Two common objections that are related to implementing a green initiative are the perceived cost barriers as well as the difficulty of clearing time to begin and maintain an ongoing sustainability program. Both are fair and understandable difficulties considering that all buildings must operate on a budget and that Property Managers are typically consumed by responding to tenant needs, cyclical reporting, and a host of other daily time-sensitive tasks.
Still, it’s evident that the momentum of the green movement continues to reach further in size and scope as well as breadth of interest. It’s no secret that many green systems and programs have proven to promote environmental responsibility and boost building performance while developing a unique tenant culture. But how does one start when operating on a slim budget of time and money? Take a look at some practical ideas that can get you working towards attaining higher levels of sustainability and performance that won’t kill the clock or break the bank.
1. Close interior doors and turn off air vents in unused office spaces. This should be a practical way to move towards more energy efficiency.
2. Promote the idea of turning off desk lights and computers, and monitors before leaving the office and during lunch. You can also let the night cleaning crew know that they should shut off all office and cubicle lights before leaving.
3. Try to fully utilize the natural daylight that shines through building common areas and offices by opening blinds etc., as much as possible. There’s no need to pay for light that the sun supplies for free!
4. Suggest tenants bring their coffee mugs to work to avoid discarding Styrofoam cups.
5. Send information electronically instead of printing out paper hard copies whenever possible.
6. Create a stack of scrap paper that, once used, can be printed on the opposite side when printing information for internal files etc. Use this same scrap paper for writing notes.
7. Encourage tenant carpools as well as present public transportation options. Some people may simply not know what public transportation is available to them that could significantly reduce their gas costs.
8. Have your janitorial company practice green cleaning by using only acceptable chemicals and paper products in your building. These days, most basic green cleaning programs don’t cost any more than those that use traditional chemicals and supplies.
9. Knowledge is power. Keep up with articles and suggestions in this newsletter as well as the many free internet resources that can help you on your way. While you’re at it, join the Green Committee! It’s remarkable what ideas can be shared by your peers as well as allied suppliers.
10. Share your information with others and keep the communication lines open with tenants in regards to your green achievements and goals. You could be surprised at the support and uniformity this creates.
Keep in mind that an effective green program should make environmental sense as well as business sense so good luck in creating and meeting your green goals for this year. Please share any other ideas and we’ll be happy to pass them along!