“Going green” is a trend that is changing the behavior of individuals and the way companies engage in their daily activities. Running a “green” business means taking proactive steps to ensure that all of your operations are set up to conserve energy, reduce costs, as well as to reduce emissions that hurt the environment. If you are considering the benefits of increasing your energy efficiency, here are a few areas that can make a significant difference.

Switch To Energy Efficient Lighting

Many offices and factories still retain old lighting fixtures and light bulbs that use too much energy and don’t provide enough illumination for work tasks. Invest in new lighting that uses LED bulbs that last longer and provide good illumination for workers. Rooms that aren’t used frequently can be equipped with lighting that switches on and off automatically when the area is entered. Outdoor lighting can be changed to a more efficient solar-powered system.

Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling System

Your facility may have an HVAC system that has been in use for many years. These units tend to use excessive amounts of energy and waste your company’s money. Consider upgrading your system to a new, energy-efficient model that can provide a comfortable environment while saving money throughout the year.

Alter Your Equipment To Prevent Heat Loss

You should also do a thorough inspection of the equipment you use in your business to determine if excessive heat loss is occurring. This problem can cost your company thousands of dollars in energy costs throughout the year. Kilns, forges, ovens, furnaces and metalworking equipment can often be the source of heat loss and energy waste. Forge coating can help to insulate your heat-generating equipment to prevent heat loss and higher energy bills. A variety of different types of coatings are available for specific requirements. Consult with a coatings company for information about the right products for your needs.

Recycle Your Waste

You can encourage the recycling of paper, plastics, and other materials by putting up posters, reminding workers during meetings and providing leadership on this effort. Make sure bins are clearly marked to facilitate this effort and that instructions are clear about what can and cannot be recycled. You can also purchase recycled materials for daily use in office and shop areas, to reinforce the company’s commitment to using resources wisely to save money and reduce pollution. Computer paper, paper towels, shop towels, and recycled items in the lunchroom and bathroom areas can help to reduce waste and help protect the planet.

Implementing Energy-Efficient Transportation

Change your sales force vehicles and delivery vehicles to alternate fuel types to reduce fossil fuel use and toxic emissions. Over recent years, a variety of energy-efficient vehicles have become available for both personal and business use. You can also encourage employees to do ridesharing or use public transportation, offering incentives to reduce the number of personal vehicles on the road. Many companies are now implementing work-from-home positions that reduce the use of energy and allow employees to spend less time commuting and more time with family or on personal activities. Teleconferencing is another way to reduce commuting and allow staff to stay connected with other staff

Consider Changing To Solar or Wind Energy

If your business uses a significant amount of power for your operations, it may be to your advantage to convert your energy system to a solar or wind-powered source. Although the initial investment can be considerable, these systems allow you to amortize the cost of installation over the years, as you save money on your energy costs. Not every business site is suitable for solar or wind energy conversion. You will have to consult with an alternative energy contractor to determine if you would be able to accommodate these systems.

Finding ways to use less energy is going to be an intrinsic part of the future for businesses. Simple changes can make a big difference in the type and amount of energy you use. These changes might be easier to make in your company than you think. Both clients and employees appreciate efforts toward energy efficiency and feel good about participation. In the end, going green can produce multiple benefits for your company, both in dollars and in your company’s image.