Darrell Anderson, Sales Director, Planteria Group (UK) Ltd, Guildford, United Kingdom: I would like to just throw in a question – have you considered the use of plant displays as a way of reducing energy, improve air quality and enhance the working environment so that staff are more productive? I’m sure many other FM managers would vouch for the fact that these often have a large impact.
Steve Lammert, Facilities Maint. Tech, Colorado Springs Utilities: I have seen a program where the management looked at how much usage a room office gets and puts light switch with a sensor in it so it will turn itself on and off when in use. There are companies that have their cleaning staff use only the lights for the room they are cleaning. The janitorial staff then shut the lights off again as they clean.
Liz Tomaszewski, Sustainability and Facilities Management at WPI, Worcester, Massachusetts: Engagement is key. Share utility information so that employees know what the usage is. Get a team together to educate and set up programs. Peer to peer education is very effective! Create some friendly competition by setting up a green department certification program.
Kaizer Isaac, Offices/Malls contract cleaning, Johannesburg Area, South Africa: Great points indeed – “Sudden consistent visible change in the appearance level of surfaces/floors does soften behavioural patterns allowing staff/building occupants to concentrate on their core business.
Paul Gridler, Facilities Coordinator at American Red Cross, Albama: I fully agree with getting a team together from all levels of the organization to help the CEO or COO define an energy policy if none is defined. This will make it easier to word it so all employees see the benefit. The other part of the task is to come through and enforce and implement the recommended changes as well as show the results from following the guidelines. This is where the groups see what they are getting from the savings such as better equipment, improved offices, raises and better benefits.
Mitch Stein: Often time management will push for energy initiatives but unfortunately these are poorly managed from top down.
A key benefit with Budderfly’s On Demand Energy Management System, is that it’s an emerging innovative technology in energy management and performance, focused on providing fine granular data, more powerful control methods and aligning management’s organizational responsibility (Top Down) to individual (employees and tenants) behavior technology to achieve increased energy efficiency.
By delivering many more metering points from Panel Measurement on HVAC, Lighting, etc, and rendering fine granular data into a meaningful format, Budderfly presents wasted energy consumption loads needed to optimize and conserve a building’s energy consumption. This technology is likely to be the next stage in Advanced Energy Management Systems.
Charles Feldman, Territory Sales Manager – Capital Coffee Solutions, Washington D.C. Metro: I have noted many fortune 500 companies that talk about sustainability and include it as a corporate mission but don’t implement these goals in their daily lives at work. Procurement often picks the least expensive solution to the detriment of the environment and does not even think about the corporate green mission. Communication does start at the C Suite but doesn’t seem to become part of the culture unless one’s compensation is tied to it.
Mitch Stein: Any initiative that effects an entire organization must be started at the top and they must walk the walk & talk the talk. It doesn’t always happen. Can we change it for the better? Many say no, but it’s the right thing to do.
Bernie Daily: In the early 1970sو college students and fresh graduates were hired to do computer punch card preparation and sorting. In the 1980’s data entry changed and this work group shifted to installing light bulbs. It was so easy there have been six to eight innovative lighting iterations to keep that group busy.
All the time the financial suite occupants were calculating how much money the tax payers and rate payers needed to provide them so they could save money.
Observation shows corporations chose young women fresh from college with a social media degree as a sustainability facilitator. Cheap and good with computers like the card punchers of the 1970’s. That is the general commitment I see; whatever it takes to go through the conceptual motions and avoid the labour of detail.
Energy is still the old “want and need” game. The salesman says “I can make you green, cheap, maybe even get a grant.” A practitioner of operations comes in and says “We can optimize with a program that will cost about $1500 a day to launch.” The first question is “Can I get funding for that?’ In general the corporate heart is not in it.
Don Lovell: The human behaviour modification will be to act in the face of the impacts of the rise in cost. I have been involved in energy efficiency and read a tremendous amount of blogs and technical data. Much of the time it has been noted that the cost of energy, if it were to rise significantly, would be the “best” motivator to energy efficiency.
Arie Brish, Business Development, Advisor, Investor, United States: The energy consumption by individuals in the office is pretty negligible relative to the heavy duty machines and HVACs. With that said, mind set is also important. Here are a few ideas that will create the right attitude among the employees:
1. Energy saving task force that will meet once per period to review ideas from the floor and brainstorm on what and how to implement.
2. Add an energy saving bonus points in each individual’s performance review.
3. Implement bike to work program.
4. Work from home program.
5. Preferred parking for energy efficient vehicles (EVs, smart cars, scooters, car poolers, ….etc)
HVACs are by far the most significant energy consumers in an office environment. Finding ways to reduce fresh air intake without sacrificing the air quality in the office will go a long way.