In other words, greening the workplace is a marathon, not a sprint.
Starting today, we’re going to use this blog space to periodically zero in on a few ideas at a time. Today’s installment focuses on three S’s: stationery, screensavers and suits. Disparate elements, yes, but with two things in common: better environmental practice and savings.
Screensavers next. Why do we bother with them? Seriously, why? Why not just turn off the computer when done and stop wasting electricity on something no one looks at anyway? The University of New Hampshire analyzed this once and discovered that if an organization has 5,000 PCs that run screensavers 20 hours a week, the annual power consumed by those screensavers “accounts for emissions of 750,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, 5,858 pounds of sulfur oxide, and 1,544 pounds of nitrogen oxide.” Now let’s scale that down for smaller offices. According to Harvard Green Campus, one desktop computer left on for one year can result in more than 1,500 pounds of CO2 released into the atmosphere. The number of trees needed to offset that amount? One hundred to 500.
And finally, suits. Do your employees typically wear suits to work? Is it possible to implement a business casual dress code for at least part of the week? If so, your employees would wear fewer suits, which in turn would mean fewer trips to the dry cleaners. This is good for the environment and your employees’ health, as one of the more common ingredients, perchloroethylene, or “perc,” is classified by the EPA and the National Academy of Sciences as a “likely human carcinogen.” And, it’s good for your employees’ finances.
As you make smart financial business decisions, make smart environmental decisions too. Greening your workplace is good for you, good for your business and good for the environment.