Businesses Can Make a Difference

There are plenty of ways for individuals to make a difference at home, but in the office it might be harder to see what changes can be made. The first step to take as an organization is to commit to making the smallest impact on the environment as possible through real corporate social responsibility.

Send electronic documents in lieu of paper whenever possible – Avoid printing documents unnecessarily, this will save a lot of paper. When printing is unavoidable be sure to print on both sides of the paper. The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory found that the average office worker in the US uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. That’s four million tons of copy paper used annually. Office workers in the US generate approximately two pounds of paper and paperboard products every day.

Recycle the paper you use and use recycled paper– Clearly lots of paper gets used in the office and sometimes it’s just unavoidable. However, the resulting tragedy is that most of it gets thrown away fairly quickly. As well as reducing your paper use you can also recycle the paper you use and buy recycled paper.

Turn lights off when they’re not being used – This one really speaks for itself, right? Ninty-two percent of energy consumed in the United States is generated from non-renewable resources. When lights are left on but aren’t being used, CO2 is being put into the atmosphere and limited resources are used up for no reason. If you have windows in your office, use the natural sunlight. Sometimes we turn the lights on out of habit rather than necessity. Make a new habit of using lights only when they’re necessary.

Work from home – It has been estimated that if 32 million Americans who could work from home did so at least one day a week, 74 million gallons of gas could be saved --that's enough to go around the globe 51,000 times. Your business might be able to implement a “day-from-home” policy in which each employee gets one day a week to work from home. It could boost morale and save the environment.

Get an energy audit - To significantly reduce your enterprise’s energy use, consider getting a professional energy audit done of your entire facility. An audit can highlight equipment that is no longer functioning well and could be replaced with more efficient models, and it can reveal air leaks that lead to wasted heating and cooling.

Offset your excess emissions – When you’ve made these improvements you will inevitably still consume energy and thus, use resources, and cause greenhouse gas emissions to enter the atmosphere, but you’re doing much better! You can offset the unavoidable emissions with Appalachian Forest Offsets. This ensures that the emissions your organization releases are being soaked up by healthy forests in a region Appalachia.

Offset your travel emissions – It’s easy to calculate how many metric tons of CO2 are required for a plane to get from one location to the next. You can offset these emissions and travel carbon neutrally.

For Businesses and Nonprofits in Kentucky and Central Appalachia:

MACED’s Energy Efficient Enterprises (E3) project works with small businesses and nonprofits to help them reduce energy use and operating expenses. We can help you spend less on electricity or gas by addressing:

•heating and cooling
•water heating
•refrigeration and more!

With MACED’s Enterprise Development team, we offer:

•an energy microloan for $10,000 or less for small energy efficiency projects and
•interest rate incentives for larger energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

To learn more, contact Josh Bills at 859-986-2373 or