We live in a society the runs on mass consumption; of energy, of goods, of resources. Commercial operations contribute a large portion of the world’s pollution, through facility operations, production and waste disposal. This makes applying energy efficiency to commercial services vital in order to maintain our current standard of living into the future. Here is an outlook on how commercial services can best apply efficient practices to their everyday operations.
Green Heating and Insulation
Poorly insulated windows account for 25% of heat loss in Canada, and commercial zones aren’t exempt from this. As is encouraged for residential areas, upgrading insulation is an ideal way to minimize energy usage. Consider how much heat is wasted in older window-lined office buildings, and how many of those buildings continue to operate today. While at times costly, re-insulating combined with upgrading to ENERGY STAR® products and energy efficient heating systems can massively reduce a building’s consumption.
Airflow and Power Efficiency
For a great example of how modern commercialization is adapting to be more energy-efficient, look no further than Apple’s new California-based headquarters, Apple Park. Entirely renewably powered and comprised of 80% green space, the 2,800,000 square-foot complex boasts a wide array of environmentally friendly design innovations. For example, unique airflow ducts are hidden under the steel awnings that line each floor, which pull fresh air into the building above the windows. The building literally breathes.
With California’s climate, commercial areas can easily get away with such features. In regions with colder temperatures, however, it isn’t so easy. Nevertheless, switching to renewable energy in the form of solar, hydro, or wind-powered electricity is key for commercial services to be less impactful on the environment. Continued implementations of modern, energy-conserving ventilation technologies will further enhance environmental friendliness as well as save businesses money in the long run.
In today’s always-online world, paperwork has vastly outstayed its welcome. It makes little sense to continue to use energy-wasting printers and produce documentation that often ends up in a bin. Recycling is a way of minimizing waste and reducing our carbon footprint, but commercial services can easily leap past this step by investing in energy-efficient servers and devices to produce and share work online. Fewer trees will have to be cut down, and therefore de-foresting industries will consume less electricity as a result. It will also help to minimize clutter and storage requirements, which in the long run might mean a business can downsize to a smaller building to save costs even further.
For more information about energy efficiency, consult our blog.