Everything you do in business has, at its root, a single goal: to generate a profit. This may seem counterintuitive when you’re spending money, but you have to spend money to make money, so any funding that goes towards improving your business or securing the goods and services needed to move you forward can be considered a calculated expenditure. Even some costs that seem to have no direct return on investment can fit this model. Say, for example, that you donate to charity or volunteer within the local community. This could help to raise awareness of your existence amongst consumers and improve your brand image, thus bringing in more business. However, it is helpful to be able to quantify the return from the money you spend. So when it comes to green renovations around the office you’d no doubt like a way to measure whether or not your efforts have been effective.
A good place to begin the process is with an assessment of your current office environment. Unless you know what your use and expense are to begin with you cannot determine the effectiveness of any changes made down the line. And this process can also inform you of where waste is occurring so that you have a springboard when it comes to focusing your efforts. For example, deciding to go paperless within an office setting could certainly save you some money on office supplies, but you wouldn’t know how much unless you had initial figures to base any rate of change on. And you’d also need to consider how much energy you’re using to house electronic files before and after the switch in order to make an honest assessment. So the process should definitely start here.
Of course, you’re probably going to need a little outside help. Although you can certainly track and analyze your own expenses to see how they change over time, you might have more difficulty figuring out the relative environmental benefit of green renovations, especially if multiple renovations meet the same goals in terms of conserving water, energy, and so on. For example, installing double-paned glass and a new Energy Star HVAC system may both help to cut your costs for heating and air conditioning, but one could be far more effective than the other. How can you tell which is more valuable? In truth, you may have to simply appreciate the fact that they’re both cutting your carbon footprint and your utility bill if you make these changes concurrently. Of course, you can still track the overall impact over time in a couple of ways.
The easiest method of measuring the effectiveness of green renovations is to use your utility bills, which will provide a record of consumption both before and after renovations. But you might also consider a monitoring system. Many jack into your electrical systems and deliver information about your levels of usage to a hub. Some even send the data to a computer system that interprets the readings. While you might not have access to such information at the time of your pre-approved mortgage for the property, the right green upgrades can help you to make the most of any building your business ends up in. And when you’re able to measure the effectiveness of your green renovations you can better determine how to proceed with your eco-friendly budget in the future.