Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Training employees to go green in the office

Going green in the office is more than just a trend. By improving the energy efficiency of office buildings, businesses can save money on pricey electric bills and protect the earth’s precious resources.

“Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 50 percent of energy consumption nationwide,” according to the EPA.

Because it’s where workers spend a large portion of their day, the American workplace is where people can make the largest impact by going green. Training employees to reduce waste office waste can take time, but with a little help you can get everyone on board and involved.

With most people already doing their part at home to save energy, the EPA encourages people to “Bring their Green to Work” with their latest online tool called Energy Star @ Work.

Revealed earlier this month, Energy Star @ Work provides people with valuable tips and information on how workers can save energy and do their part to protect the environment in the workplace.

Start a green movement in your office

Get employees to go green at the office and get involved by setting up green teams dedicated to the cause. With management’s approval, encourage coworkers from different levels and areas of your organization to get involved in the green movement. Forming a diversified team from all levels in the company will ensure greater support and success.

Hold green team meetings to discuss what areas of the business are the least energy efficient and what can be done to make improvements. Raise awareness throughout the office with emails, fliers and posters with information on how the business is going green and what they can do to help.

October is Energy Awareness Month and a perfect time to hold a green event in the office to get everyone excited and aware of the green team’s efforts. Get employees involved and informed by holding a brown bag luncheon with a featured in-house or outside expert to speak about ways to save energy in the office.

Another way to get employees involved in the company’s green efforts is to set up competitions. Divide employees by department or by Green Teams and start a competition to see who can be the most green in the office.

Hand out environmentally friendly prizes like reusable water bottles or coffee mugs to the teams that show the biggest improvements. Remember to publicly recognize teams for their energy efficient changes in company newsletters or at quarterly meetings.

Going green in the office doesn’t have to be difficult. With the support of upper management, involved employees and a little office camaraderie, your company can start doing its part to conserve energy and cut down on greenhouse gasses. It could be as simple as finding energy efficient office supplies or changing the posters on your walls, that could get your office started today.

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