A rising number of organisations are starting to adopt sustainable workplace practices. Not only do they help to fulfil ESG commitments, but they also have a positive impact on operational costs and employee health and well-being.
A sustainable workplace seeks to protect the environment and reduce business risk.
In an environmental sense, a sustainable building can reduce carbon emissions, thus meeting Climate Change Act 2008 requirements and reduce regulatory risk.
Economically, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings use 25 per cent less energy and 11 per cent less water than uncertified buildings. Further, according to owners, new or retrofitted green buildings can increase around 7 per cent in asset value, and green building retrofit can immediately reduce operational costs by 10 per cent in just a year.
Socially, employees in sustainable workplaces are, on average, 16 per cent more productive. They also experience considerable improvement in cognitive scores.
Improvement in indoor air quality courtesy of reduced carbon dioxide concentrations and better ventilation is linked to a 7 per cent boost to employee performance.
Finally, studies suggest that employees prefer to work in companies that can show positive sustainability credentials. How office space is ventilated, lit and presented, as well as access to local amenities and green space, can all have a significant impact upon attracting and retaining talent.
The British Land's Place People Prefer survey of 1,000 workers revealed that over 80 per cent believe that companies that fail to offer their staff a convenient location and attractive workplace features are more likely to lose them. The same number felt they would be 36 per cent more productive if their working conditions were ideal, and 86 per cent said they would stay longer with an employer that offered the ideal office location and features.
CBRE's 2018 European Occupier Survey showed that 92 per cent of respondents had a preference for buildings capable of supporting wellness initiatives; 80 per cent have or will introduce a wellness programme, and 74 per cent expect to provide more collaboration and wellness space.