If you live in or around Ottawa, you won’t be surprised to hear that the weather we’ve been experiencing lately is breaking records, both in unseasonably low temperatures and snow dumps. And, this isn’t the first time either! The weather has been continuing to surprise us for several years now, from tornadoes to ice storms. These direct weather experiences are constant reminders that we need to respect our planet.
When it comes to living greener lifestyles, it’s natural (hopefully!) for us to think about how to change our personal home and lifestyle habits. However, there’s an opportunity to make a much larger impact when we apply this mindset to our businesses too. In April, this year, the Government of Canada released research stating that Canada’s industries are contributing to 40 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Compare this to 11 per cent of emissions coming from homes and buildings. This dramatically larger ratio is an opportunity for business owners to step up.
Long-term thinking is the key. With public expectations on the rise for businesses to demonstrate environmental sensitivity combined with a legitimate need for everyone to take better care of our planet, the urgency to make significant changes is also increasing. It’s no longer just a nice-to-have for businesses to “go green,” it’s becoming vital to brand reputation. While the initial costs must be considered, the long-term benefits – in energy savings and reduced environmental footprint – make them a worthwhile investment.
Thankfully, there are many practical ways to evolve your business operations, ranging from simple to complex and depending on the readiness for your business. No matter what changes you decide to make, the important part is the progression towards a more sustainable future.
4 Practical Ways to “Go Green” With Your Business:
1) Change Corporate Heating & Cooling Habits
Make it a mission among all employees to avoid turning up the thermostat during colder months and to limit the use of air conditioning in the summer months. Brainstorm ways to stay comfortable without adjusting your heating and cooling system.
2) Leverage LED Lighting (& Natural Light)
On average, artificial lighting consumes 40 per cent of all electricity usage in a typical office building. To reduce this, convert all of your lighting to LEDs both inside and outside of your office building. LEDs have a much longer lifespan than incandescent and HIDs, and they are exceptionally energy efficient. Then, wherever possible, open up blinds to allow natural light to flood in. If daylight is enough, you can keep the lights off.
3) Support Sustainable Transportation
Since transportation accounts for 25 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, changes to how your employees commute to work can make a huge difference. Depending on the demographics and needs of your employees, this could mean installing bike racks or installing electric vehicle charging stations. If your business has company vehicles, consider also converting those to electric.
4) Automate, Automate, Automate
Now you can set it and forget it! Many options for building automation systems are available to help eliminate the ongoing manual efforts needed to make your building more energy efficient. These systems can automatically adjust heating, lighting and ventilation using timers and motion sensors. Over time, they will significantly reduce a building’s emissions and energy costs.
Determining the best long-term sustainability plan for your business can be both challenging and overwhelming. At Envari, we seek to make this a rewarding process, helping business owners achieve quick and long-term wins in energy efficiency and innovation. To learn more about Envari’s services, visit www.envari.com.