As a person smitten with the entrepreneurial bug, I always love to read Business 2.0 magazine when it comes in the mail. And it’s not that the magazine has ideas for me to start businesses, but it makes me think differently about trends and the future …it makes me come up with new business ideas. Business 2.0’s September Magazine contains an article about Adobe’s retrofitted USGBC-certified, LEED Platinum building.
This article is awesome because Jeff Nachtigal, the author, actually quantifies each retrofit and illustrates that going green makes economic sense. Some of my counterparts in the blogosphere are adamant that going green is about doing the right thing for our planet, and I respect that, but as a businessman and entrepreneur, going green must make economic sense. Generically speaking, public companies have a fiduciary duty to the shareholder to create value, so there should be some financial incentive to adopt green concepts into buildings. Now there is.
Here are some of the eco-friendly renovations and the break even calculations:
(1) Waterless Urinals with Nontoxic chemicals:
Annual Savings: $14,896
Breakeven: 2.4 years
(2) Automatic Faucets:
Annual Savings: $ 24,000
Breakeven: 4.6 years
(3) Compact Fluorescent Lights:
Cost: $ 11,000
Annual Savings: $105,000
Breakeven: .11 years
(4) Automated Irrigation System:
Cost: $ 3,610
Annual Savings: $10,000
Breakeven: .36 years
(5) Timed Outages of Garage Exhaust Fans & Outdoor Lighting Systems:
Cost: $ 150
Annual Savings: $68,000
Breakeven: .002 years (immediately!!)
These are hard, quantifiable savings. The payback on investments like these is relatively soon, the most attenuated being close to five years out. That's not a bad payback period at all! So these are rational, smart, responsible decisions, and other companies should take notice that Adobe has raised the bar for building operating efficiencies. It's time to hop on the train.
What’s more amazing is that Adobe has been able to foster the right business climate that allows employees to notice waste and make the right changes on a going forward basis. That’s where the real benefits will be realized…and further, employees buy into the benefits and go home making similar changes to their homes. Then they will tell their friends how they saved on their monthly utility bills because of some pragmatic, and economic, changes. Great article Business 2.0!