Carbon Trust helps employees save energy through new online tool

by Shane Henson — January 11, 2012—While the responsibility for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions in buildings often rests on the shoulders of facilities managers, employees have a critical role to play as well. And now employees in the U.K. and elsewhere can find this easy to do thanks to Carbon Trust’s new online office tool—Carbon Trust Empower.

According to Carbon Trust officials, by engaging employees in cutting energy use, paper waste and travel, Carbon Trust Empower has the potential to save a typical small business more than 15 percent of their energy bill or more than £6,000 per year—equivalent to powering 3.5km of street lights for a year. Larger businesses that base their approach on this tool could save £150,000 and over 500 tons of carbon dioxide annually, they add.

With the tool, employees are able to explore energy-saving opportunities throughout their office—starting by considering how they arrive for work, with options to join a company carpool or travel by public transport, before moving on to their desk, where they can commit to switch off their PC (personal computer) when not in use, print double-sided, and teleconference rather than travel. The virtual journey also helps staff cut energy waste in other parts of the office, such as the reception area, kitchen, corridors and toilets.

As well as helping individuals create and keep track of personal action plans, Empower provides a wealth of engaging workplace facts and enables office managers to view the sum of their employees’ individual energy savings.