What do you do when the low-hanging environmental fruit has already been picked and you’re still hunting for more reductions? Chris Oswick, Facilities Director at Colliers International faced exactly this dilemma:
My work is about buildings, just like Colliers itself, but most of what we occupy is leased and so change at some locations is not always easy to come by, needing long negotiation with other tenants and the landlord. What we focused on instead was how we used that space, and how we could do so more efficiently. In other words, getting more from less. And less space meant less energy used.
Colliers had a freer hand with its headquarters building in London and, using its in-house expertise, set about adjusting how the building used energy. Timers on the building management system were tweaked, boiler burners fitted with optimisation units (pictured), chillers updated and humidifiers isolated. “It all had to pay for itself pretty quickly” reflected Chris, “as there are only a few years left on the lease”.
As agents and consultants, Colliers is a people business and so their other focus was on how the building was being used on a day by day basis. A rigorous ‘turn-off campaign’ addressed all those little wastages that creep up on people through habit, around PCs, printers, lights, radiators and so on.
So where are they setting their sights next?
We’re looking at the car policy now, which is a bit scary, as it’s a pretty emotive area, but most people understand why we’re doing it. Like any change, it’s all about being clear and open from the outset.
Does Chris think this will add up to a 10% cut in 2010? “Yes, but I’m not sure if I can uncross my fingers yet.”