Carbon footprint is the average amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that an office emits into the atmosphere. Ideally, the lesser the amount of CO2 emitted, the better the carbon footprint. But through the years, this idyllic has been constantly overlooked which resulted to the environmental problems that we experience today. In an effort to preserve the environment and bring back its former glory, organizations worldwide launched awareness campaigns to impede the ruin of the Earth. Many have positively responded as of date; and numerous offices globally are now collectively attuned with the conscious effort to reduce carbon footprint. Even some direct interventions implemented are almost uniform:
(1) The Use of Efficient Office Equipment
The use of electrical energy to run office equipment is directly associated with the emission of CO2. Choosing Energy Star Certified printers, scanners, and fax machines is a move in the right direction. Simply because Energy Star certified equipment on average uses only 30% – 75% less energy than similar office products. Using energy efficient office equipment limits the emission of CO2 and saves on energy use as well.
(2) Better Office Heating and Cooling
One way to lower heating or cooling costs is to seal the office effectively: to reduce the incidence of heat intake from the outside during summer and escape of hot air during the winter months. A leaking office wastes a lot of energy to maintain a comfortable environment. And when complimented with an energy efficient machinery gives the office a reasonable carbon footprint rating.
(3) The use of green alternatives for replacement consumables
Always be conscious when buying replacement consumables. For instance, in laser printers the OEM is not the exclusive replacement. Take note that a toner cartridge can be recycled up to three times without the print quality showing signs of deterioration. All that is needed is a compatible toner refill kit. Or perhaps get a remanufactured toner cartridge offered by dependable retailers. Remember that the use of recycled toner cartridges has low carbon footprint compared to the manufacture of OEM cartridges.
(4) Application of green solutions to the interior of the office
What makes an office appealing are the materials that are architecturally cozy to the interior. A large glass panel for example will not really be advisable when it faces direct sunlight. Only walls oriented north or south must be treated with large expanse of glass away from the harsh rays of the sun. Otherwise heat build-up due to direct sunlight will render the heating and cooling equipment irrelevant. This in turn raises the carbon footprint of the office since equipment will work double time to maintain a reasonable environment.
(5) Switch off all energy consuming devices at the end of office hours
Normal working hours in offices extends to only nine hours. Imagine the substantial reduction in carbon footprint when energy consuming devices are switched off on the remaining hours of the day. So much more is expected particularly on weekends.
(6) Limit Frequent Business Travels
Indirectly, frequent business travel increases the carbon footprint of the office. It is understandable because as employees travel, plane rides deliver substantial carbon footprint. Plus, travel expenses drain the finances of the office. The most practical way is to rely on video teleconferencing to monitor and iron out differences in the business, marketing or production processes.
Reducing the office carbon footprint considerably is a direct contribution to the lessening of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. And in the coming years, it can be expected that bigger efforts will be implemented to produce a greater positive effect in the environment.