Going Green in the Workplace


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This is Group 1's presentation from ComL 511

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  • (Were there notes that disappeared?) A brief intro is needed
  • Each year, Americans trash enough office paper to build a 12-foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City. The average American office worker goes through around 500 disposable cups every year. Americans make nearly 400 billion photocopies a year - about 750,000 copies every minute of every day. U.S. businesses now use about 21 million tons of paper every year. That's about 175 pounds of paper for each American. Source: Clean Air Council
  • Opening Activity Question
  • If we are more conscious about our waste contributions, we can actually contribute towards saving the world. For example, one ton of paper from recycled pulp saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 7,000 gallons of water 4,200 kilowatt hours (enough to heat your home for half year) 390 gallons of oil prevents 60 pounds of air pollutants
  • Some of these statistics are alarming, but there is something we can all do about it. The world is your hands!
  • “ Managing the environment is something that we do everyday, all the time, whether we are aware of it or not. What happens in this office affects more than just this office. Therefore, it is important to make wise choices in all situations. So, lets talk about wise choices that any employee can make around the office.”
  • (Go Natural is obviously going to make the group think about going without clothes, but that’s OK--it keeps them interested. Let me know if you don’t like it) “ The first step is to eliminate waste in the first place. Have a look around your space and determine if there are natural elements that you can take advantage of, for example can you open a curtain and turn off a light or maybe you can even open a window or door on days when the weather is nice. Also, most tap water tastes just as good as bottled. If you think about it, you’ll notice that whenever you use something, the packaging is almost never used. So think about packaging and how to avoid it.....whenever possible avoid things that are packaged for individual servings and opt for larger sizes. Disposable items are convenient, but they are often very bad for the environment. Save fuel and walk to lunch. “
  • “ Maximizing use is about really thinking about what we need as opposed to what me want, and that very often involves not opting for the most stylish things available. Having the newest laptop on the market can be quite a status symbol, but is it good for the environment? Would a new computer really improve your productivity or are you fine with what you have? Try to share as much as possible, for example, if more than one person subscribes to a trade journal, cut down to one subscription and share.”
  • As much as you try to avoid waste and maximize use, there will still be some resources that need to be disposed of in some way. Recycling isn’t a perfect solution as the process isn’t perfect, but it does keep a lot of materials in use as opposed to just sitting in landfills. So when the time comes to dispose of things, please recycle.
  • Next, I will discuss the importance of having a sustainable transportation plan in place at your organization and offer examples of initiatives your organization might consider in implementing such a plan.
  • Today, in the United States alone, there are over 200 million motor vehicles on the road. In many urban communities, motor vehicles are the largest source of air pollution. They account for 60% of the Carbon Monoxide and 30% of the Nitrogen Oxide emissions found in our atmosphere. Our increasing use of motor vehicles has a growing impact on global climate change.
  • Commuting accounts for one-third of all vehicle trips in a typical United States community. Due to population growth and suburban sprawl, commuting distances have increased over the past few decades. Along with the increased commuting distances, we have also seen an increase in traffic congestion. As any commuter who has sat in a traffic jam knows, valuable minutes and hours can be wasted. Many people don’t realize another form of waste that occurs during this time: the fuel from our motor vehicles. About 100 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel are wasted every year in an average large urban are of the United States as a result of traffic congestion.
  • Businesses and organizations have the ability to influence how employees get to and from their workplaces. It is through this influence that businesses and organizations can help address the problems of motor vehicle use and help promote a more sustainable and green transportation plan. Let’s look at a few ways we can do this.
  • To promote the use of transit over motor vehicles, businesses and organizations can provide employees with transit subsidies. Bus and train passes can be significantly subsidized. For example, Hillsborough County in Florida offers its employees a 50 percent subsidy on bus passes and Seattle University offers its employees a 75 percent subsidy on an annual regional transit pass that allows employees to travel on all forms of transit in the region.
  • Employees can be encouraged to form carpools and vanpools with fellow colleagues. In this way, less fuel is used per passenger and total emissions into the atmosphere are reduced. Businesses and organizations can incentivize carpooling and vanpooling by offering free and/or preferential parking to car and vanpools. Businesses and organizations can further support their employees by assisting in the formation of the carpools and vanpools and help to identify employees who live in similar vicinities.
  • While this may be the least popular initiative, it is often the most efficient: Use parking as a lever. Eliminate free parking for single occupant motor vehicles. Charge employees to park; this often creates the impetus needed to consider alternative forms of transportation. If it seems unrealistic to eliminate free parking, consider a parking cash-out option. Offer your employees a cash option or a transit subsidy in exchange for their free parking space.
  • Support Bicyclists. Encourage employee to bike to work by offering free shower facilities and convenient and secure bike racks to store their bikes. Businesses and organizations can offer interest-free loans to their employees for the purchase of bicycle and bicycle equipment. Provide free onsite bicycle maintenance once a month. A financial incentive can also be provided: reward employees who bike to work with a monthly bonus. Another Suggestion to add: Your business can also offer “Bike to Work” Days and allow employees to come in at a later time
  • Finally, to encourage a sustainable transportation plan, businesses and organizations can embrace and promote telecommuting and flexible scheduling. Commuting miles can be significantly reduced by allowing employees to work at home. As it is increasingly becoming the norm for employees to have computers, modems, and the Internet at their homes, telecommuting is becoming more of a reality. Consider whether the employees need to be onsite 5 days a week. Perhaps the job could be done in 10-hour shifts over 4 days, thereby eliminating one day of commuting. Or, consider whether it is possible for the employee’s schedule to be arranged so that it falls outside of peak commuting times. All of these considerations can be varied to fit the needs of the organization. However, they should be considered as getting people off of the roads equals less harmful emissions into our atmosphere.
  • You can do it! It’s up you, me, your boss, your colleagues, everyone, and every person counts. Every action counts.
  • HANDOOUT - A Case Study of Cisco Systems, San Jose, California – Please have everyone refer to the Handouts for the Case Study Presentation. So who did it? Cisco did it! Cisco is a great example of employees working together to design an environmental sustainability plan. Their challenge was to design and manage real estate to enhance worker productivity while reducing the demands of the environment. Their solution was to implement “Connected Workplace” in Building 14 on Cisco’s San Jose campus, which eliminated dedicated workspaces and increased shared workspace. The results were 22% fewer electronic devices per person, 50% fewer powered Ethernet cables, reduced number of common area printers and copiers, elimination of “personal gadgets”, with a projected 44% savings in energy load. It also resulted in a reduction of 160 to 106 square feet per person, reduction of 3.5 to 2.8 devices per employee and 22% fewer electronic devices. So what’s next? They are expanding the “Connected Workplace” approach through its San Jose campus.
  • Going Green in the Workplace

