Over the past decade, environmental sustainability has continued to become a focus in nearly every industry as individuals and businesses increasingly focus on safeguarding the environment. Leaders in property and facility management are also seeking to adopt environmentally friendly and sustainable management practices without sacrificing quality or negatively impacting their facility operating costs.
Fortunately, technological advancements, management practices, and cleaning products are evolving to provide opportunities to reduce risk, improve your facility’s operating efficiency, and increase both productivity and sustainability.
These sustainable practices don’t have to be complex; you can achieve greater financial efficiency and quality by taking just a few simple steps.
Conduct an Energy Audit
Conduct an energy utilization audit for all major operating systems, especially your commercial HVAC system and lighting, which often combine for nearly half your energy cost. You’ll want to evaluate peak utilization times to determine areas where you can potentially adjust your heating, cooling, and lighting systems to reduce waste. The next step in your audit should include walking your building to identify and inspect all building openings. Your team should look for potential leaks around windows and doors; addressing these will help to reduce wasted energy costs.
Make the Switch to LED Lighting
LED lights have numerous environmental benefits. While the upfront cost is higher, according to the US Department of energy, LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. They also contribute the least amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. LED lights are mercury-free, so they are not toxic to the environment and are 100% recyclable, helping to reduce the number of waste materials delivered to landfills. If you need assistance evaluating and making the switch, Marsden Services has helped our clients achieve their sustainability goals. You can learn about other benefits of LED lighting by reading our post Cost-Saving Is Not the Only Reason to Reconsider Lighting in Your Facility Management Program.
Implement a Commercial HVAC Preventative Maintenance Program
Your commercial HVAC system is probably the single most significant source of energy consumption in your building. So proper care and maintenance are essential if you are trying to achieve sustainability goals. A proper preventative maintenance plan will require you to focus on data to assess utilization peaks and identify past breakdowns or maintenance cycles. This analysis will guide how to best manage your systems for optimum efficiency, reducing consumption in off-peak time frames, and managing maintenance processes to minimize impact and lower operating costs. An HVAC preventative maintenance program will help you realize an increased asset life as well as safer and healthier building environments.
Adopt Green Cleaning Practices in Your Janitorial Services
Sustainability in your janitorial services practices encompasses everything from consumables to chemicals, equipment, and cleaning practices. Today there are many options to consider, including bio-based, chemical-free solutions and energy-efficient equipment and tools that are more environmentally friendly. Here are a few basics your team should consider:
- Proper Mop and Dusting: Microfiber flat mops and dusting cloths include microscopic hooks that grip dirt more effectively than standard ones. Because these tools can get into surface cracks and crevices, they provide more comprehensive cleaning. They are also more efficient and cost-effective since they require fewer chemicals.
- Green Cleaning Products: Using environmentally favorable cleaning products can reduce air and water pollution and even impact ozone depletion. Using these products will not only help support LEED certification processes but can also improve employee and tenant satisfaction and overall safety by reducing the use of harmful chemicals.
- Waste Management: Look at your building’s current waste management practices to determine if there are ways to reduce what you are sending to the landfill. Often there are ways to implement sorting in your waste collection process to enable recycling or composting of materials.
Sustainability Facility Practices Can Actually Cost Less
Advances in technology and green cleaning products make it possible to achieve your goals for both sustainability and operating efficiency. Adopting LED lighting, commercial HVAC preventative maintenance programs, and green cleaning in your janitorial services will lower your overall energy and facility operating costs. At the same time, you will be helping to create a safer, healthier, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly workplace for your employees and tenants.
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