The world is a big place. From it, we have derived everything we, as a species has ever owned, sold, built, and demolished. And while the planet may seem (to some) capable of continuing to cater to our endless wants and desires, there is one question that eventually permeates the mind of every ecologically-inclined person: just how long can the earth sustain our voracious appetite for material possessions?
Thankfully, this sobering realization has also caught the attention of like-minded inventors, scientists, and heads of industry. The result: eco-friendly living and workspace solutions that are both great for the environment and the bottom line.
- Geothermal and Wind Power
There a number of benefits associated with retrofitting a business to run on clean, renewable power – not least of all the assurance that when the rest of the grid goes down, your employees and business will remain operational. While they may represent a hefty initial financial commitment, there is no arguing that over time, powering your office with geothermal (energy derived using the earth’s inner heat) or wind power will pay for the investment. Additionally, many jurisdictions provide financial incentives for businesses that make these sorts of transitions, and the goodwill generated with a buying public keen on the ideals of conservatism is not something to be understated.
- Waterless Urinals
From office buildings to stadiums, big box stores to convention centers, the popularity of waterless urinals continues to grow exponentially, more often than not replacing conventional bowls in high-end urban developments. Swapping out your old porcelain fixtures for the aforementioned model can save a business more than just the cost associated with thousands of flushs each and every year; their simplistic design can drastically reduce instances of reactive and costly drain repairs.
- Tankless Water Heaters
In an office environment, tankless water heaters are by far the superior choice over conventional water heating solutions and the reason is ridiculously simple: they don’t heat the water in off-peak hours when there is no one working. Instead, these systems rely on high-powered burners to quickly transfer heat to the water as it passes through a heat exchanger. While this may do little to appease the employee who has opted to stick around and burn the midnight oil, the benefit here is a dramatic increase in energy efficiency (tankless heaters have been found to be up to 22% more energy efficient than tank-based systems), which can significantly reduce your office’s carbon footprint.
- Monitor Your Existing System
Facility resource management is a key part of maintaining the day-to-day operations of any business. Depending on the size or age of your infrastructure, it may not be a practical solution to incorporate a state of the art water delivery system (this endeavour can quickly go from impractical to impossible if the business operates in a location that is protected by a heritage status). To that end, the installation of a water main monitoring system can alert the business owner to any degradation or catastrophic pipeline failures, ultimately preventing a copious amount of water from being wasted.
Monitoring systems are economically priced when compared to the cost of repairing excessive water damage and an interruption in operations, and while it may not have the same appeal as some of the other options on this list, they are nonetheless a vital component to the eco-friendliness of a business.
- Water Reclamation Systems
As the world’s water supply continues to be strained thanks to things like prolonged periods of severe drought and rising populations, more and more companies are investing in water reclamation systems.
The scarcity of humanity’s most universally required resource has many jurisdictions re-evaluating how homeowners and businesses are charged for the water they consume. As much as scarcity may increase the cost of water, opting for reclamation system can help to counter the rise in prices by allowing your business to clean and reuse the water you’ve already paid for. Think of water reclamation as having your very own on-site industrial water filtration system – depending on the nature of your business, having the ability to reuse water that you have already consumed can not only defray the rising costs, it also allows the business to be a part of the solution, rather than the problem.
- Intelligent Lighting Control Systems
These automated systems may be used to some degree in offices across the globe, and yet, they still haven’t been adopted as the universal standard in office lighting. Companies that use intelligent lighting do so with an aim to maximize energy efficiency and cost savings by incorporating an array of sensors capable of communicating with a centralized computing device – ensuring that a workspace is only illuminated when it is occupied.
While the most recognizable application associated with intelligent lighting is arguably its presence in public restrooms, intelligent lighting can be used to illuminate all manner of spaces that see relatively little use throughout the day.