ENERGY WASTAGE TURNS UP THE HEAT ON COSTS
businesses are hitting themselves where it hurts – in the pocket –
by spending too much on heating and cooling their premises while at
the same time seeing productivity levels drop as staff struggle to
work in uncomfortable temperatures.
New research from leading air conditioning supplier, Daikin UK,
suggests that more than 50% of businesses in the north could be
wasting thousands of pounds every year by failing to properly manage
the temperatures in their workplace.
The YouGov survey of
working adults from industries across the UK, including retail,
leisure, health, hospitality and food and the public sector, saw 55
% of northerners complain they were either too hot or too cold at
work. The Scots proved to be the most miserable about their
working environment, with 62 % of them complaining they’re too hot
or too cold, while Londoners grumble least – with 46% dissatisfied
with the temperature of their workplace.
“Temperature may seem a minor point, but World Health
Organisation research shows that working in an environment which is
too hot or too cool or which fluctuates, can have a very measurable
negative impact on a business’s output,” said Mark Dyer from
37% of northerners questioned agreed that investing in new combined
heating and cooling technology would help improve comfort levels,
with 50% agreeing that a combined system would improve energy
efficiency in the workplace. Such a move would also help
reduce energy consumption, with combined heating and cooling systems
more energy efficient and cost effective than separate systems. And
the research suggests many businesses need to tackle energy wastage.
69% of those living in the north said their employers could do more
to save energy.
“The message to organisations is to act now to cut out energy
wastage, starting with temperature control technology. With energy
prices anticipated to rise again before the end of the year
businesses can take action now by reviewing how and where they’re
using energy in their workplace,” continued Dyer.
The answer, he says, lies in investing in innovative new-generation
heat pump technology, which takes heat from warm areas and
redistributes it to cooler rooms and vice versa. Unlike fossil fuel
systems, heat pumps extract available heat from the air rather than
using energy to generate heat. “Such a move would kill
two birds with one stone – saving on energy costs, while improving
conditions for staff and customers – and also see productivity and
staff morale increase,” Dyer added.
Tips to help start optimising workplace temperatures:-
1. Find out what’s
going on:- evaluate the workplace at different times of the day and
during different seasons, to see how and when heaters and cooling
equipment are working.
2. Check temperatures and times:- ask staff whether they are
comfortable and how they control the heating and cooling.
3. Maintain optimum temperatures:- maintaining temperatures of
between 18 - 24°C provides optimum conditions for staff and energy
4. Invest in new technologies:- modern heat pump air conditioning
technology is more cost and energy efficient than separate heating
and cooling systems, as well as providing better control over
Environment faces major threat from ‘eco-apathy’ of Liverpool
extent of Liverpool office workers’ attitudes to the environment and
company green policies was exposed in a highly revealing research
study commissioned by Canon UK, world-leader in imaging technology
solutions for the home and office. The research, which questioned
over 1000 UK based office workers was designed to test how ‘green’
we are in the workplace compared with the home and uncovered some
In Liverpool, just 5% of workers questioned said that they are more
environmentally conscious at work compared to at home, where
recycling and energy efficiency is common practice, and only 48%
believe that protecting the environment during office hours is their
responsibility. Interestingly, 22% feel that company bosses should
shoulder the burden and 19% even went as far as saying that it
should be the government, not them, which should be held accountable
for polluting practices.
Worryingly, 41% of Liverpool employees say their company doesn’t
have a green policy designed to reduce their environmental impact
and where one does exist, 36% said that the company ‘green policy’
it’s just for show and has no real meaning to the business and its
staff. Perhaps a more telling indictment of Liverpool workers ‘eco-apathy’
is that 19% don’t even know what a green policy is. Interestingly,
the results also showed that only 30% admit that they’d be happy to
report a colleague for not toeing the green line, although a third
of these workers would want to do this anonymously.
“The green debate is not a new one and big businesses have
acknowledged the importance of a robust environmental strategy.
However, these results indicate that individual employees have
either not bought into their company’s policies or perhaps don’t
believe they are genuine. These results do not paint a
good picture in offices in Liverpool and it is shocking to see just
how disinterested workers seemingly are when it comes to doing their
bit to protect the environment. Every office worker needs to
understand their individual impact when it comes to the environment
and taking responsibility for improving company policy needs to be a
collaborative effort between company bosses and staff. Without
effective communication of green strategy throughout an
organisation, more damage will be done than good.” says Andy Vickers, Managing
Director, Canon UK & Ireland.
A clear example of how office workers are turning a cold shoulder to
the environment is in the disposal of paper. The office paper
mountain continues to grow despite much publicised technologies such
as double sided (duplex) and secure printing. On average an office
worker unnecessarily throws away 8 pages of A4 paper every day
according to Canon’s research. This equates to approximately 120m
pages of A4 that don’t need to be printed every day – the equivalent
of 250,000 reams of paper. Despite this huge volume, only 24% of
offices default their printers to duplex settings.
“As an organisation, Canon evaluates its environmental impact
across all areas of the business.
It’s important that large companies lead by example and also
practice what they preach. Secure printing ensures that pages are
printed ‘on demand’ and accessed via swipe cards or PIN codes
instead of sitting on top of the printer. This is not only much more
secure, but also ensures that paper is not needlessly printed, and
then thrown away. Saving paper is the one area that companies can
easily address. Secure print alongside the simple switch to
double-sided printing reduces unnecessary wastage and energy
consumption and also saves your business money; it’s a win-win
situation.” continues Vickers.