Green facilities are smart facilities. They are businesses that control their costs through focused attention on reduced energy consumption, enhanced equipment efficiency, consistent maintenance, and more flexible building and human resource management. In the sense that business environmental sustainability is largely measured in resource efficiency, businesses have been practicing sustainability for a long time under the name of cost reduction. A business that did not routinely look for ways to produce their products or services less expensively was destined to be overtaken by producers who operated more efficiently and sold their wares for less. This aspect of green practices is not new, though the tools available to today’s managers for assessing and implementing cost reduction measures are vastly greater than those of even a decade ago. What is new, and what this book addresses, is the beginning of a new era of looking at a wider range of sustainability factors-including facilities, human resources, equipment, and operations-in a comprehensive manner as part of an overall sustainability program.
The new reality of sustainable management means assessing the effects of facility and equipment changes on employee productivity, production efficiency, energy consumption, and a host of other interrelated factors:
- How does implementing an employee ride-share program affect employee working hours, productivity, and building operation costs?
- Can the use of compressed air be reduced without losing productivity, and is it worth the cost?
- Does a redesign of the steam supply system for greater efficiency allow for cost effective expansion when orders increase?
- How does allowing employees to open windows during temperate periods affect absenteeism and liability associated with asthma sufferers?
Managing in the green era requires broader vision, more thoughtful analysis, and a healthy dose of prognostication. Sustainable management is part analytical and part intuitive, a blend of business benefits and greater good. Most of all, sustainability is now an established movement with public and employee support. Creating greener facilities is a necessity for managers, and they would do well to follow the advice of Francis Bacon: “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.”
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Green Facilities: Industrial and Commercial LEED Certification, part of the McGraw-Hill GreenSource series, examines a wide range of sustainability factors and reveals how to control costs through focused attention on reduced energy consumption, enhanced equipment efficiency, consistent maintenance, and more-flexible building and human resource management. Specific industry resources for each strategy are included in this practical guide.
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