Energy efficiency tips for businesses: Your employees hold the key

Category: Energy
Energy efficiency tips for businesses: Your employees hold the key

Inspiring simple changes in staff behavior could save your company cash and significantly lower your carbon footprint

Here at Greenlite Group, we know that getting to grips with the way your business manages energy is a win-win situation. You’ll lower your carbon footprint and reduce costs, while improving your social responsibility credentials and increasing your profit into the bargain.

But successful energy management is about more than just remembering to turn off the lights (although that’s important too). Sustainability needs to become an integral part of your company ethos, with the full buy-in of your staff, from the bottom right to the top.

The good news is that by taking a few simple steps, you can create a culture of energy efficiency, which runs through the very fabric of your business. Staggering figures from the Carbon Trust reveal that by encouraging employees to adopt behaviours that reduce energy use and waste, UK workplaces could save an incredible £300million. So, how do you get staff fully on board with your energy saving mission?

Take a stance on energy

The vital first step is to put energy efficiency firmly on your business agenda, with an energy policy and statement. This involves outlining your sustainability goals and detailing how you intend to achieve them.

Encourage accountability

Encourage senior management to get involved right from the start. Ask them to think about all aspects of the business through the lens of energy efficiency, and to bring ideas to the table. Then with their help, work out which team members will be responsible for specific aspects of your low carbon drive and delegate responsibilities.

Next, ensure senior managers are fully invested in the project, by making them accountable for energy consumption within their sector of the business. Give them reasonable targets, which you can then include in performance reviews, and consider motivating them with a bonus scheme.

Engage the wider team

Within any business, the most powerful agents for change are the employees. Clearly communicate your sustainability objectives across all levels and teach teams how everyone can become a vital part of the energy efficiency drive.

Hold training sessions, to show how even small tweaks to individual behavior can, collectively, make a big difference. Ask employees to switch off the lights when vacating a room, and encourage them to be alert for areas that are ripe for improvement. They have an intimate understanding of the traffic flow within the building, and will be able to identify zones that will benefit from energy efficiency measures, such as movement or daylight sensors.

Lighting control panels can be baffling, so apply stickers to enable the team to quickly identify which switches they need to flick on or off. That way, you’ll ensure only the necessary areas are illuminated. Reinforce the message by putting signs in prominent locations, reminding everyone to be energy conscious. Encourage staff to switch off their computers, printers and other appliances overnight and train the team to operate a ‘last man out’ switch, which will power down all the lighting at the touch of a button.

These measures alone can offer vast rewards. When Greenlite Group installed ‘last man out’ switches in 15 B&M stores, they estimated the business would save over £11,000 in just two months. And Bart’s Health NHS Trust saved £100,000 when they ran a project encouraging doctors, nurses and staff to power down unused equipment, turn off lights and shut doors.

Lastly, regularly review your energy efficiency progress at meetings and keep it top of mind by addressing your objectives in email updates. Let the team know just how successful their behavioural changes are proving and, if you can, reward them for their victories.

Find out more about making positive energy changes in our book, Knowledge is Power, the Greenlite guide to smarter energy. For your copy, contact hello@greenlitegroup.co.uk or call us on 0844 880 2116.

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