André Fonseca, CEO of Zypho, discusses the different ways that technology can help reduce the impact your workplace has on the environment
Around the world, environmental concerns are at an all-time high, particularly amongst young people, and leaders want to ensure that they reduce their environmental impact of their workplace.
Here are some of the most promising solutions to help reduce the environmental impact of your workplace and your home:
When people think of environmental impact, they often think of energy use. There has been a big push towards finding renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, and I encourage switching to a renewable energy supplier. Having a policy of swapping out light bulbs for energy-efficient LED bulbs, for example, is useful. The cost of solar panels has fallen, and efficiency improved, so this is an option to consider.
What if every window in your building could generate energy? With solar glass, windows will become solar panels. While still transparent, they trap the sun’s rays, generating free, renewable energy for your office. While the transparent nature of solar windows reduces their efficiency, teams are working to improve the efficiency to 15%. This may not sound a lot, but with billions of square meters of glass windows in the UK alone, even 15% could generate all the energy the nation needs!
One area where we’re particularly wasteful is in lighting – e.g. leaving lights on when we’re out of the office. Smart switches help combat unnecessary energy usage, switching lights off when unneeded. They use a combination of automation tools – such as motion sensing and programmable timers – to automatically turn lights off when they’re not being used.
Heat is energy, and heat loss both wastes energy and warms the environment. Of course, using modern insulating materials and double-glazed windows is essential. However, there are also some new ways of recapturing heat energy, reducing environmental impact which you could research.
The amount of fresh drinking water available is rapidly declining. If your workplace happens to have high water usage you’ll want to look at your manufacturing processes to see where this can be reduced.
Yes, the planet may be heating up at an unprecedented rate, and action is needed by national governments. However, as workplace leaders, we can still make a huge impact by being more careful with our energy, heat and water use, and doing everything we can to reduce this. For example, your workplace could cut your non-renewable energy usage to zero, and reduce the amount of water used.
By adopting the types of technologies discussed here your office can significantly reduce its environmental impact and keep your costs down – and that’s a plus for everyone!