As the eco-movement grows each year, many people are looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle in their everyday lives. However, more and more of the environmental activism movement is focusing on the part businesses and commercial buildings play in carbon emissions. Research estimates that energy emissions from commercial buildings account for approximately 19% of total U.S. emissions each year. This shows just how important it is for businesses to step up and start thinking green in their everyday practices.
In many cases, it is better to retrofit existing buildings with green technologies rather than building new ones. Below are some examples of ways you can use green technologies in your facility to create a healthier, more eco-friendly workplace:
Reduce, reuse, and recycle
This old adage is one of the most useful when it comes to reducing your overall energy emissions. Even with renewable energy technologies and energy-efficient appliances, typically buying a new product has a higher carbon footprint than repurposing an old one. That is why proper preventative care for your facility systems is important. By extending the service life of your HVAC and electrical systems, you can reduce the waste created by your facility.
Invest in renewables
Many companies are looking at renewable energy sources to replace their existing energy sources. Whether you install solar panels or look for a supplier that uses wind, geothermal, or other renewable energy sources, this is a great way to dramatically impact your company’s carbon footprint. Even giants like Empire State Realty are making the switch, and so can you!
Use carbon-negative materials for new construction.
While it’s best to retrofit existing structures to meet commercial building needs, carbon-negative building materials serve as an ideal alternative. Certain types of wood as well as hempwood and other green building materials can actually absorb small amounts of carbon in the atmosphere. This small act can make a big difference as more companies adopt carbon-negative building materials.
Always choose energy-efficient.
Energy efficiency is an option for nearly every appliance and electrical system in your facility. From automatic lights to energy-efficient windows, roofing, and plumbing, you can find cleaner alternatives when the time comes. While we don’t recommend upgrading all at once (following the first tip in this list), when your current equipment reaches the end of its service life you should always look for energy-efficient models.
Green technologies are available for almost every commercial application. Research local alternatives for energy and suppliers, or ask your MaintenX team for recommendations. We are always happy to help our clients make informed and greener choices for their HVAC roofing, plumbing, and more.