“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” ~Thomas Edison (1847–1931)
As established by the above quote of the esteemed scientist and inventor Thomas Edison ‘going green’ is hardly a new concept but rather just one that fell by the wayside by those that inhabit the earth.
It is never too late though to lament the importance of having a sustainability policy introduced into ongoing businesses of any caliber, no matter whether the company is service oriented or in the manufacturing industry, retail or food supply. Green serves its purpose in every business.
By developing, maintaining and implementing a sustainability policy (often referred to as adopting a green environment) businesses are telling both their clients and their employees that they are doing their part to help maintain the planet and its resources. Naturally, the residual effect of being proactive by implementing a policy of this type creates a culture of caring, commitment, and a willingness to go beyond regulations for the sake of both the interior and exterior environment.
What is a Sustainability/Green Policy and how easy will it be to develop and adhere to?
Developing a green policy does not necessarily have to be a several hundred page document. Often companies will include their employees on the improvement of their personal space and solicit ideas as to how the company may improve their green footprint.
By including the employees in the accumulation of ideas the company is at the same time creating an environmentally conscious atmosphere. The likelihood of adhering and administering the concepts are made that much easier. Create a green team!
By informing the company’s customers about the way the business is run (conscientious, corporate responsible, positive media coverage) the company gains rank over those who are not. The act itself says what kind of service/product the consumer can expect.
Fact: A whopping eighty-six percent of all large companies now have at least one person dedicated to sustainability! This astounding percentage translates to the fact that to be competitive it is imperative for a company to take a green initiative.
The policy can include the following for a cleaner more efficient indoor environment:
- Switch lighting to LED, use natural light when possible and occupancy sensors to automatic control upon entering or leaving the rooms (this and other suggestions on this list will eventually equate to lower operating costs).
- Low VOC materials for improved air quality.
- ENERGY STAR® qualified HVAC equipment.
- Use timers for air/heat conditioning units.
- Ensure windows that are exposed to direct sunlight for hours during the day are equipped with a sunscreen film.
- Reduce – move to a paperless workplace (Cloud documents and sharing, email billing etc.)
- Reuse – any paper that is placed in recycling can be cut and stapled for note paper.
- Recycle – any paper product or organic products.
- Encourage the use of public transportation, bikes, walking and car pooling (supplement bus passes, provide bike racks, have a car pooling sign-up sheet).
- Conserve water by installing water-saving fixtures.
- Decorate with live plants wherever possible.
- Introduce non-toxic cleaning products.
In all it is worth the extra effort to implement a sustainability policy no matter what sized business or what the business entails. The savvy customer will notice the changes and reward the accomplishment of sound business sense.