While Earth Day may look a little different this year, with many sheltering in place, it provides a great opportunity to think about the future you want moving forward. Below we’ve provided some easy tips that may seem small but will make a significant impact on not only the health of our planet but the overall health of your business in the form of increased cost savings.
In a world that had to shift to digital abruptly, this may be easier than it seemed before. Instead of printing documents for edits, try file sharing, such as Google G Suite or SharePoint, which allows for the ability to share and track documents internally or externally with real-time updates. Need to send a proposal? Do it electronically! Numerous programs (such as Proposify, PandaDoc, etc.) allow for proposals to be created and sent digitally accepting any change and signatures. Ultimately speeding up the traditional process of having to print a document, hunt down the right signature, and scan it back in.
While companies scrambled to shift the majority of their operations to remote work, we can use this as an excellent reminder to incorporate this in your normal processes where applicable. Video conferencing solutions such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, and BlueJeans, continue to evolve to empower more robust remote work. As organizations work through defining their new normal, allowing specific teams or staggered schedules to incorporate telecommuting is a good way not only to get back on track but also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel consumption, and energy usage.
Overhead lighting eats up lots of electricity. Try space planning and office design around leveraging natural light. Motion sensor lighting also provides a foolproof way to ensure lights are being turned off when no one is in certain areas. Even just changing your light bulbs makes a huge difference. Building owners can save money and energy by installing ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). With this incentive, utility companies offer a specific dollar amount per light fixture that is switched to LED lighting, adding higher value to the overall building.
Eco-friendly Office Equipment
Plastics do not biodegrade; they slowly break down into smaller pieces of plastic called microplastics. It can take up to thousands of years for plastic bags and Styrofoam containers to decompose. In the meantime, it contaminates our soil and water. Not to mention the cost of having to supply these items continually. Instead of providing your team with plasticware, consider providing eco-friendly alternatives or reusable items (glass dishes, cups, silverware, etc.). Replace the paper towels in restrooms with hand dryers and change faucets to low-flow automatic options, which are hygiene and cost-friendly.
Check with your city to understand the right way to handle recycling within your office. If they do not coordinate pickups, designate an employee or a team to handle the recycling for your space. Place various bins within the office to make it easier for the team to recycle and, if possible, install trash compactors to ensure your waste is taking up less space in the landfills. When batteries and toner end up in landfill sites, chemicals may leak into the ground, which can cause soil and water pollution. Set up stations within the office to collect these items to ensure they are appropriately disposed of.
Team Friedman shares a passion for the environment and sustainability, which is why we’re proud to introduce our Green Team. While we’ve regularly been working toward reducing the carbon footprint of our portfolio, last year, we launched this team to better promote environmentally friendly practices in the workplace. While also encouraging employees, tenants, landlords, and owners to create, organize, and participate in green initiatives.