If legendary comic book seductress and environmental advocate Poison Ivy were an IT manager, how would she optimize office sustainability? Known for her fierce defence of plants and the biosphere, this emerald crusader would likely make it her top priority to ensure the business was as sustainable as possible—for the good of the planet's future. Along the way, she'd take advantage of exciting innovations and advances in technology, so no leaf would go unturned in her quest. Here are four ways Poison Ivy would enhance office sustainability as an IT manager.
1. Use eco-friendly lighting
Poison Ivy is usually caught doing the wrong things for the right reasons. You can pursue her same drive for environmental conservation, but you should probably avoid using her methods, unless you want to turn into a supervillian, too. What's an easy, safe way to protect the earth? Smart lighting.
If your lighting isn't eco-friendly, you're missing out some huge cost savings and an opportunity to be a better friend to the environment. LED bulbs use about 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lighting, and they last 25 times longer. While LEDs and other environmentally friendly lighting alternatives, like compact fluorescent lighting (CFL), require a higher up-front investment, they can save your business considerable money in the long run. Smart lighting systems that use motion sensors to turn the lights off when no one is around can generate additional cost savings by ensuring the lights are only used when needed.
2. Reduce energy use—big time
Poison Ivy pulls her energy from the sun, just like the plant life she loves and lives to protect. While you may not be able to follow in Poison Ivy's footsteps by turning to solar energy, you can still be smart about the way you use energy. Limiting and managing your electricity consumption is key to making your business more eco-friendly and keeping money in your pocket. Invest in energy-efficient surge protectors, and make sure all devices in use are directly plugged into them rather than wall outlets. Energy-efficient workstations, displays, and printers—some of which even use post-consumer recycled plastic and environmentally friendly cooling technology to consume less energy and run more quietly—can be configured to enter a power-saving mode when not in use.
To take your office sustainability to the next level, consider opting for energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators and dishwashers. You may even get some nice federal or state tax rebates and credits for making an environmentally responsible choice. To take your environmental awareness even deeper, you can look at using sustainable energy providers, as well.
3. Turn to sustainable printing solutions
Everything about Poison Ivy screams sustainability—even her entire one-piece outfit is created from plant vines and adorned with shiny leaves. You should try your best to emulate Poison Ivy's dedication to the environment by incorporating sustainable tactics into every aspect of your network. There are a lot of smart, innovative solutions out there that can help your business reduce its environmental impact.
Take printers, for example. If your printers are not yet energy efficient, you may want to consider investing in printers that consume less electricity—for example, look into the energy savings HP PageWide printers can provide. You can even take advantage of ink cartridges that use recycled materials but still deliver the high quality printing your office expects. Managed print services (MPS) can also offer insightful analytics to help you analyze your current paper consumption and identify ways to reduce it through streamlined workflows—something that would make even Poison Ivy proud.
4. Allow telecommuting
With advancements in mobile technology, it's easier than ever to work from home. It's also environmentally friendly, reducing your carbon footprint impact associated with commuting to and working in a traditional office. If you haven't considered allowing your employees to telecommute, you may want to seriously consider supporting this employee-friendly and eco-friendly option. Imagine if Poison Ivy could simply and easily communicate with her favourite partners in crime from anywhere, at any time. You can bet she'd be calling up Harley Quinn and Catwoman on a regular basis to find out where and when they planned to strike next—and figure out how she can add to the chaos.
On top of advanced connectivity, your business can reap cost savings related to office space, electricity, and office supplies. Employees who work from home often report they get more work done, which could give your business a nice productivity and creativity boost, as well.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Businesses everywhere are exploring even more innovative ways to reduce their environmental impact, from leveraging IoT data to become more eco-friendly to developing more environmentally friendly products that use sustainable packaging—all smart moves for companies that want to appeal to today's eco-conscious customers. The best part about these moves? You won't have to go as over the top as Poison Ivy when it comes to protecting the environment. You can do your part subtly, and as a bonus, an environmentally sustainable approach can prove transformative, enabling IT to become a business driver rather than a cost centre. How will you help your company go green and make a difference?