Cut costs, save energy and streamline office functions with Quick Wins

Ten simple solutions are all offices need in order to streamline their daily functions, cut costs, and save energy according to a new strategy developed by SUSTAIN Lincolnshire titled Ten Quick Wins.

Even well managed companies can improve their spending and improve efficiency by tying out the opportunities that have been tested and tried to help reduce overall office resource consumption.

The ‘Ten Quick Wins’ strategy was developed by SUSTAIN Lincolnshire’s Sam JOens and looks closely at how office businesses can reduce the amount of energy they use on a regular basis.  Among its suggestions are easy quick tips that will show promising results within the month.  In addition, each of the ‘wins’ will also help a business reduce its carbon footprint making it an environmentally friendly solution as well.

10 QUICK WINS

Reduce electricity consumption

1. Check buildings have adequate insulation and draft proofing.

2. Are you overheating or cooling your office? Generally offices shouldn’t be heated above 20 degrees C or cooled below 24 degrees C. Reducing the temperate of a room by one degree can reduce the heating bill by as much as 10 per cent.

3. Consider electricity consumption when purchasing new equipment. Look out for equipment meeting recognised energy efficiency standards such as Energy Star or TCO. As a guide: laptops generally use less energy than desk top computers. Flat screen monitors use less energy than older CRT monitors. Ensure electrical equipment has power down modes activated and is switched off overnight and when not in use.

Lighting: compact lamps and slimline tubes are more efficient that older incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes.

Reduce water consumption

4. Push button taps in washrooms ensure taps aren’t accidentally left on. Water displacement devices can reduce flush volumes in toilets and may be available free of charge from your water company.

Reduce paper consumption

5. The average office worker uses up to 100 sheets of paper a day and half of the waste produced is paper based. Encourage staff to think twice before printing. Set printers and copiers to default to double sided.

Check your bins

6. Recycle. Paper, printer and toner cartridges, mobile phones, batteries and IT waste can be routinely recycled. Place recycling bins next to each photocopier and printer. Keep confidential waste separate for shredding. For unwanted office furniture make the most of local waste exchanges. These free online services match up donations with requirements allowing one company’s waste to become another’s raw material.

Buy more sustainable products

7. Look for products such as stationery with eco labels such as FSC certification or Energy Star.

Green travel plans

8.  Develop and implement a green travel plan and encourage staff to minimise the need for travel – by telephone conferencing for example – and to car share.

Identify an office environmental champion

9. Identify an office environmental champion who is committed and has the support of senior management. Run an awareness campaign. Use promotional materials. Provide feedback on the impact of the campaign.

Monitor and record your own performance

10. Benchmark your own performance and try to become a ‘best practice’ office. Envirowise publish a range of environmental key performance indicators ie paper use per person. Use this to measure your performance.

SUSTAIN Lincolnshire offers free support to help small and medium sized businesses introduce environment management systems. Energy consultants work with qualifying companies to identify areas where they can save money through reduced energy consumption with the knock on effect of a reduced environmental impact.