We loyally read the environmental news site, Environmental Leader, here at the office. I recently came across “Sustainability Mythbusters” a series of 6 articles provided by Schneider Electric’s Global Sustainability Services team. The series explores common misconceptions related to the topic of sustainability and presents a business case to “bust” each myth. In Part III, they address the myth that it’s too expensive for businesses to be sustainable, when in reality, it’s too expensive not to make change to be more sustainable.
At a time when budgets are tight, it can be daunting to think about investing in building renovations or products for building efficiency. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do if you don’t have a large scale plan in place. You can start implementing strategies that don’t require a major investment. See if you can identify how to reduce energy, water usage or waste at the office. Implement recycling programs and energy saving initiatives. Get both management and your occupants involved so everyone is working towards a more efficient building. Everyone can make a difference if they change their direct energy usage habits, including plug load usage from phones, tablets, lamps, computers, heaters, fans etc. If done effectively this can contribute to a more efficient building and cost savings will reflect that. Use this data to evaluate and consider investing in longer term strategies. The article states that up to 30% of utility costs can be reduced if you invest in better controlling automation and optimize consumption. Continue to implement short term goals while maintaining a longer outlook for the future and follow ROI in these changes.