10 Ways to Cut Carbon Emissions in Your Buildings

Johnson Controls Inc. and its Make Your Buildings Work program offer 10 tips on how your company can reduce its carbon footprint and emissions by minimizing the environmental impacts of facilities and operations.

 The advice is part of Johnson Controls’ campaign to emphasize practical solutions for building owners, managers and operators to improve the energy efficiency and performance of their properties.

The company’s “10 Tips” series is among resources available on the JCI microsite MakeYourBuildingsWork.com. Here are Johnson Controls’ recommendations for cutting carbon emissions:

1. Consider investigating in renewable energy technologies to become less dependent on the grid. This is good for the economy, environment and energy security. Using renewable energy technologies can increase owner revenue, revitalize rural communities and reduce dependence on the power grid — all without consuming natural resources or emitting pollution or greenhouse gases.

2. Promote recycling. Establish a recycling program and distribute recycling containers around your buildings and/or campus to encourage separation of waste and recyclable items.

3. Make cleaning and maintenance greener. Reduce the environmental impact of in-building operations such as cleaning, pest management and maintenance by using more environmentally friendly cleaning products and organic — or eco-sensitive synthetic — filters for equipment.

4. Host meetings with minimal environmental impact. Host and encourage telemeetings. In-person meetings should be held at green hotels that serve water in pitchers instead of bottles, reuse name badges and donate unused food to local food pantries.

5. Offer telecommuting options to employees. Establish a telecommuting program allowing employees to work from home one to five days a week.

6. Institute flex time. Encourage flex time which will stagger start/end times so that employees can avoid getting stuck in rush hour traffic and as a result use less gas and reduce emissions.

7. Increase employee and student awareness. Set up education sessions for employees/students to share home/work tips to reduce their individual and collective carbon footprints.

8. Support green suppliers. Use vendors and suppliers who embrace green practices (i.e. buy local, purchase used office furniture, etc.).

9. Modernize your fleet. Update fleets with more environmentally friendly vehicles where applicable and consider switching to electric and hybrid vehicles.

10. Promote environmentally friendly commuting. Establish carpool initiatives for employees. Provide mass transit passes for employees. Reward hybrid car owners with preferred parking. Johnson Controls launched MakeYourBuildingsWork.com this summer. The microsite features case studies, an energy efficiency calculator, other tools and separate sections on reducing energy costs, efficient operations, creating quality environments and reducing carbon emissions with 10 tips on how to achieve improvements in area.

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