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Improving Corporate Workspace Sustainability

The most sustainable workspaces are those that enter into dialogue with occupants and influence their behaviour.

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A sustainable workplace is one that minimizes its environmental impact and incorporates eco-friendly elements to create a harmonizing experience for everyone. People spend most of the time at work. A healthy and sustainable workspace through a blend of dynamic urban setting helps employees stay happier.  Research has repeatedly shown that workplaces that have high environmental performance show an increase in satisfaction of people at work. 

Few best practices to improve workspace Sustainability

Sustainability in the workplace is more than using energy-saving bulbs and smart recycling methods. In fact, it's a holistic approach to creating a general sense of wellbeing for your people and business. One that caters to both people and the environment. Businesses that pride themselves on environmentally sustainable work practices give themselves a competitive edge. 

Use Daylighting

Lighting makes a difference when it comes to efficiency and the happiness levels of people. Yet, efficient workplace lighting is often an afterthought. Introduce natural light into the office, or upgrade fixtures to LEDs. Natural light will help to reduce the building's overall energy usage. Combined with greenery daylight can improve creativity, learning and promote human health and potential. Daylighting is the strategy of incorporating natural light into the workplace through the placement of windows and reflective surfaces. It's critical for aligning the body with the natural cycles of day and night, ultimately supporting better sleep patterns and overall health.

Improved Air Quality

An important aspect of sustainable design is that polluted indoor air can escape outside and cleaner outdoor air can get inside. Avoiding chemicals, products that off-gas VOCs such as carpet glues and plastics, and adding more plants can all improve indoor air quality.  As people breathe, they exhale CO2 which makes indoor air stale. Higher levels of CO2 than oxygen can make workers feel tired and make it more difficult to concentrate. One of the simplest solutions to high levels of CO2 is to add more greenery, wherever possible.

Increased Air Flow 

By increasing ventilation from 20 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air to 40 CBM, productivity per employee increases. Simply by increasing the ventilation of outdoor air into your office, you can increase employee productivity. 

Invest in Eco and Energy Efficient Equipment 

The purchase of highly efficient, eco-friendly equipment can be added to your sustainable product and supply policy. The fewer machines you use, the smaller your footprint. At the core of sustainable office and workplace design is the goal of becoming more energy efficient. Depending on the size of your offices, you may be able to implement far-reaching energy efficiency improvements including improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), energy-efficient lighting, metering and equipment/appliance upgrades.

Reduce Water Use

To reduce water usage in your workspace, add low-flow aerators to your sinks. These restrict the water flow and reduce usage by half with no loss of efficiency. Use low water flow toilets which use 20 percent of the water used by older toilets. 

Rethink Your Paper Products

Use recycled paper in your printer and copier. Use recycled paper towels, if you use paper towels, at all. Use recycled, septic-safe toilet paper. These are all easy to find and available in bulk at about the same price (and sometimes less) than the less environmentally responsible alternatives.

Go Low VOC

Paints and building materials contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Choose low VOC paints and products to keep harmful pollutants out of your space. Low VOC paints are now the same price and quality as more toxic alternatives. When possible, choose low VOC carpet, as well, though these are still more expensive.

Clean Green

Green cleaning supplies are affordable, easy to find, and better for your members and the planet than toxic products. Use natural cleaning supplies in your space for wiping down counters and tables, doing the dishes, mopping floors and cleaning the bathrooms.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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PK Mishra

The author is Vice President, Salarpuria Sattva Group

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