Before you start a campaign to make your workplace healthier, you should conduct a smart office audit.
This audit is a systematic way to determine the good and bad aspects of your work environment. A complete, smart office audit looks at a variety of things, including:
- Ventilation. (How often air is exchanged/hour, fresh air sources, e.g. loading dock.)
- Toxins. (Paints, carpets, glues, resins, plastics, pesticides used, manufacturing processes.)
- Desk arrangements.
- Quality (glare, color).
- Degree of manual or automated control.
- Virgin vs. recycled.
- Toxic vs. non-toxic.
- Indoor toxins.
- Open loop manufacturing processes (characterized by unnecessary waste).
- Direct mail/publications (recycled/recylable papers, soy-based inks).
Check with your local utility to find out if it offers free or inexpensive energy audits. In addition to knowing what to look for in your lighting, heating and cooling, your utility may help to pay for the changes it recommends.
Adapted from The Smart Office, by A.K.Townsend.Copyright (c) 1997 by A.K.Townsend .Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green Publishing Company.
Adapted from The Smart Office, by A.K.Townsend.