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Businesses 'must be open to suggestions on energy efficiency'

Businesses 'must be open to suggestions on energy efficiency'

Businesses 'must be open to suggestions on energy efficiency'

Energy efficiency is becoming an increasingly important goal for many modern businesses.

It can deliver some big benefits, such as reducing office costs, helping the environment and staying in compliance with the latest rules and regulations from the government.

If making major, company-wide changes to enhance energy efficiency seems like a daunting endeavour, the best way to start could be by introducing smaller initiatives and encouraging new ways of thinking and behaving around the workplace.

Changes in behaviour need to start at the top, with business directors and senior office managers setting a good example that junior managers, team members and new recruits can follow.

According to Laura Croisdale, group quality and environmental officer at Encore Packaging Solutions, one of the most positive characteristics that companies can promote is openness to communication and suggestions.

She recommended establishing an open forum where employees can contribute their opinions and give feedback on workplace schemes and issues.

This will give office managers an insight into the mood of the workforce and could give rise to renewed efforts on efficiency and the environment.

Writing on Bdaily, Ms Croisdale offered a number of pieces of advice for improving office energy to mark World Environment Day on June 5th, the United Nations' most important occasion for encouraging environmental awareness and action.

She said: "We all have a duty of care when it comes to the environment, but it can be all too easy to put off making a change. I hope my tips show how easy it is for a small change to make a big impact which, while benefitting the environment, can also cut overheads in the office."

As well as encouraging positive attitudes and practices around the office, businesses that are willing to invest in their energy efficiency drive can make more tangible changes, which could deliver sufficient savings to repay the investment.

Ms Croisdale pointed out that installing motion sensors could help companies cut back one of their biggest costs: lighting.

These devices work by simply switching off lights when a room is empty, addressing the common but potentially costly problem of people leaving lights on when vacating a room.

Another big cost issue and environmental concern for many businesses is how efficiently their premises are heated.

It is not uncommon for heating to be left on when it isn't needed, or for temperatures to be set at the wrong level for the time of year. As well as being inefficient, this can lead to discomfort in the office, which has an impact on productivity and staff morale.

One possible solution to this problem is setting and locking heating controls at the start of each season, which could cut down on unnecessary costs and make the workplace a much more comfortable place to be.

As well as looking at their internal practices and procedures, businesses should evaluate their external partners and contractors when conducting an energy efficiency review.

If you work with outside cleaning companies, caterers or delivery firms, for example, find out as much as you can about their green credentials and if they have sought to improve their own environmental performance.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock / Cathy Yeulet