Ben Navarro Explains How Business Can Go Green
Sustainability expert Ben Navarro discusses the business benefits of going green, in addition to the benefits for the environment
With the depletion of the environment around us, the introduction and implementation of green technology was inevitable, notes Ben Navarro, a successful San Francisco business consultant, with over 10 years’ experience, specializing in green technology.
With the strain on the environment, alternative technologies are becoming extremely popular. Office buildings account for a major portion of the planet’s carbon footprint. Going green is not only helpful for the environment, but it makes good business sense. Consumers prefer to buy from brands that manufacture and operate with green in mind.
David Suzuki is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. He shares some simple, yet effective measures to get started greening your office:
1. Save Energy: If you are not using it, turn it off. Plug equipment into power bars, and turn them off until needed. Replace all light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs): the bulbs consume an average of 75% less electricity than conventional incandescent lights. Purchase energy saving office appliances, and equipment, such as computers, LCD monitors, printers, and photocopiers.
2. Lighting: Design for lighting intensity of 1.0 watts-per-square-foot; over-lighting wastes energy and produces glare. Install lighting controls to turn lights on only when they are needed.
3. Go Electronic: Encourage the staff to go electronic; instead of using hard copies of reports, memos and reports, use the phone and email, use overheads and power point presentations, and use web resources.
4. Conserve Water: Ban bottled water and keep a pitcher of water in the fridge. Scrape dishes instead of rinsing before putting them in the dishwasher (if you are lucky enough to have one in the office). Do not pour water down the drain, instead use it to water plants.
5. Transportation: Encourage stall to take an alternative mode of transportation for their daily commute. This could include options such as car-pooling, cycling, taking public transit, or walking.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics, green technologies and practices (GTP) are being used by roughly three-quarters of business establishments. The following are statistics on the use of green technologies and practices by business establishments:
● 75% of business establishments reported the use of a least one green technology or practice
● The two most frequently reported types of green technology and practices were to improve energy efficiency and to reduce waste materials
● Informational and educational services were among the industries with the highest incidences of green technologies and practices. The industries with the lowest incidences were mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, and transportation, and warehousing.
● The percentage of establishments varied by region from 72 % in the South to 77% in the West.
As a successful consultant in green technologies, Ben Navarro lists the top alternative technologies:
● Solar Power: A popular technology that uses the natural resources of the sun’s rays, solar power provides clean energy. Solar panels are installed outside of a structure to provide clean energy inside the building, without the use of an additional power source. Business giants, Microsoft and Google currently use solar power at their head office buildings.
● Wind Turbine: “One of the cleanest ways to utilize renewable resources is through the use of erected windmills,” says Ben Navarro. To take advantage of this technology, the windmills require a large amount of land and wind. According to The World Wind Energy Association, over 100 countries are taking advantage of wind turbine energy.
● Geothermal Power: This type of green energy is sourced from the natural warmth beneath the earth’s surface. Geothermal Power is currently used to generate heat, air conditioning and electricity for commercial businesses. In relation to all types of alternative energy, geothermal power is thought to be the most harmless, notes Navarro.
● Ocean Energy: The ocean produces two types of energy; thermal energy from the sun’s heat and mechanical energy from the tides and waves. Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface, making them the world’s largest solar collectors. Just a small portion of the heat trapped in the ocean could power the entire world.
● Hydro Power: Water power is derived from the energy of falling water and running water. The water pressure that is created is used to turn the blades of a turbine. The turbine is connected to a generator, which converts the mechanical energy into electricity.
● Biomass: Biological material derived from living organisms, plants or plant-derived materials, is classed as biomass. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly by means of combustion to produce heat or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel. Wood remains the largest biomass energy source, which includes forest residue, yard clippings, wood chips and municipal waste.
There is no perfect solution when it comes to green strategies but Benjamin Navarro, a green technologies implementer hopes the technology will continue to experience exponential growth, benefiting both business and the environment.