How Can Office Tech Improve Sustainability?
Jun 16 2018
With increasing amounts of e-waste ending up in landfill at home and abroad, you would be forgiven for thinking that technology is not always a sustainable business. Indeed, the global population is projected to produce over 50 million tonnes of e-waste this year, resulting in a significant strain on the planet.
However, modern technology is also being developed to reduce our environmental impact, especially in the workplace. A variety of different office gadgets and gizmos are being implemented by companies up and down the UK, with a diverse range of benefits afforded by them all. Here are a few of the ways in which office tech can increase your company’s sustainability:
- Paper consumption. The migration of archives from the filing cabinet to the Cloud means that far less paper needs to be used, and the same is true of emails and online correspondence. Meanwhile, smart printers can prevent the unnecessary printing of duplicate documents, cutting down on paper waste even further.
- Air quality. The use of sophisticated sensors can monitor airborne molecular contamination in enclosed spaces, thus detecting when a gas leak or unhealthy concentration of pollutants is present in the office air. This can not only up productivity and morale but offer exponential health benefits, too.
- Air conditioning and heating. As much as 10% of global energy consumption is down to heating or cooling indoor spaces. A smart-enabled monitoring system can make sure air is only conditioned when absolutely necessary, and can even redistribute air to another location in the building to save energy.
- Energy saving. A smart office can switch on the coffee machine when the first employee arrives in the morning and turn off the lights after the last one has left at night. It can cut electricity supply to appliances and office equipment when not in use and optimise machinery to be as energy-efficient as possible. Indeed, independent analyst IDC estimates that smart tech in the office could reduce energy consumption by up to 30%.
- Maintenance. Predictive maintenance software can detect when a machine is beginning to malfunction, thus alerting you that it requires attention and saving time, money and other resources at a later date for breakdown, repair and downtime.
- Stock. Having all of your inventory itemised in the Cloud means that a computer can keep tabs on when supplies begin to dwindle and automatically order more, meaning you’re never caught short or left in the lurch. Similarly, the interconnected nature of the Internet of Things (IoT) means your business can optimise its order to respond to fluctuating markets, meaning you should never have a surplus, either.
All of these reasons can come together to provide incredible value to your sustainability efforts, meaning that far from being a drain on the planet, office tech can work to its benefit. It’s simply a matter of harnessing the technology for your own advantages – and then implementing it on a company-wide scale – before reaping the profits.
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