Business owners who are already established and have acquired their business technology are actually at a disadvantage. They have invested in equipment with, usually, a three-year depreciation, so they’re not likely to replace it until that time is up, so it’s harder for them to go “green”. But if you’re just starting your business now, you have an opportunity to be green from the start.
Why would you choose “greener” technology? Because it will lower your business expenses and, as a result, contribute to your business’ profitability! And for the short term, that could give you a small advantage over established businesses.
How does green technology lower your expenses? If a piece of equipment is more energy efficient, it uses less electricity and lowers your utility bill. And that can be significant. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Ilana DeBare reports that:
The energy savings can be dramatic: A typical non-Energy-Star computer would use 741 kilowatt-hours of energy over the course of a year if left on all the time, compared with 123 kilowatt-hours with power management, according to the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. ‘Just by turning on power management, you’re cutting energy use by up to 90 percent – power management is huge,’ said Climate Savers spokeswoman Barbara Grimes.
The Chronicle article lists several places you can go to learn more about which products are more energy efficient:
Climate Savers Computing Initiative – www.climatesaverscomputing.org
Electronic product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) – www.epeat.net
Here are some more tips from the article:
- To enable power management on a Windows PC, right-click on the desktop, then click on Properties and Screen Saver. Grimes suggests setting the monitor and hard drive to hibernate after 15 minutes, and the whole computer to hibernate after 30 minutes.
- Small-business owners with computer networks can buy power-management software from companies like Verdiem and 1e to control the sleep settings on employees’ computers. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is offering a rebate of $15 per computer on such programs.
- Many offices have separate printers, fax machines, scanners and copiers. But for mom-and-pop businesses and home offices, a single $200 all-in-one printer often can handle all those jobs for less energy and money.
- Large printers can often be set to automatically print on both sides of the page: If buying a printer, ask if it can handle “duplex” printing. “You can cut your paper use almost in half,” said Susan Kinsella, of Conservatree, an environmental paper consulting firm in San Francisco.
Read the entire article for lots more good information.
And here’s a tip from The First Year:
* Terrapass sells Smart Strip power strips in a number of models. They serve as surge protectors when the power is on, but they automatically shut off when a device is idle for an extended periond of time.