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How Sandy made Green relevant again.

29 November 2012

Hi! My name is Roan and I’m the Senior Support Officer for Broadgate Financial Group. Next year I will graduate from the University of Applied Science in Amsterdam with a Bachelor Degree in International Financial Management. Today I would like to share with you some ideas about the impact of going green in your business.

Climate change

As all of you might know, at the end of October Hurricane Sandy devastated portions of the Caribbean, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, and Eastern Canada. When Sandy reached the States, it became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record with a diameter of 1.800 km (1.100 km miles) and it was the second costliest hurricane in the USA (after Katrina, 2005) with an early calculated estimated caused damage of at least $20 billion. Sandy also killed 199 people along her path. In the wake of hurricane Sandy, climate change roared back into relevancy.

Presidential elections

Is climate change responsible for hurricane Sandy? Did climate change make Superstorm Sandy worse? And is Sandy an evidence of global warming? With the American elections almost a month behind us where the climate change was not even mentioned in the presidential debates, Sandy puts climate change back on the map. Before the elections Obama mentioned: “Without strong, constant and vocal leadership from the next President, we will not be able to protect current and future generations from the destructive impacts of climate change. Don’t let your voice go silent.”

Multinationals going green

Multi-national corporations are regarded as the top cause of environmental degradation. Profitability is their primary concern and they have enough wealth and power to keep exploiting nature. Because more and more societies and NGO’s are screaming for a revolution, some companies decided to change their attitude. For example, the Bank of America reduced paper use by 32% from 2000-2005, despite a 24% growth in their customer base. They also run an internal recycling program that recycles 30,000 tons of paper each year, good for saving roughly 200,000 trees for each year of the program’s operation. Wal-Mart, one the most hated corporations in the green movement, launched a long-term eco-friendly plan to power all the stores using 100% renewable energy sources. Wal-Mart is committed to make its operations more eco-friendly than ever by using its waste-eliminating corporate philosophy.

How can you go green?

Going green with your business is easier than you might think. By only doing a few things you can save energy and money.  For example, you can be more eco-friendly by paying more attention on energy usage. Our office at Broadgate consists out of several workspaces. By turning off the light when nobody is using the workspace, we become more cost-efficient and ecological. We also try to avoid printing paper and use e-documents as much as possible. And if we do print, we use recycled paper, print on gray scale and recycle the recycled paper after usage. At the moment we are thinking about investing in high-quality, long-lasting products, like a Xerox Office Printer. Instead of replacing a cheaper printer every one or two years, a more expensive one will work for a longer period of time and make it less wasteful.

Some other ways to go green:
  • Close your doors and windows during the winter and open doors and windows during the summer. Especially close your doors and windows while using an air conditioner.
  • Don’t buy bottles of water, but invest in a water dispenser.
  • Always buy your office supplies in bulk.
  • Turn off (and unplug) computers and other electronic devices when you leave the office.
  • If you really want to start saving energy and cut down on your electricity bill, you can invest in a Personal Energy Monitor. This device will show you detailed energy readings and historical data on your energy usage. So every day when you leave your office, this monitor will tell you how to save costs. Interested? Click here for a Personal Energy Monitor from Wattson.

These are just a few examples how to go green. Being eco-friendly will not only save you on an expensive bill, but influence other factors. If we don’t go green, it may result in more global warming, which eventually creates another Superstorm like Sandy. But it could also influence your business. Going green will set a positive example for employees which boost morale and company loyalty. It may also gain a competitive advantage by differentiating yourself as a green company, improves efficiency and potentially lower operating costs and provides a cleaner and healthier work environment in your company.

Roan du Cloo
Senior Support Officer
roan@broadgatefinancial.com