Creating A Green Workplace
Creating A Green Workplace
Spencer T. Brown (Founder And Inventor) gives expert video advice on: How does a green workplace increase worker efficiency?; Why is it important for management to be green?; How does energy efficiency in the workplace impact global warming? and more...
How does a green workplace increase worker efficiency?
When you empower your organization to do the right thing, there's a pride of association of worker consciousness, that when we go to work, we're going to work to better our environment, and we're making an impact. When my staff sees, 5000 tons of plastic converted and then boxes coming in and veggie-oil coming in to run the fleet and they see landfill samples coming in before we convert it to packing materials, they feel proud to be part of a green company. Because, of course everybody wants to make a great wage, but you also want to be part of something and you want to show positive change and that empowerment, in my staff, is infectious.
Why is it important for management to be green?
Managers are always looking for the next opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills, and I think being green and taking the approach that a business needs to be accountable for its impact and hold its employees accountable for their impact with the origination is important. Managers and owners that take that step up and walk the talk gain a lot of respect from their employees. I've had a lot of my drivers come up to me and say "it's been fantastic to see you deliver boxes" and "you rock". You get a lot of respect for that. I'm just delivering boxes. They say, “yeah, but it's also cool that you invited us to the landfills so we can feel it, we can see it, it's awesome." And you're like, "well, it's part of your job." You just don't deliver boxes, you need to know how this works and including them in my operation, in what I'm doing, is very similar to managers where you want a company to grow by inclusion, by participation and I think that is part of the consciousness of designing the product. You also have to have a consciousness in communicating to your staff that you're included in this process that we want you not to just show up to work, but we want you to add value to our operation. Management is always looking for that consensus and participation and being green and demonstrating, walking the talk, in a company is empowering for employees to see that there is someone who is making a difference.
How does energy efficiency in the workplace impact global warming?
It's huge. One of the largest issues that we've seen in terms of our own operation is that when we're not in the office, we have all of these gear turned on using electricity. We integrated the kill switch which enables us to reduce our consumption of energy. One of the other aspects is that you know we are a growing company, and other than renting a stand alone building and monopolizing the power and the space, what we've done is, we've done a co-operative workhouse, so there's 28 different people sharing the same resources that one organization would. We're reducing our use of energy and our impact. Another aspect, too, is that the use of energy is very important in a business. You have to pay your electrical bills, you have the phone bill, and you have the lights and all of these gadgets, and ultimately they all require energy. What people don't realize is that a lot of electricity is made from burning of fossil fuels. A lot of electricity is made from hydro-electric currents and we're now seeing the beginning of solar power. What we've learned in operating earth friendly removing, is that we were actually able to harness and make our own electricity driving around in trucks running on used vegetable oil. What we found was that if we put a larger alternator on the engine, we were able to actually harness DC power and then invert that DC power to AC power, thus making our own electricity to power up a machine that makes the replacement to the bubble rack. What we found is that we have a surplus of electricity. What we do at the end of the day is pull up the truck to the building and we plug in, offload our power, put it back on the grid, and we spin the meter back about eight bucks a day per truck. It's a big impact. We're producing our own electricity in addition to detoxing our landfills. At the same time, we've integrated a kill strip. We don't have all of that computer electronic gear operating. We switched to the low voltage light bulbs in addition to, rather than using electricity. On one side of my office, we opened up about twelve feet of window space, and cut into cement and put windows since we have natural light. So we don't use our red lighting until it's dark. All of these combine to reducing our energy footprint and being walking to talk.
What are 'Forest Stewardship Council FSC standards'?
The Forest Stewardship Council has put together probably one of the best standards to meet in terms of understand and what it does is it enables you to as a manufacturer or product designer integrate paper products that have a mark that says this paper was manufactured under a stewardship. And in doing that you are supporting an organization that's protecting us ultimately from ourselves. They're saying we're not going to deforest this forest we're going to use every power, every technique, every process to extend the life of paper fiber from virgin to recycling. And that stamp basically is issued out to paper mills to encourage them to then sell to packaging, product designers and to commerce and industry the brand saying that this paper is post consumer it's under Forest Stewardship Council. And then giving the consumer the piece of mind the consciousness that this product is packaged as green as it could possibly be at this time. So it's like a green seal for packaged goods it's very important to look for that and it has like a little tree and it has the little logo and it has the recycled and then it will have a numerical value and there's different values that you can buy according to the grade of recycled material used.