This year, we made the decision to move away from serviced offices where we do not have control over our environment or sustainability.
We could not influence how our facilities suppliers were sourced, or which energy company we used for example. Our impact on the planet and working environment are extremely important to the company, so we decided that it was time for a change!
As a resource efficiency specialist, we advise many of our 1,000-plus members how they can reduce their carbon emissions and make their businesses and products more sustainable. At our current office location, staff are encouraged to travel sustainably, we separate our waste out into different streams, we have even developed a car sharing scheme called joinmyjourney, and we have a bike shed, changing facilities, and a company electric car.
Our impending office move has given us the opportunity to make even more of a difference and we want to walk the walk when it comes to sustainability. Our goal is to create an environmentally-friendly office, where staff are as sustainable as possible in everything that they do, and the suppliers we work with.
Every office impacts the environment: from resource use, waste disposal, air emissions, to noise pollution, water pollution and of course traffic emissions. According to WRAP’s Green Office guide, waste alone can cost organisations as much as 4% of turnover.
As a company, we also want more space where our team can work together in one office, rather than split over two floors, and to create somewhere that encourages healthier, happier, and more productive employees.
Staff are the most valuable asset for many organisations. Today’s job hunters demand more ethical and sustainable employers, and pleasant environments to work. After all, we probably spend more than 90% of our time inside artificial environments such as office buildings and shopping centres.
The sad reality is that too many of us work in poorly designed buildings and office space, which creates disengaged workers with low productivity. According to a study cited by the World Green Building Council workers in green, well ventilated offices record a 101% increase in brain function tests. Being disconnected from nature can also increase stress.
Many companies still opt for a convenient location, cost-effective facilities management, nice-looking offices with meeting rooms, high-spec furniture and IT systems. It sounds ideal, but many employees find they have to drive to purchase their lunch and these places are invariably sited on business parks, cut off from the local community.
According to the World Green Building Council, there are eight markers of a healthy office, click the image below to find out more:
Our office move project began in March this year and we are making good progress with the eco-friendly office design process, sourcing sustainable facilities and removal companies with the least impact on the environment so that we are up and running in our new ‘green’ office by September.
To really make a difference it takes time to find suppliers with similar values and goals. With a little patience and some stealthy internet research, it is possible to find affordable green alternatives, for example, working with B Corp certified companies and organisations that are ISO 14001 Certified.
Office designs based on functionality are important of course, but beware that sometimes an attractive building can actually be a miserable environment to work in. At Ecosurety, we believe in change for good; doing the right thing so that our business benefits, but also that our staff, suppliers, and the wider community also gain. We are moving on, and looking forward to a great workplace experience.
My next blog will explore the mechanics of our ‘green’ move and the key learns that we can pass on!
Karen joined the team at the beginning of 2016 and supports both the compliance and marketing teams, helping to co-ordinate member interactions through the provision of administrative support.
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