There's no time like summer to ditch the tube and bike it into work. Once at the office there's no need for heating, and perhaps none for air conditioning either, if you open the windows and let in some fresh air. And since it’s not going to get dark at 4pm, you won't need to switch the office lights on either.
All this has a hugely positive impact on a company's sustainability agenda. Cycling reduces employees' carbon footprint travelling into work, and keeping the heating, AC and lighting off saves on an office's energy expenditure.
With sustainability engrained in Government and corporate legislation, it's worth boosting your green agenda by facilitating those energy-saving choices that employees can make.
Your firm may already be signed up to the Government's Cycle to Work scheme that allows employees to get a bike tax-free while also saving the company money. If you have a large number of people coming into work by bike, shower facilities, lockers to store cycling gear and bike racks are a must. There might be bike racks in roads near to the office, or use an easily accessible room for bikes to be stored in.
Working al fresco
With all the hot, dry weather (so long as the thunderstorms are limited) there is the opportunity for meetings to be taken out of the office. This will save on electricity used within the office. So convert any outdoor space your office has into a working area to give employees the option of working outside, in turn reducing the office's carbon footprint.
Be bright about light
Artificial lighting accounts for an estimated 44 per cent of the electricity used in an office. There should be enough daylight to cover the working day, so there shouldn't be any need for turning on the office lights. Remove any furniture blocking the windows and let the sun's natural rays light up the office.
There's an eternal source of fresh air available if you just open up the windows. If it’s too humid A/C might be the only option, but if there's a cool breeze out there just let the air do the cooling down. Consider investing in reflective window film that helps keep the heat outside.
Spread the word
The success of achieving sustainability goals often comes down to whether the right messages have been shared with staff. Include green tips in internal emails and put up posters encouraging people to make environmentally-friendly decisions. Why not go a step further and tell the world what you’re doing to make the planet a greener place?
- by Guenaelle Watson