    1. 1. GOING GREEN AT THE OFFICE Presented By: Tara Anderson, Amanda Brings, Regina Caasi, Aaron Cannistraci, and Melissa Cleland
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>The Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Response </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Response </li></ul><ul><li>Commuting </li></ul><ul><li>Social Action </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>12 foot wall of paper from LA to NY </li></ul><ul><li>500 disposable cups per year per person </li></ul><ul><li>400 billion photocopies a year </li></ul><ul><li>21 million tons of paper per year </li></ul>The Problem is Your Problem
    4. 4. What does one ton of paper from recycled pulp save?
    5. 5. <ul><li>One ton of paper from recycled pulp saves </li></ul><ul><li>17 trees </li></ul><ul><li>3 cubic yards of landfill space </li></ul><ul><li>7,000 gallons of water 4,200 kilowatt hours (enough to heat your home for half year) </li></ul><ul><li>390 gallons of oil prevents 60 pounds of air pollutants </li></ul>
    6. 6. The World is in YOUR Hands
    7. 7. what you can do… Your Personal Response
    8. 8. Eliminate Waste <ul><li>Go Natural </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce Packaging </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Disposable Items </li></ul><ul><li>Walk to Lunch </li></ul>
    9. 9. Maximize Use <ul><li>Need vs. Want </li></ul><ul><li>Share </li></ul>
    10. 10. When the Time Comes....
    11. 11. Your Corporate Response <ul><li>reduce your companies’ global footprint </li></ul>
    12. 12. Buy Recycled Paper Office Max All offer recycled paper options!
    13. 13. Energy Star <ul><li>Energy star products are 1/3 more efficient </li></ul>Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent and LED bulbs . “ Shut down” computers at the end of each day rather than using the “stand-by” setting which continues to draw power. Power off or unplug printers, scanners, and other peripheral equipment when they’re not used.
    14. 14. Energy Star Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent and LED bulbs. “ Shut down” computers at the end of each day rather than using the “stand-by” setting which continues to draw power. Power off or unplug printers, scanners, and other peripheral equipment when they’re not used. Energy star products are 1/3 more efficient
    15. 15. Energy Star Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent and LED bulbs. “ Shut down” computers at the end of each day rather than using the “stand-by” setting which continues to draw power. Power off or unplug printers, scanners, and other peripheral equipment when they’re not used. Energy star products are 1/3 more efficient
    16. 16. Implementing a Sustainable Transportation Plan Commuting To & From Work
    17. 17. 60% of Carbon Monoxide and 30% of Nitrogen Oxide emissions that find their way into the atmosphere can be traced to the use of motor vehicles
    18. 18. About 100 million gallons of fuel are wasted every year in an average large urban area of the United States as a result of traffic congestion
    19. 19. Businesses and Organizations are in a unique position to address the problems of motor vehicle use through the promotion of a more sustainable transportation plan
    20. 20. Provide Transit Subsidies
    21. 21. Encourage Carpools and Vanpools
    22. 22. Use Parking as Leverage
    23. 23. Support Bicyclists
    24. 24. Promote Telecommuting and Flexible Scheduling
    25. 25. “ I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.“ ~ Bob Dylan Promoting Social Responsibility and Community Awareness
    26. 26. “ Green Living?” <ul><li>Green living is an attempt to carry out your life in an eco-friendly, environmentally responsible manner, an attempt to minimize the size of your ecological footprint . Source: Green Living Guide </li></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Organize a “Community Clean-Up.” </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate green living at home as well as the office. </li></ul><ul><li>Recycle. Recycle. Recycle. </li></ul><ul><li>Revise your company mission statement to include a “green living” commitment. </li></ul><ul><li>Become a sponsor for a “green” event </li></ul>How You Can Help...
    28. 28. You CAN do it!
    29. 29. <ul><li>www.greenerlivingguide.com/index.php </li></ul><ul><li>www.greenliving.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.thegreenguide.com </li></ul>Additional Resources: