Here's how we got to net zero in the office

By paying close attention to every aspect of our energy use, my co-workers and I have seen how even the smallest actions can have an impact on climate change

Motivating office workers to get to net zero energy may sound daunting. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PEXELS
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(NYTIMES) - It's true that my co-workers were not happy when I broke the news four years ago that one of the two restaurant-size coffee machines in the office kitchen had to go. One machine went mostly unused, and together the two consumed 1 per cent of the total energy used annually by the building. One per cent may not sound like much, but our goal was net zero - getting our building to generate as much energy on-site as it used in a year - so every bit counted. As the vigilant office energy manager, I saw a simple way to cut some of the waste.

After several conversations and a staff meeting with a data-heavy presentation on the energy use of coffee makers, most of the staff came around to downsizing to one machine. The additional coffee maker was unplugged and retired to a storage closet - still available when needed, but no longer needlessly chugging energy.

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