Creating the Greenest Office

Posted by Shuyu Feng

As more businesses are growing now, there is a higher need for creating an office space. A lot of people do not realize that the real cost of creating an office space, and most of those costs can be avoided through sustainable practices. One of the most significant costs is the cost of operating office equipment and maintaining them.

According to an Australian government article, a photocopier for office intended usage would normally costs $4000 to buy. And they usually have a life of two million copies, which is about seven years on average. This type of photocopier would consume about a cost of $1500 of electricity, $24000 of paper, and $15000 of toner. The greenhouse gas emissions from using and maintaining this photocopier by supplying its energy to providing paper source could exceed 80 tons of carbon dioxide. With this tremendous cost in mind, would you still want to buy this photocopier? Probably not.

As businesses realize how much equipment costs they have as they look at the balance sheet at the end of year, companies should start consider purchasing more green equipment for use in the future. A lot of manufacturers of office equipment are now creating more environmental friendly products in fit of consumers’ desire. An important driving force behind this trend has been the Energy Star program which EPA started back in 1992. Manufacturers are able to display the Energy Star logo if equipments met certain energy efficiency standards. With this in mind, companies will be able to buy greener equipments easily.

By purchasing Energy Star equipment, companies can reduce both the financial and environmental costs. For example, if you purchased an energy-efficient photocopier that is designed to work with recycled paper and refillable toner cartridges, and the power save mode, that will reduce electricity by up to 80%. All equipments in the office should also be set on power save mode when they are not in used as well. Also, companies should be considering using renewable power which will strong demonstrate their commitment to the environment. It will also enable businesses to use its green power logo for marketing reason as well. So businesses will look good to the public, it works perfectly!

Creating your office with an energy efficient and environmental friendly place not only reduce pollutions, it also keeps more trees alive, and give you the opportunity of doing something grateful for the beautiful environment around you. Have workshops and involve your staffs in contributing green practices in the office because a lot of people often use equipment in what they believe is a environmental friendly way. But instead they are doing the opposite. Below I will share some myths and realities.

Screen savers save energy.
Screen savers wastes energy because most computers use twice as much energy lighting up the screen as they use for processing. If you wanted to save energy, set your screen saver to “none” today.

Printing double-sided and recycled papers causes photocopier to jam and makes you use more paper.
This kind of experience can be avoidable. With modern green equipments, you just have to make sure that manufacturers guarantee the effectiveness of equipment in those areas. Suppliers will specify the brands of recycled paper they approve as well on the box.

Turning off computers crashes the hard drive.
Switching off computers will have NO significant effect on the life of the hard drive. A lot of manufacturers specify the life of 10,000 power cycle for hard drives today. That is equivalent to 30 shut down/start cycles for every working day over five years of period.

So don’t be fooled by some of the common myths about energy efficiency, start being smarter today by switching to green equipments and renewable power usage. Help the environment and help yourself!