Tips for Businesses
Employers across the region can have a huge impact on our region’s air quality. The way your employees commute to work, how you maintain your grounds and facilities, and your corporate philosophy about the role you and your employees can play in clearing the air can go a long way towards reducing emissions and improving the quality of the air we breathe.
- Team-up with RideFinders or Citizens for Modern Transit to provide employees with carpool matching services, vanpool formation assistance, help planning trips on mass transit and access to a Guaranteed Ride Home. Promote and encourage use of these modes.
- Make it easy for employees to walk or bike to work by providing bike racks and shower facilities.
- Encourage employees to brown bag their lunch or walk to lunch, rather than driving.
- Offer telecommuting as an option for employees who can do some of their work from home.
- Offer flex-time that allows employees to work shifts that are before or after rush hour.
- Offer compressed work week schedules so employees only have to commute 4 days a week.
- Conduct meetings by conference calls instead of traveling to meet in-person off-site.
- If you must conduct meetings in person, hold them in a location that requires the least amount of driving, schedule them for early in the morning and carpool whenever possible.
- Offer incentives to those who utilize alternative modes for the work commute. These can include convenient or free parking for those who rideshare.
- Offer a subsidy to offset some or all of the cost of transit passes or vanpooling.
- Offer pre-payroll tax deductions for transit passes or vanpool credits.
Buildings & Maintenance
Grounds Keeping & Outdoors:
Paints & Solvents:
- Adjust thermostats – turning down the heat the end of the day or raising the setting for cooling.
- Install reuseuable furnace and air conditioning filters and clean them monthly
- During hot summer days, allow employees dress casually to reduce the use of air conditioners.
- Select Energy Star appliances and equipment and establish a regular maintenance routine to prolong the life of the equipment.
- Install airlock entrances
- Use fewer fixtures and incorporate direct/indirect lighting.
- Install timers or motion sensors to turn off lights that are not frequently used and use timers to automate heat and cooling settings.
- Use solar timers for parking lot and walkway lighting.
- Conduct energy/lighting audits and institute energy management programs at all facilities.
- Install energy-saving software on computers.
- Ask employees to turn off computers and monitors overnight, instead of just allowing them to go into sleep mode.
- Turn off lights in areas not in use.
- Use energy-efficient fluorescent lights or replace with light-emitting diode technology.
- Install heat recovery equipment on large air conditioning units to preheat water.
- Install open-door buzzers for walk-in refrigerators.
- Pay attention to the air quality in and around the office (concerns such a dust or ozone from photocopiers, emissions from vehicles idling outside, chemical use and inadequate ventilation systems).
- Use walk-off grates at entries for people to wipe off heavy dirt that can contain particulate matter.
- Buy recycled office products. Recycled products often use less energy in production. For example, recycled aluminum takes only five percent of the energy to produce than aluminum products manufactured from the virgin material, bauxite.
- Stock the kitchen with reusable utensils to avoid the waste created by the use of plastic utensils or paper plates.
- Update your Mission Statement or annual goals to reflect a commitment to clean air.
- Encourage formation of a committee to oversee clean air initiatives and/or appoint individuals to serve as a Clean Air Coordinator or and Employee Transportation Coordinator (CAC/ETC).
- Provide access to information about ways your employees can clean the air.
- Promote the Clean Air Message and the tools available to help employees be part of the solution (i.e. – host Rideshare fairs, post information on the company’s intranet, publish articles in newsletters, etc.).
- Provide financial incentives for employees to rideshare.
- Become an advocate for clean air by writing to elected officials and your local newspaper in support of clean air efforts.