Earth Day ideas to take sustainability to the next level

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Posted by:
Matt Weko
Project and Development Services 

By now we are all aware of green changes that we can make to our lives. We have switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs and ceramic coffee mugs, and we’re recycling. Many other easy-to-implement sustainable practices not only help the planet but also create positive financial results for individuals and organizations.

For 2011, here are 11 Earth Day ideas to take sustainability to the next level:

  1. Employees – Turn off your computer at night and unplug the adapter – even an idle adaptor draws energy.
  2. Office Managers – Consider recycled and recyclable materials when renovating space or replacing furniture.
  3. Office Managers – Design space to maximize penetration of natural light into your space.
  4. Office Managers – Require interior build-out contractors to follow sustainable practices, particularly to ensure the air quality of adjoining areas where employees are working.
  5. Property Managers – Sub-meter equipment for better data on where energy is being used, so that when there is an unexpected rise in energy, the problem can be isolated easily.
  6. Property Managers – Work with municipalities to permit motion-sensitive lighting in emergency stairwells.
  7. Owners – Include reasonable sustainability provisions in standard lease agreements, and try to accommodate tenants with their own green criteria.
  8. Owners – Ask your property manager what steps their organization takes to be sustainable, including what they ask their own vendors, to ensure the sustainability of your supply chain.
  9. Owners – Keep current on public policy mandates regarding green buildings, including tax credits and other incentives as well as building codes and requirements.
  10. Owners – Be knowledgeable about costs and financing alternatives related to energy and sustainability improvements, and weigh those factors against potential financial benefits.
  11. Owners – Budget for tenant sub-metering, subject to applicable laws and lease agreements.

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