For many companies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions benefits the bottom line because efficient practices reduce operating costs and help increase employee productivity. In fact, a majority of U.S. workers would be more satisfied in a job where they can make a social or environmental impact on the world. A recent study shows millennials especially see businesses as potential partners in helping them make the world a better place.
Plenty of opportunities to save energy and enhance your workplace experience exist. No matter your title or role, you can help make your workplace a little greener and reduce emissions that are contributing to climate change.
Managing office equipment
According to the EPA, over 1.5 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions would be saved if every office product purchased in the U.S. was ENERGY STAR certified. That’s comparable to taking 158,000 cars off the road and worth more than $117 million in yearly energy costs! If you’re interested in promoting efficiency in your office, check out ENERGY STAR’s 6 ways to reduce IT energy costs, which offers ideas for easy changes and bigger, more organization-wide suggestions.
Purchasing office equipment
If you are responsible for buying supplies and equipment for your office, you can get the features and performance you want and still help reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Look for ENERGY STAR computers, copiers, printers, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, appliances and more. The savings can be dramatic; an ENERGY STAR computer uses 30-65 percent less electricity than other computers. In fact, if all computers sold in the U.S. were certified, the efficiency would save $1 billion in annual energy costs and have emissions benefits equal to taking 1.4 million vehicles off the road.
To learn more about purchasing options, check out the New American Dream’s Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN), which offers helpful guidance on buying paper, office electronics, vehicles, and many other products.
Waste reduction makes good business sense because it can save your organization money through reduced purchasing and waste disposal costs.
A great place to start is the office kitchen, which is often a major source of waste. Easy ways to cut waste include:
- Using reusable coffee mugs, glasses, plates, and silverware.
- Purchasing compostable or high post-consumer waste content paper napkin and towel products.
- Replacing bottled water with a tap filter, such as Pur or Brita.
- Providing organic, Fair Trade coffee, tea, and cocoa. The Fair Trade organization prioritizes proper stewardship of natural resources and waste management practices for their farmers.
- Replacing appliances with new ENERGY STAR appliances.
Looking to accomplish even more? The Environmental Protection Agency offers resources to help companies and employees manage their solid wastes. Potential waste reduction activities include changing purchasing practices, reusing, recycling, composting and more.