The Carbon Trust has launched a new, online office tool called ‘Carbon Trust Empower. By engaging employees in cutting energy use, paper waste and travel, Carbon Trust Empower has the potential to save a typical small business over 15% of their energy bill or more than £6,000 (Eur7,260) per year – equivalent to powering 3.5 km of street lights for a year.
Larger businesses that base their approach on this tool could save £150,000 and over 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. Each individual employee’s efforts can amount to carbon emissions reductions (220kgCO2) equivalent to heating the average household for a month.
Employees are able to explore energy saving opportunities throughout their office – starting by considering how they arrive for work, with options to join a company carpool or travel by public transport, before moving on to their desk, where they can commit to switch off their PC when not in use, print double-sided, and teleconference rather than travel. The virtual journey also helps staff cut energy waste in other parts of the office, such as the reception area, kitchen, corridors and toilets.
As well as helping individuals create and keep track of personal action plans, Empower provides a wealth of engaging workplace facts and enables office managers to view the sum of their employees’ individual energy savings.
Richard Rugg, director of Carbon Trust Programmes, comments: “Companies often struggle to harness the huge energy savings that an effectively engaged workforce can help deliver. Part of the problem employers face is making actions practical, fun and sustained. By creating a virtual tour entirely from an employee’s viewpoint, every aspect of Empower has been designed with the end-user in mind.”
According to the Carbon Trust, companies following its top tips for office energy efficiency could make annual savings of over £200 per employee:
1 Turning off your PC and monitor in the evening could save £39/yr per person
2 Keeping blinds open and turning off lights when there is enough daylight, or when areas are unoccupied could save more than £10/yr per person
3 Accepting a slightly (1°C) reduced temperature in the workplace could save over £4/yr per person
4 Using the phone or video conferencing to avoid four car journeys could save £150/yr
5 Reducing paper use by only printing when needed, and printing double sided could save £20/yr each per person.