Everybody wants to reduce their carbon footprint these days, and for good reason. Companies are catering to a demographic that is continually more concerned about the environment – both for their own health and for the health of the environment. A lot of the changes that can be made to acheive these concerns and ambitions are easily achievable, and can save money. BOMA realeased their Top Ten list of ways commercial real estate professionals can “Green” their environment. They are:
- Measure and Manage. Benchmark energy and water consumption through ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager.
- Audit Yourself. Perform regular energy audits to identify opportunities for cost-effective energy reductions. Remember to perform midnight evaluations to make sure lighting and HVAC aren’t running when the building is unoccupied.
- Get the Word Out. Institute a Tenant Energy Awareness Program – use your company newsletter and/or building announcements to keep tenants informed about energy management goals and how they can help. Provide them with energy savings tips.
- Become Enlightened. Replace incandescent lights with CFLs, which use less energy, have a longer lamp life and produce less heat.
- Go Low Flow. Install low-flow/flush fixtures and hands-free fixtures in restrooms.
- Don’t Forget Electronics. Hold an e-waste day and collect old printers, computers and electronics for recycling.
- Use Sensors. Install occupancy sensors and photo sensors that monitor daylight. Occupancy sensors also work for HVAC controls.
- Be Shady. Install solar shades to block heat.
- Encourage Eco-Friendly Transportation. Install bicycle racks and electronic vehicle chargers.
- Improve IAQ. Use high-efficiency HVAC filters – and change them often. Use low-VOC paints, sealants and adhesives for building improvements.
Some of these ideas are easier, and more cost effective, to accomplish than others, but its never to late to start, and the earlier you start the more money you should be able to save.