Chances are that many commercial and office buildings still have all their lots on, or at least most of them. This is because most businesses don’t even think about the energy waste that results from leaving the lights on. If this is the case, post warnings, dock sick days, get angry – do whatever you can so that employees shut off the lights at night.
  2. Streamline your systems so that you don’t have to rely on cooling so much equipment. Chances are that there is a room in your office or workplace that is just filled to the brim with wires and servers that make up the bulk of your companies main nerve center. Many businesses rely on heavy air conditioning to keep these rooms cool so that they don’t overheat. However, by switching your business to the cloud or using more streamlined systems, your business won’t have to rely on keeping these special IT centers refrigerator cold all year round, which can save both money and energy.
  3. Turn off all equipment at night. It might be wise to get a “sleep” function for all the equipment in your office. This will encourage employees to save their work and shut down their computers before they are automatically shut after people leave the office. Many people don’t shut down the computer because there are so many unsaved documents. However, if your business leaves all the computers, fax machines and printers on at night, this can be a huge waste of energy and money.
  4. Cut down the paper usage. Did you know that everything from memos to radius maps can be digitized and viewed online. Sometimes taking everything you did on paper and moving it online can be faster and more people can see the information in real time. For instance, instead of printing out a number of profit and loss sheets for the board to see, why not scan one and turn it into a PDF to be viewed on a slideshow or tablets.
  5. Cut down the energy in the kitchen. Most businesses leave the microwave, coffee machine and other office kitchen appliances on all the time. However, you can easily get more energy efficient appliances that turn off on their own and you might also want to get an instant hot water appliance for your sink so that you don’t need to keep blasting the boiler or kettle. It is the little things that count when it comes to energy efficiency in the workplace.