The Hows and Whys of Creating an Environmentally Friendly Office
Many industries in the U.S. are making the shift toward more environmentally friendly practices, and health care is no different. What may surprise you is that cultivating a “green” office may benefit your patients as much as it benefits your practice. Read our tips below on the hows and whys of creating an environmentally friendly office.
- Start with small steps. Pay attention to the amount of electricity and water you use. Educate your employees about the office’s resource usage per year (or month, or week) and make a goal to collectively reduce it. Encourage employees to turn off lights when they leave the room, use silverware rather than disposable plastics and invest in reusable water bottles.
- Change travel habits. Offer incentives for employees who bike, walk, use public transit or carpool. In addition, you can allow flexibility for employees whose work can be done from home – promoting less travel time and more productivity.
- Consider your building’s energy usage. According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, buildings constitute 39 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. Consider implementing efficiency features in your building, and investigate rebate and incentive programs that may be offered in your state.
- Save money. While making additions to your building may have a hefty up-front cost, for many practices, these changes pay off in the long run. But even small, simple changes (like adjusting the thermostat) can pay off big time. According to BSM Consulting, this can save you 10 percent on your electric bill, and using compact fluorescent lights can save you 75 percent more energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Appeal to your patients. Research by Greener Expressions says that 75 percent of consumers in the U.S. marketplace feel it is very important for companies to embrace green energy. Sustainability is just one more reason for patients to choose you as a morally sound practice.
How does your practice work to save energy? Share in the comments below.