Canon U.S.A. squeezes out 2.7 million kilowatt-hours

A pilot project in five locations saves enough electricity to keep its headquarters running for up to four months.

Imaging technology company Canon U.S.A. reported this week that its four-step energy-savings program covering five different office locations saved more than 2.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity over the past two years. That translates into $300,000 in utility costs, or approximately enough electricity to run its headquarters location in Lake Success, N.Y., for a period of four months.

Here are the four things that contributed to Canon's electricity consumption reduction:

  1. New lighting technologies. The installation of high-efficiency lighting, along with automatic motion sensors that turn lights off in room that are unoccupied. The company also looked more closely at daylight harvesting, removing lights from areas where there was adequate natural lighting or minimal traffic. This points back to the fact that lighting remains one of the biggest power-users in the average office building environment.
  2. New computer screens. Replaced 4,000 cathode ray tube computer screens with LCD monitors. I honestly didn't realize that there were companies that hadn't done this yet, given that this is one of the easiest things that a management team can do to save power.
  3. New office usage policies. The adoption of new policies regarding when, exactly, office buildings are lighted. If someone decides to work late, he or she needs to talk to the facilities team or he or she will be working in the dark. Sure makes the case for work-life balance, doesn't it?
  4. New document management strategy. Canon took a page out of the pitch it makes to its own customers and and installed multifunction devices and document management technologies so it could replace 550 personal printers. Among other things, the software lets Canon employees print documents to the most energy-efficient printer available. In 2010, the company saved 1.6 million sheets of paper, by adopting duplex printing.

Canon U.S.A.'s energy-efficiency measures were applied across its headquarters in Lake Success, as well as in four regional locations: Itasca, Ill.; Irving, Texas; Jamesburg, N.J.; and Irvine, Calif. Can you imagine what will happen when applies them across all its locations?

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com