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Gemma Lakin looks at the benefits to business of embracing 'green' technologies

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about what companies such as Nandos and The UK Green Building Council are doing to try and help combat climate change.

Each company has their own reasons for going green, they may have a real passion for the environment and it is therefore an essential part of their corporate DNA, or they may want any extra publicity and kudos that such an environmental stance can bring.

However, there are also seriously practical and financial reasons why businesses should closely examine the case for going green. Here are four reasons why your own company or the one you work for should examine the issue in more depth:

Save Money

Installing energy efficient products in your building can potentially save your company a lot of money by lowering your energy bills.

This can be done by looking at how efficient the equipment you use to heat, cool and ventilate your building is, and whether it needs an upgrade or replacement.  You could even improve efficiency by looking at how you control the system and getting a better understanding of when your business really needs the systems on. My colleague Scott McGavin has written a really helpful blog on getting better control of your building's services.

If you do need to upgrade, modern systems are vastly more efficient and can save you on running costs compared to your existing equipment.  Adding in renewables such as Photovoltaics or heat pumps can also reduce bills over traditional solutions as well as earning you regular payments from Government incentives such as the Feed in Tarriff and Renewable Heat Incentive.

Although the initial outlay for energy efficient products can appear to be expensive, there are ways of offsetting any capital outlay, whether through things like the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme or finding a cost-effective way to fund the outlay, such as a dedicated finance package.

Even simple things such as fitting LED lightbulbs around the office makes a difference with LED decreasing energy use by 90% compared to standard light bulbs. Small steps including turning off lights and computers when not in use can help cut energy use and therefore costs.

Healthier Work Environment

Indoor air quality is very topical at the moment and it is also important for the health and productivity of your employees. Indoor pollutants are increasingly recognised as affecting overall health and leading to an increase the amount of sick days taken by staff members.

The amount of indoor pollutants can be reduced with the installation of an energy efficient ventilation system such as mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR). These introduce fresh air to a space but recover over 80% of the heat energy from the stale air to save on the energy needed to bring the new air up to room temperature.  Learn more in our blog testing times for indoor air quality

Attract customers

An international study this year by Unilever revealed that a third of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.

Consumers have increasingly high expectations and buying from sustainable companies has been made trendier by retail bloggers and marketing campaigns such as the conscious collection in H&M.

The introduction of energy efficiency labels on household appliances has also put efficiency high on consumers agendas. 

If you are ever asked about your environmental policy or the actions you are taking as a business, do you have a suitable answer?

Save the planet

Finally, and the main reason for going green is to help look after our planet and its increasingly scarce resources.

Kefron.com recently reported that a small office wastes around a ton of paper each year which amounts to 21 trees, so next time you print off an email think whether you could just read it on screen instead.

Many companies now have their own schemes including us at Mitsubishi Electric. Our ‘Count me in’ scheme raises awareness around reducing our environmental impact including waste, water and travel and we have also helped educate thousands of under-11-year-olds into the need for everyone to respect the planet with our educational The Learning Curve programme.

Remember... if everyone takes small steps, it will make a real difference.

Gemma Lakin is a Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric

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