Environmental issues have never been so high on the agenda. And with financial pressures putting a persistent squeeze on the profits and salaries of businesses and individuals, the spotlight is now firmly fixed on saving energy and cutting costs.
Research shows that in the UK alone, commercial property contributes to around 18% of the UK’s carbon emissions. So business centres are facing a massive undertaking to make their buildings cleaner and greener. Some measures are quite straight forward to implement, but the real game-changers are the ones that take financial investment and a significant overhaul in day-to-day operations. But the benefits can be vast.
So why should business centres go green?
The real question is, why wouldn’t they? It could result in significant financial savings, a healthier workplace, a better image for your clients and of course, a lower impact on the environment. The more energy you save, the less you have to pay for. Talk about incentive! And going green can provide numerous PR opportunities too. Just look at Servcorp’s centre in Bangkok as one example.
Happily, sometimes even the smallest of changes can reap worthwhile rewards. Let’s take a look at some of the eco-friendly measures out there:
Free or Short-term Investment
– Educate tenants and staff: This is key. You’ll need to raise awareness and educate tenants on simple measures such as saving water (not leaving the tap running), keeping doors and windows closed when the heating or cooling is on, and turning machines off. Electricity still flows to a device after it has been switched off – so turn it off at the plug.
– Recycle: Invest in recycling bins and a regular collection. Place them around the building in areas of heavy traffic to encourage tenants to recycle their waste.
– Maintenance: Switch to energy-saving light bulbs where possible, and only use eco-friendly cleaning products.
– Refurbishment: The size and scale will depend on your budget, but ideally you should introduce better insulation measures for the ceiling and walls, install draught proofing, seal gaps and replace draughty doors or windows with double or triple-glazed glass.
– Commute: Install showers and bicycle storage to encourage tenants to walk, cycle or even jog to work.
– Energy-saving gadgets: Devices such as movement sensors will automatically switch off lights after a period of inactivity, helping to conserve electricity.
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Long-term or High Investment
– Self-generating power: Install renewable energy sources that generate their own power for the building, such as solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into usable power.
– Waste not: Any renovation works should ideally use locally produced or reclaimed materials, and construction waste should be recycled.
– Go natural: Install a living roof of organic matter to improve insulation. Harvest rainwater to irrigate the roof, which can also be used to water indoor plants and to flush toilets.
There are many more energy-saving and cost-cutting measures out there, which many thousands of business centres across the world are implementing in various forms.
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