Improve the Company’s Bottom Line by Greening the Office Space
In business, “going green” is more than a clever marketing slogan: it’s a way of acting responsibly toward your customers, employees, the environment and your balance sheet. Jode Roberts, Communications Director of the David Suzuki Foundation, a Vancouver-based environmental awareness organization says greening your workplace is one of the best ways to improve your company’s bottom line. Greening the office space has limitless possibilities – it starts with good furniture, good lighting, good air and a little common sense.
Refurbished office cubicles are an eco-friendly solution for businesses of any size. ROSI’s remanufactured Haworth cubicles are environmentally friendly because they are made with sustainable materials and recycled core components. Additionally, you’ll find manufactures such as Herman-Miller or Steelcase who have adopted the Cradle-to-Cradle protocol for many of their office chairs, featuring products the are designed at the outset to be recycled at the end of their usable life. Waste and potentially harmful materials are eliminated through smart design at the beginning, providing for raw materials that can be easily fed back into either a technical or biological cycle and used for the same or other purposes.
Artificial lighting represents nearly 40 percent of electricity consumption in a typical office building. While incandescent bulbs should be replaced with compact fluorescents at a minimum, it’s easier than ever to find a large selection of high-end LED office desk lamps that use minuscule amounts of energy. What’s even better – open the blinds and let daylight in wherever possible. Not only is natural daylight a free source of lighting for the office, it has been proven to improve worker productivity and satisfaction. And of course, don’t leave the lights on at night when everybody is gone.
Workspace air quality is also crucial. Good ventilation and low-VOC paints and materials (including carpeting) will keep employees healthy. Plus, you can literally green your office with a selection of plants. They absorb airborne pollutants and CO2 while returning oxygen. Having some green plants in the office also reduces that “sterile” look, making it more comfortable for everybody.
The drive to and from work can be long and tiresome, not to mention add to the world’s pollution levels. Using common sense can go a long way to helping the environment by cutting time and energy spent on the roads by telecommuting instead. Instant messaging, video conferencing and other innovative workflow tools make effective telecommuting easy. It will save you the time you would have spent on the roads as well as sparing the air we breathe. And, as a bonus, business casual = pajamas or sweatpants!
As we approach Earth Day – April 22nd – take some time to think about what environmentally beneficial changes you can make to your office. The companies that take the time to make their offices “greener” will make a big impact to the environment…and to the company’s pocketbook.