By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions have to be reduced 30% compared to 2005. This commitment by the Trudeau government requires mobilization by all, not only citizens and industries. Certainly, every contribution is beneficial, including that of employees.
Beware of easy energy
If you are attentive to what’s happening around you, you may realize that your colleagues take daily steps in the office to save energy. If your colleague Allan religiously turns off his computer every evening, it is because he knows that a computer that stays on continues to consume electricity. If your manager Elisa has opted for a laptop, it’s because she has realized that its electricity consumption can be 80% less than a desktop computer. If Dominique is busy summer and winter near the blinds, it’s because she wants them to be down during the day in summer so that the air conditioning is more efficient, and in the evening in winter to prevent heat loss. Now it’s your turn to inspire your colleagues by doing a few things relating to your battery (by unplugging it if the device is not connected or if it is fully charged), to light bulbs (by replacing incandescents with compact fluorescents) or by deciding to take the stairs rather than the elevator.
Flushing with a drop of water
With water consumption twice that of Europeans, Canadians rank 2nd in the world with close to 330 litres used per person every day. Even before installing flow reducers on faucets and toilets (6 litres per flush compared to 15 litres for a conventional model), every employee should take care to close the faucets in the kitchen and washroom properly, remembering that the loss of one drop of water per second corresponds to 9540 litres of water wasted each year. At the end of a small party in the department, avoid rinsing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher; remove remaining pieces with a fork and you will save 40 litres of water! Finally, if the company has a small flowerbed at the entrance, do not water it during the day, because 50% of the water will evaporate rather than sinking into the ground.
Recycling at all levels
When waste is mentioned in a company, paper automatically comes to mind, especially since its consumption has unfortunately not diminished, despite the use of email… While households recycle more than 40% of paper, the percentage falls to 20% for employees. Why not take the same action as at home, by printing on both sides and using the sheets as a draft? Recycling paper in this way would reduce the annual consumption of each Canadian, currently estimated at 50 kg. Another interesting resolution would be to favour mugs for your coffee or tea, rather than plastic cups – a material that is very harmful to the environment. Finally, the furniture: there could be savings and limited waste if old desks were exchanged between departments or organizations, tables and chairs refurbished by young people in a reintegration program as well as purchasing new desks designed with easily reusable recycled materials.
Like the government, which in April 2015 deployed measures to make its department operations environmentally friendly, allowing a savings of $4.5 million over two years thanks to a reduction in consumption of paper and ink cartridges, companies are invited to have a pro-environmental attitude by raising employee awareness (Environment Week) and implementing measures whose effects are easily quantifiable.