Solar panels, low-flow appliances and recycled building materials are all important ingredients for incorporating green practices in your company, but small business owners who are looking for a simple adoption that is both easy to install and cost-effective should look into one trend that has been gaining significant steam in the business world: white roofs.
It may not seem like much, but painting your roof white may lead to extraordinary benefits, including saving your company thousands of dollars in utility bills each year. Additionally, the action has been linked to lower carbon emissions, cooler temperatures indoors and even slowed climate change.
If you're searching for feasible, impactful green practices, consider the benefits of painting your business' roof white.
Saving the Earth one roof at a time
Most companies don't think about the material or color of their roofs. While some executives focus on the green adoptions they can make indoors, few realize how much heat and energy can be wasted through the roof. For the most part, roofs are covered in tar - a substance that absorbs heat from the sun and may lead to hotter indoor temperatures in the summer and greater damage to the environment. As the sun shines on these roofs, the rays become trapped at the top of the building, causing both rooms and spaces in the surrounding area to be much hotter than normal.
To combat this environmental woe, many small business owners have jumped on the white roof bandwagon. By merely coating the roof with reflective, white solar paint, people have prevented their businesses from storing this excess heat. Reflective surfaces allow the sun's rays to bounce off the roof, making temperatures cooler both indoors and in the ground surrounding the structure. Businesses may see lowered utility bills, as their companies are not spending as much money cooling the building, and improved air quality in the surrounding area, as their structure gives off less heat.
Measuring the impact
Companies from around the globe have implemented this practice in their operations, citing the numerous cost and environmental savings as their inspiration. The U.S. Department of Energy recently came out in support of this initiative, painting the majority of its buildings' roofs white. Steven Chu, the U.S. Energy Secretary, explained that the savings from this practice would become immediately apparent upon installation.
"Cool roofs are one of the quickest and lowest cost ways we can reduce our global carbon emissions and begin the hard work of slowing climate change," Chu told the Berkley Lab. "By demonstrating the benefits of cool roofs on our facilities, the federal government can lead the nation toward more sustainable building practices while reducing the federal carbon footprint and saving money for taxpayers."
In addition to painting your roof white, many environmental experts recommend engaging in other eco-friendly initiatives. Solar panels, for example, are a great supplement to the white roof, as they can further reflect the sun's rays from harming your building, and they may even be able to help provide energy to the structure.