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How Offices Can Reduce their Impact on the Climate Crisis

by maria

2021 proved to be a significant year for the climate crisis, with COP26, the IPCC 2021 Report, Extinction Rebellion’s non-violent civil disobedience, and Greta Thunberg’s school strike for climate movement – all of these placing the climate crisis front and centre of our social psyche.

As a result, with 2022 now upon us, it’s no surprise that we’re all looking at how we can reduce our own impact on climate change.

Many of us have been taking steps in our everyday lives, from eating less meat or switching off the lights. We all want to make sure we are making a positive difference in the climate crisis at home.

However, despite our individual efforts towards tackling climate change, companies and corporations have many more opportunitiesto make a bigger impact. The bigger brands and global companies are committing to achieve net zero status, but

What about the smaller business and offices?

We have to ask ourselves these important questions: How dowe power our offices, improve our operations, and monitor our carbon footprint so that smaller operations can also reach net-zero emissions?

Reducing Emissions

Emissions from heating and powering London’s commercial and industrial buildings currently makes up 36% of the capital’s carbon footprint.

In 2021, House of Sport signed up to the Greater London Authority Business Climate Challenge Pilot. This was launched to work with businesses and organisations located in the Better Bankside Business Improvement District to reduce their carbon footprint by, firstly, cutting their building energy usage. We at House of Sport have taken positive steps as a result from this.

Why is this important? Retrofitting buildings and improving overall energy efficiency performance of London’s workplaces will play an important role in reducing London’s emissions and provide a significant opportunity for green jobs in the Capital. But this isn’t exclusive to London!

Operating a Nero Zero environment

Perhaps it’s time for that long overdue office refurb? It could be the time to get moving.

We aren’t necessarily talking new tables and chairs, although sustainable options are available, but more so considerations about areas including motion-activated lighting systems, no gas or even smart technology HVAC systems for heating and cooling air.

This will give you a brilliant platform to ensure development and consistency. The steps to operating a net zero building are as follows:

  1. Baseline your emissions by recording data and reporting findings
  2. Improve Operational Efficiencies, for example by analysing and tracking our energy usage data to identify areas of wastage and implement changes to operations to reduce.
  3. Transition to low carbon heating
  4. Generate clean energy on site
  5. Procure renewable electricity
  6. Offset remaining emissions

What next?

So, what can individualsdo to help achieve similar goals in their own work?

Turning off lights and unplugging monitors is a good place to start. Recycling and composting can also help reduce waste. Ask your company who currently monitors your carbon emissions and see if there are more steps that could be taken in order for companies to make more ambitious goals towards net-zero.

Other seemingly simple areas of consideration include ensuring you effectively recycle waste, composting on site where possible, limit printing and even be considerate about much you boil the kettle.

Make your work your home by adopting the same energy saving measures in the workplace as you do at home.One of the simplest ways to support the movement and demonstrate personal responsibility is to extend your home habits into the workplace.

And if you don’t have mindful habits, maybe now is the time to build some.

Kimberley Pierce is Head of Operations at House of Sport, a co-working space in the heart of London for charities who harness the power of sport and physical activity for social good. For more info, visit www.houseofsport.org.uk

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