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24 October 2023 | by Joe McKay
Sustainability matters. In fact, it’s urgent as the world grapples with an unprecedented climate emergency. As such, the need for greater sustainability and environmental responsibility are two significant drivers changing how we live our lives.
In the office interior design industry, we’re responding by embracing sustainable design principles and encouraging our clients to do the same. We’re achieving that through education and by helping businesses understand the environmental ramifications of their real estate and workplace decisions—one example concerns office refurbishment.
In this blog, we will explain how office refurbishment is more sustainable than an office move and why sustainability must be central to the design of The Destination Office. We will also address how sustainable office refurbishment is key to reducing waste, carbon and cost, and maximising relationships with your people.
Relocating an office has always been financially demanding, but the environmental impact is now being brought into sharp focus. Let’s look at five key reasons to choose a Cat B refurbishment over other, less sustainable options for your office.
The benefit of this reuse mindset is that new items are only purchased when needed rather than because they’re wanted. Alarmingly, 1.2 million ofﬁce desks and 1.8 million chairs end up in landfill each year – much of which is prompted by office moves and this desire for ‘new’.
In any case, where new materials and furniture are needed, it’s a perfect opportunity to make more sustainable choices. More examples include specifying 100% recycled, completely biodegradable or low-carbon furniture. Some manufacturers even run ‘take back’ schemes to ensure that products at the end of their life can be reclaimed as valuable material instead of being sent to landfill.
It makes sense, then, that 70% of employees and job seekers say a company’s sustainability programme makes them more appealing as an employer, and that just over a third of employees would reject a job offer because of a company’s poor green credentials. 70% of all employees are more likely to stay with an employer with a good reputation and track record for sustainability.
As employees want to see demonstrable environmental action and their values reflected in their employers, they’ll also expect to see them reflected in the physical workplace, too. This means that The Destination Office must be sustainable in its build and use.
Our study into the feelings and experiences colleagues want from the office, titled The Workplace Oooh, stressed the importance of sustainability in practice and promoting greener behaviours. It revealed that simple changes, such as ‘being more environmentally responsible’ with better recycling provision and access to EV charging, would help to make the workplace more inviting. Employees want their workplaces to ‘be green’, and crucially, for that to help them be greener too.
For employers striving to find ways to bring these values and ethos to life – a sustainable office refurbishment should always win out over an office move. It’s an effective way to reduce cost and carbon, prove that you care about the world we live in and build a more loyal workforce that embodies your values. The business balance sheet will thank you; your employees will thank you (they are certainly more green-minded than you think), and most importantly, the planet will thank you.
To find out more about the importance of sustainability and the major trends shaping office interior design and The Destination Office in 2024, download our latest Insight Report here.
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