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Fostering A Sustainable Work Environment Via Innovation

The significance of sustainability in corporate strategy are given below

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As purpose takes center stage, an increasing number of organizations are bolstering their commitment to the planet, and quite rightly so. A sustainable approach not only protects our environment and natural resources for future generations but also improves our standard of living. Climate change has made a significant impact on the survival of all species on the planet. Today, sustainability is no longer an option; it is a way of life. In the business sphere, a company's approach to sustainability is linked to everything from operations, manufacturing, design, and logistics to customer service, employee health, and wellness. For all business owners and leaders, sustainable business strategies that restructure workspaces and organizational culture have become indispensable. 

The significance of sustainability in corporate strategy: 

Focus on Innovation: The concept of what makes a workplace 'green' has evolved. A green building reduces or eliminates repercussions on the environment whilst having the potential to create positive ones through its construction, design, or operation. Green buildings contribute to environmental protection while also enhancing the quality of work-life balance. Employers are constantly looking for innovative ways to incorporate sustainable initiatives into the office. When companies and leaders adhere to green practices, they also inspire others to follow their lead. 

A person in a white coat <br /><br />Description automatically generated with low confidenceBuilding Green, Building Sensibly:  The new hybrid work environment presents an opportunity to use technology and data to build sustainably and sensibly. In the bargain, no room should serve a single purpose in an office space; it should be multifunctional. As more employees gradually return to the office, companies need to continue reinventing the workplace paradigm to support future transformation and growth goals. The effective use of space and befitting selection of construction materials that have a low environmental impact and help reduce energy consumption play a crucial role in creating green spaces that lead to positive environmental change. 

Co-working spaces: The popularity of co-working spaces has skyrocketed in recent years. Co-working occupants, or members, share amenities including furniture, phones, printing equipment, and technical and operational assistance, in contrast to traditional serviced offices. Since there are shared expenses on energy consumption, internet, etc. renting a co-working space on a membership basis is often less expensive than operating a traditional office. This form of the modern office appeals to the millennial workforce and those who prefer to work in a vibrant environment with like-minded individuals. Not only are coworking spaces cost-effective, but also they go a long way in redefining sustainability with creative disruptions and innovations that stand out and make a difference. 

Net-zero: The goal when designing for sustainability is to be net-zero on energy, water, and waste. Technology is making this a realistic option and is revolutionizing how we think, design, and operate commercial buildings and offices. Furthermore, office buildings can lower energy consumption during peak hours and then feed that energy back to the grid when they are not in use. The inclusion of simple climate-responsive design strategies can help reduce dependency on mechanical forms of heating and cooling.  

Employee Wellbeing: In essence, wellness is an investment in the health, safety, and welfare of employees of the company. The modern workplace's resilience depends on both wellness and sustainability and combining these two principles is where we see true results. Improving indoor air quality, using natural light for illumination, ample ventilation, etc. are just some measures that go a long way in enhancing the well-being of the occupants.  

Human health and wellness in buildings and communities are promoted by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). WELL is recognized as the front line in rating systems for implementing, validating, and measuring features that improve human health and wellness. When applied to office spaces, it helps enhance productivity, working performance, sustainable physical and mental health, and well-being. By combining best practices in design and construction, one can harness the built environment to support employee health and wellbeing. 

Lastly, to make effective top-down decisions, organizational leadership training and skills are required to affect change throughout the company. Today it has become crucial for business owners to possess the intellectual ability to determine successful sustainability initiatives, influence policies, and encourage innovation within the organization.

By Chulamas Jitpatima (Amy), Country Director, MQDC India 

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