The idea of going green has been pounded into the minds of every American over the last few years. All we ever hear is that it is time we step up and help the environment. We need to start driving hybrid cars and using reusable energy. But why should we? Yes, we know it is going to help the earth, and slow down global warming, but why should we care? It’s not going to ruin our lives, during our generation. Americans tend to be categorized as being selfish, so based on that I am going to convince you how going green can help you personally, along with also helping the earth.
There are three main ways that going green is going to improve society: its environment, economics, and people. There is evidence for each of these three categories based on companies that have taken the plunge and are able to evaluate their benefits.
The major trend among corporations to go green is the construction of new office buildings, that allow for all kinds of going green technology. SAP Americas, the worlds largest business software company, will be taking the plunge and completely expanding their headquarters located in Newtown, PA. According to GreenBiz.com, SAP will be installing many kinds of state of the art equipment including the following:
-Geothermal wells that will use the constant ground temperature to both heat and cool.
-An ice storage plantthat will produce ice during overnight hours when electric rates are lower. The chilled water will then cool the building during the day.
-An under floor air distribution system that will allow lower velocity air movement to save energy and also will give employees full control at each individual workstation and office.
-Green roofs with no exposed mechanical systems that will not only weave the old into the landscape, but also reduce rainwater runoff. Rainwater will be collected in cisterns and used in the existing cooling towers and as irrigation water for the site and green roofs.
-Rolling daylight or lighting systems that will be controlled by daylight sensors which will both dim lighting levels and rise or lower window shades based on the light provided through a floor-to-ceiling glass exterior wall.
Those building additions are simply the ways that SAP is moving toward helping the environment, but what is the company going to get out of going green? The under floor air distribution center which allows for each employee to control the air temperature in their offices, will make employees more comfortable in their work space. Also, the rolling daylight systems will keep a constant pleasurable amount of sunlight in the offices throughout the day. Employees are going to be happier at work. Productivity has been shown to increase when employees want to be at work. SAP has noticed a significant increase in the attendance of their employees. Due to the higher attendance and higher productivity, the costs of the green equipment and new construction, has been paid off within the first five years.
Another company called Organized Wisdom has completely gone virtual. They have no common building where they all meet. The company conducts everything they do over the Internet. By doing this they have fulfilled the definition of going green: it’s paperless, there is not a building to consume energy and employees don’t transmit toxins into the air from their cars. Obviously all of these characteristics are helping the environment, but what is Organized Wisdom getting out of the deal?
Organized Wisdom is able to hire employees from all over the country. They have no issues with people having to commute to work, since everybody’s office is in their home. The company is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They are able to do this because the Internet never closes. All of their employees work within their own time zone, and best of all they are able to work when it is most convenient for them. The advisors for the company do not evaluate their employees based on the hours they put in, but on the efficiency at which work gets done. Since employees are able to work at their most productive time they in turn produce their best work.
Employees are much more loyal and productive in these working conditions because it allows for them to still live their everyday lives. They are at home with their families, they make their own schedule, and they work in a stress free environment.
Going Green is great for the earth and is a major step in creating a healthier environment, but it also will help you individually. There are benefits that will provide you with a better business if you create a green friendly work environment. Based on these two examples demonstrating there are different ways to create your work space to be green and both ways are going to make you company thrive.