How to make childcare centres more sustainable

Teachers and educators have a significant part to play in taking care of our planet – both in reducing waste and energy consumption, and educating children about how to live sustainably. Increasing children’s understanding about their responsibility to care for the environment can be simple enough, however actually improving environmental outcomes and energy consumption of each facility can seem like a huge challenge to childcare centre operators.

Integrated Outcomes specialise in environmentally friendly lighting solutions that tackle two of the greatest issues of our time – sustainability and climate change. We are part of Australia’s largest lighting company the GLG (a foundation member of Fluorocycle), and we are committed to providing sustainable lighting solutions as well as removing and recycling hazardous material.

Increasing electricity costs have put pressure on childcare centres to manage operational spend.

A tailored lighting upgrade is a great way to reduce childcares’ energy consumption, and lead towards a smaller carbon footprint for these facilities. The financial benefits that result from these reductions can also help to enhance educational outcomes, when the savings gained are redistributed into in-house programs and projects. Turning equipment off when areas are unoccupied, incorporating energy conservation measures like occupancy controls and daylight harvesting all work towards a more energy efficient and sustainable business.

  • If you have not considered energy efficiency technology such as a lighting and controls upgrade – you could be missing out! Below are a few things to consider when deciding if you want to make your centre’s lighting more efficient.
  • The lighting of your facility will typically chew up about 20-40 per cent of your total energy consumption. By switching to more energy efficient lighting and controls you will be able to drastically reduce this. While there is a cost to upgrading, these upgrades usually pay for themselves in less than five years.
  • The Australian government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation now gives banks the ability to provide finance for energy systems at lower rates than ever; and with no upfront cash required. Typically, the savings you make on your energy bills cover the financial repayments and still allow for a saving on your monthly bill. So, your operating costs go down straight away without the need for a huge upfront payment. The NSW and VIC governments also provide financial rebate incentives that are designed to assist businesses to transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future.
  • The quality of energy efficient solutions can vary dramatically between suppliers, and there is such a big range of products and companies that it’s difficult to know which solution is right for you. Don’t go with the cheapest option, as it’s often a case of you get what you pay for when it comes to lighting. Consult a trusted supplier with many years of experience.
  • As well as saving money and reducing energy consumption, introducing an energy efficient solution can provide a real-life educational opportunity for the children at your centre. Think about how you can engage them and the community around you to cultivate a real interest in the renewable energy systems that you have chosen.

To learn more about what you can do to take control of your energy costs, or if you think your business could use a lighting upgrade, contact Integrated Outcomes for a free consultation on +613 8394 3119.

For more information head to www.integratedoutcomes.com.au

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