Recently, there has been a rising wave of environmentalism and green consciousness that has taken over the popular discourse. People are concerned about the growing impacts of environmental problems, and the increasing coverage of climate change and pollution are contributing to this trend. Everywhere, people are trying to change their behaviour by implementing greener solutions in both their personal lives and in their consumption patterns.
Businesses have caught on to this idea, and they are also striving to be more sustainable in their operations. A large part of this is the maintenance and operations of commercial facilities, which were often not environmentally friendly in the past. Caught in the rising tide of eco-consciousness, these are some ways that facilities maintenance in large commercial buildings has gotten greener.
Increased energy efficiency
The hallmark of environmental consciousness in a building is LEED (leadership in environment and energy design.) To achieve this, businesses are becoming more energy-efficient by taking measures to reduce their consumption. This can be achieved in many ways, such as by replacing existing light fixtures with LED lights. Businesses can also design their facilities in such a way that natural light is used to supplement electric lights. Another maintenance step that some businesses are taking is to install automated light switches and temperature control so that energy used is minimised depending on the requirements of the building at the moment.
Using natural air purifying methods
Ozone, otherwise known as activated oxygen, is naturally occurring in the atmosphere. It also serves as a natural, chemical-free, and non-toxic cleaning agent. It can oxidise odour and get rid of it permanently simply by coming in contact with it. It even serves as an antibacterial agent as it kills bacteria and other microbes in the environment. Many companies are now starting to realise and take advantage of this. In the UK, it is used as an air purifier by large facilities such as the NHS due to ozone’s bacteria and virus destroying abilities. Hotels and offices use this as a non-toxic alternative to air fresheners.
Recycling and reusing
Another big trend in businesses going green has been a keenness to recycle, reduce, and reuse many of the materials used in construction. This is not only limited to recycling materials such as plastic and paper. Architects are designing and building facilities in which almost all of the materials are sourced from within the circular economy, where products are reused instead of thrown away. This includes bricks used to build wall and iron rods made out of scrap metal.
Sustainable procurement practices
Facilities can also go green by sourcing their materials from sustainable sources. These include electricity as it can be sourced from solar firms. These can extend to any number of things such as paper, cleaning supplies, and catering choices.
As businesses are becoming more environmentally conscious, the opportunity to make a real impact on the environment is growing. Along with it, options and choices for going green are increasing as there is now a real interest in sustainable operating methods.