Employees are found to have a 26% improvement in cognition and 30% fewer absences, as well as a 6% increase in sleep quality
Making your office sustainable doesn’t just save money and help the environment, it can also improve employee performance. In green-certified offices, employees are found to have a 26% improvement in cognition and 30% fewer absences, as well as a 6% increase in sleep quality. Working to implement green systems and habits doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Fortunately, a number of simple and affordable sustainable practices are easy to adopt and make a big difference over time.
You may not realize it, but water waste can be a huge issue in the workplace. In fact, a leaky faucet with a drip rate of one drip every second wastes over 3,000 gallons every year. Leaks often occur within walls or below the building, which means wastewater often goes unnoticed. It’s therefore important to regularly check for leaky faucets and pipes and get them fixed as soon as possible to prevent water waste. Check your water meter to see if your usage is unusually high as this can indicate a leak. You can also encourage employees to save water by placing “turn it off” stickers around sinks; this reminds staff to be careful about how much water they use. Moreover, investing in touchless faucets and flushing devices can further help prevent water waste.
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Always switch off the office lights at the end of the working day. It’s also important to turn them off in rooms when they’re not being used. For example, you don’t necessarily need to keep the lights on in an office staff room or bathroom all day. You can also replace standard incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs last 10–20 times longer than incandescent or halogen bulbs and use 75% less energy while being just as powerful. Although these bulbs may be more expensive up front, you’ll save more money over the long term. It’s also beneficial to paint your walls in light shades with high gloss sheens to reflect the light; this means your building won’t require as much artificial lighting.
Sustainable Heating & Cooling
Implementing sustainable heating and cooling strategies will help you save energy as well as significantly lower your bills. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit to heat the office while occupied and to 78 degrees Fahrenheit for cooling. Those temperatures can be adjusted between 7 and 10 degrees as needed throughout the day depending on occupancy levels in order to maximize energy savings. It’s also important to get your air conditioning systems, heat pump, and furnaces regularly serviced to keep them in good working condition. In fact, replacing a dirty and clogged air conditioning filter with a new one can decrease your air conditioner’s energy consumption by anywhere between 5% to 15%.
Implementing sustainable systems and habits in your workplace will lower energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, and help the environment. Green water, lighting, and heating and cooling systems are easy to implement and make a huge impact over time.