Productivity Bits and Bytes

When you ask people to define productivity it can be a bit of Rorschach test. Do they think it means putting in overtime? Do they start talking about reducing waste and flow?

Productivity simply measures the efficiency in which an economy transforms inputs into outputs. Improving productivity focuses on working smarter, not harder.

Given the nature of discussion and the challenges facing productivity in Alberta we wanted to provide an honest and frank list of facts and figures about the issue. If you want to raise the issue in your organization you’ll be significantly better armed after reading this post.

**Productivity Stats**

In its first year, Productivity Alberta helped more than 130 businesses improve their bottom lines through the use of its free online self-assessment tools. – [Productivity Alberta](http://www.productivityalberta.ca/productivity-in-alberta “”)

Between 2000 and 2009, U.S. productivity continued to grow at 2.7 per cent, compared to Canada’s rate of 0.7 per cent. Productivity Alberta exists to change that. – [Productivity Alberta](http://www.productivityalberta.ca/about-us “”)

Productivity growth is closely related to growths in standards of living. Higher productivity means higher wages, which means a higher standard of living.

Labour productivity is a measure of real gross domestic product per hour worked. That means that when the production of goods and services grows faster than the volume of work dedicated to their production, productivity gains occur.

Between 1997 and 2008, hours worked increased in the labour market in every province, with Alberta, at plus 2.8 per cent, well ahead of the other provinces. – [Statistics Canada](http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=19 “”)

In 2008, the amount of fuel gas used by the upstream gas and conventional oil industry amounted to approximately 29 million cubic metres per day (1 bcfd). – [Energy Resources Conservation Board](http://www.ercb.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_320_0_0_43/http%3B/ercbContent/publishedcontent/publish/ercb_home/industry_zone/alberta_s_energy_resources_and_statistics/energy_efficiency/ “”)

A 10 per cent savings in fuel gas use could amount to savings of approximately 28.9 million cubic metres per day (100 million cubic feet per day). This gas savings is enough to heat more than 300,000 homes. – [Energy Resources Conservation Board](http://www.ercb.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_320_0_0_43/http%3B/ercbContent/publishedcontent/publish/ercb_home/industry_zone/alberta_s_energy_resources_and_statistics/energy_efficiency/ “”)

Installing energy-efficient commercial lighting can often pay for itself, in electricity savings, within two to three years. – [C3 Climate Change Central](http://www.climatechangecentral.com/take-action/business/energy-efficiency/lighting/commercial-lighting “”)

For many companies, lighting accounts for more than half of their electricity consumption. Often, this lighting bill could be cut by at least 30 per cent by switching to energy-efficient lighting. – [C3 Climate Change Central](http://www.climatechangecentral.com/take-action/business/energy-efficiency/lighting/commercial-lighting “”)

Two decades ago, office equipment accounted for one per cent of business energy use. Today, it’s up to nearly 20 per cent – the fastest-growing use of electricity in offices – due to personal computers, printers, fax machines, photocopiers, scanners and the like – plus the amount of time they’re all turned on. – [C3 Climate Change Central](http://www.climatechangecentral.com/take-action/business/energy-efficiency/office-equipment/office-equipment “”)

An office of 200 employees equipped with Energy Star® machines can save about $3,500 a year in energy costs (at 10 cents per kilowatt hour). – [C3 Climate Change Central](http://www.climatechangecentral.com/take-action/business/energy-efficiency/office-equipment/office-equipment “”)

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