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CareersApril 22 marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. For commercial entities, Earth Day is the ideal time to launch innovative, sustainable and environmentally friendly work initiatives.

Here are three environmental best practices you should implement to enhance energy efficiency and make your business more sustainable:

1. Use less paper. Implement strategies to reduce paper usage, including shrinking image sizes while printing, and adding tag lines in e-mails to discourage people from taking unnecessary printouts. Furthermore, instead of printing PowerPoint slides as hand outs for distribution, share the slides on websites such as SlideShare.com. Furthermore, look to move towards an electronic environment and distribute promotional materials on DVDs or memory sticks instead of opting for printed brochures and flyers.

2. Be smart about your windows. Treat your windows with low-emission glazes that reflect heat rays in the sunlight; this ensures that the building stays cool during summer, reducing the need for air-conditioning and therefore your electricity bills. Allow sunlight to filter in and use windows, skylights and mirrors to reflect the sunlight internally, ensuring that rooms are well-lit naturally; this is known as ‘daylighting’. You can also retrofit south-facing windows with sun shelves – that help transmit the sun’s heat energy deep into a building – this will draw in 50% additional light into the interiors.

3. Dim the lights. You can minimise the energy consumed in artificial lighting by implementing daylight harvesting – a process whereby lights are dimmed or switched off during daylight hours depending on how much sunlight enters a room. You can also install overhead light sensors; they automatically turn the lights on and off based on the amount of sunlight streaming into a room.

These are long-term measures to conserve the environment. On the day itself, many organisations tie in ‘volunteerism’ with Employee Engagement Programmes; they also plan neighbourhood cleanup drives and recycling collection events.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan

The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting,Training, e-learning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on April 19, 2015.