With all the recent talk of the economy and the environment, I thought it would be relevant to look at some of the small things we, as individuals, can do to help our companies battle the economic downturn while saving our planet. Today, social responsibility is not only good PR, it makes good business sense. Here are some simple steps you can take to help your company go green while still keeping extra “green” in its pockets:
1. Unplug that printer. The average American uses approximately 700 pounds of paper a year. Imagine the cost savings of reducing paper consumption at the office, or even better, implementing a paperless office strategy. Simple strategies like replacing a traditional fax machine with a fax server and moving clients to electronic invoicing can cut operational costs and are better for the environment.
2. Shut down your desktop before heading out. Many companies have policies to leave personal computers (PCs) running all the time with no real justification. In fact, shutting down PCs overnight can reduce a company’s energy consumption by 10 percent—impacting its utility bill. Obviously, energy reduction strategies can go beyond the four walls of the office and have a real impact when strategically applied to the shop floor and other areas of production and distribution.
3. Cut back on traveling. One of the easiest ways to keep expenses down is to cut traveling to a minimum. Encouraging teleconferencing and Web conferencing is a cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Furthermore, applying similar cost-cutting measures to optimizing transportation and shipping methods is also a great way to reduce carbon emissions and bring your company’s costs down.
4. Bring your recycling habits from home to work. Social responsibility often gets lost when you leave your home and enter your place of work—evolving from something personal to a corporate obligation. The good news is that implementing and promoting regular habits of recycling and reuse in the workplace actually makes good business sense. In fact many organizations already have extensive strategies in incorporating recycled materials in the production of their goods.
5. Cut redundancies in your work. Oftentimes, we print multiple copies of reports that are reviewed and modified by multiple parties. Creating shared folders or a wiki can reduce the waste in redundant hard copies that are typically produced by e-mail attachments. Streamlining business processes and implementing lean principles are not only good business practices, but if implemented correctly, can help your company with its green initiatives.
In response to our readers’ thirst to understand how technology can address their green initiatives while still cutting costs, Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) has developed a Lean and Green Software Buyer’s Guide. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the challenges that companies are facing in light of the changes to the economy, as well as the pressures of “going green.” We’ll talk about some of the high-level changes your business can make, with a focus on operational efficiency, and on how lean and green practices can both lead to the same result: efficient and sustainable business.
Download TEC’s Lean and Green Manufacturing Buyer’s Guide now!
I believe that each of your points were identified identically and in the same sequence in a regular American publication to which I responded with some comments similar to the ones which are below.
I did comment on their blogsite about the topic of shutting down the desktop before leaving for home. I pointed out the following:
Many pcs have parameters set to limit system updates or virus scans to outside of working hours (it is a control panel setting), typically I have seen it defaulted to 3am. Therefore it is one reason while pc’s are left on overnight.
Some businesses provide laptops and support vpn access, but others support remote desktop. The reasoning for the latter is that the company expects you to be able to work from home, by using your home machine to access the office one, meaning that the office machine remains on overnight, safe from theft.
Last comment. In winter, the heat from the PC is used to displace the heat provided by the buildings heating plant. The winter energy saving benefits are essentially nil. It is only in summer when the benefits may occur.
By the way, if you really want to save electrical consumption, go back to using the old fashioned CRT. The typical CRT monitor consumes 20 watts or less, whereas the typical LCD display is more then double at around 65 watts per device. To get some benefit for those shops that use remote desktop, just make it a company policy to close the monitors for the night, all the while leaving the computer running.
Leslie, please provide a link to substantiate the implied accusation in the first paragraph of your comment. In the absence of such a link, I can only assume that your implied accusation is groundless, not to say malicious. Looking forward to hearing from you.