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Going Green at Work: An Action Plan

5.1.09

Business owners don't have to build a giant windmill outside of their offices to participate in the green revolution. Little steps can make a big difference. For example, if every person replaced a regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb this week, collectively more than $3 billion in electricity bills would be saved and 50 billion fewer tons of coal would be used.

During the last 10 years, some of the country's top companies have enacted green initiatives. Scores of Fortune 500 companies saved billions of dollars with creative methods for reducing their carbon footprints. The common thread in each company was turning good ideas into action, with steps as simple as remembering to turn off the lights or as complex as engineering a green roof to combat a building's heat island effect. The important thing to remember is that all employers, regardless of size, can take action.

Proper use and disposal of toxic materials is equally important. Moreover, ensuring a high level of indoor air quality provides employees with a workspace that promotes their health, increases their productivity and protects the building.

As corporate green initiatives take off, the company's reputation improves and morale generally rises. Many companies form committees, or "green teams," to improve environmental stewardship. Most employers find employees want to get involved when their efforts improve the environment as well as the company's bottom line.

This article appeared in the May issue of Construction Executive Magazine.

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