4 Ways to Upgrade Your Sustainable Office On A Budget October 29, 2015 | Kelia Cowan

Sometimes, the demands of the office can seem overwhelming. With ever-tightening budgets and increasing demand for new amenities, operations managers are constantly being asked to provide more with less. Balancing these two commands is never easy.

Upgrading commercial spaces – well, any space – can be costly. The best amenities have a high price tag, and the value is not always easy to see. Without the ability to track or prove value in investments, the likelihood of agreeing upon amenity upgrades is low.

However, some solutions offer great advances without these challenges. Here are four ways to engage the office with sustainability amenities – without breaking the bank:

Create Comfortable Tenant Spaces

Lately there’s been a debate about women being cold more frequently in the office. Until experts are still sorting out the validity of this argument, you can take charge of your office by adjusting the thermostat. By increasing the setting in the summer, you can save 1-3% on your energy bills per degree Fahrenheit. Simultaneously, the ladies of the office will be happier. Increase the energy savings by using natural light to your advantage in the winter and blocking it out in the summer.

Add Interactive Sustainability Projects

Office managers shouldn’t be the only tenants taking charge of energy consumption. Engage the rest of the office with sustainability competitions. Perhaps each floor or department can compete for the greatest energy consumption reduction, or the greatest waste diversion through recycling and composting. Choose a project that fits your office and culture!

Use Better Energy Monitoring

We’re so used to receiving a monthly or quarterly utility bill that we don’t realize there are better solutions. Real-time energy monitoring provides transparency to consumption every second to help identify where and when we consume the most energy. By submetering your space, you’ll be able to see where you’re consuming the most energy and make operational adjustments to address these issues. On average, commercial spaces can reduce energy consumption and costs by 20-30%. Selecting a system for your needs is paramount; the best solutions are non-invasive, web-enabled, and will payback in 6-12 months. Then, you can sit back and enjoy the energy savings.

Run The Office Efficiently

How efficiently are you running your space? Even simple fixes, like changing lights to LED bulbs, can help reduce energy consumption. Many cities offer commercial recycling programs that can drastically reduce the waste your office generates. Perhaps you’ll want to take it a step further by composting. Try using fans instead of air conditioning during the hot summer months. Understand your consumption to reduce the flow of energy and materials; you’ll reduce your operating expenses while increasing your energy efficiency!

Easy green office solutions don’t need to come at a high capital investment. In fact, amenities like real-time energy monitoring actually provide cost savings and reduced operating expenses. Better office space, reduced environmental impact, and happier colleagues – why not realize the benefits of upgrading your sustainability?


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About The Author As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Aquicore, Kelia Cowan manages the company’s content and events, including the company blog, social media channels, resources, email marketing campaigns, webinars, and conferences. Simultaneously, she fields questions on how to “properly” pronounce her name. Previously, Kelia was the Marketing and Communications Fellow at Cleantech Open Northeast, where she focused on digital content and event coordination. As an undergraduate student, she worked in various communication roles at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, and Energy Excelerator. Kelia left the paradise of Honolulu, Hawai’i, to attain a B.S. in Journalism and a B.A. in Environmental Analysis & Policy from Boston University.