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Savings Guide

The academy of shared ideas: greening your office

When we talk about networking in business, we’re usually extremely selfish about it. Networking is usually a way to get a job, find a new hire, or get new business. Sometimes we can be a little selfless in our networking – finding someone else a job, or offering the benefit of our experience pro bono to people trying to start their own careers or businesses. But essentially we all use the awesome power of social networking platforms like LinkedIn in order to further our careers and businesses.

Networking to Reduce Energy Usage

And there’s nothing wrong with that! Everything in this life is about balance. If everyone stopped worrying about their career in order to worry about the world, nothing would get done and it would be a disaster.

Still, we live in an age where the awesome power of the Internet gives us the ability to have conversations previously impossible – casual, idea-swapping conversations with people from other cultures and other countries, all around the world. One way this could be leveraged to immense benefit for all mankind is if companies and workers used social media platforms to swap ideas about being more energy efficient in the office. Whether it’s as simple as installing an EcoSwitch in every copy room or tips on choosing the most power saving architectural designs for your new space, this could be the beginning of a truly global movement to make the world more environmentally friendly, led by the people who are actively building the world we live in: The business leaders.

Power Saving Ideas for the Office

Because we believe in putting our money where our mouth is, we’ll kick off the ideas. We encourage everyone reading this to steal them, take credit for them, and swap them with peers around the world.

Lighting. It’s not just about replacing light bulbs with more energy-efficient models – although that’s the obvious place to start. Perform a ‘lighting review’ of the office and identify areas where light is simply wasted. Installing a motion-activated light switch in places like the copy room, the storage closet, and unused conference rooms and offices can have a huge impact on the power consumption in your office every day.

Climate Control. Offices around the world have different challenges: Some are in boiling hot areas, some in freezing areas. You can’t please all of the employees no matter what you do, so the most efficient thing to do is have the temperature controlled by management, and set to an efficient level. Remember that windows that let in the sun will naturally warm up a space – so curtains can cool it down. Remember that it will always be cooler first thing in the morning before all those bodies show up to generate heat, so don’t rush to turn down the air conditioning when it’s chilly in the morning – going up and down will stress the climate control and make it run inefficiently.

Equipment. Have everyone in the office shutdown their computers when they leave, and have them all connected to a standby power saver like an EcoSwitch, to kill all juice when the day is over. Some employees like the convenience of not having to wait for their computer to boot up in the morning, but this is a huge waste of power for a small convenience.

When it comes time to renew equipment in the office, create a committee whose purpose it is to investigate the environmental options that might exist. Are there energy efficient versions of the machines you need? Are there alternatives to chemicals or other resources like copy toner or ink that you can switch to? Can you source your office supplies from local suppliers who won’t have to waste petrol and pollution to truck everything to you? Having things supplied locally as much as possible is one of the simplest ways to make your office less wasteful, and hardly anyone will notice the difference.

The key here is to trade these ideas, and when you receive a great idea in return, pay it forward and get it out there. Even if you personally can’t implement it for some reason, there may be someone in your social network who can – so spread the wealth.