As long as we coexist with nature on this planet, we need to start doing our bit to slow down the effects of climate change. Many practices and daily habits can be implemented, big or small, to reduce our carbon footprint personally and in our workspaces.
97% of companies have already felt the negative impacts of climate change. (Source: Deloitte 2022 CxO Sustainability Report). There has been a significant push for improved sustainability across all industries, including the real estate sector including coworking spaces.
Hence, coworking spaces should be as eco-efficient and sustainable as possible. But what exactly can these modern coworking spaces do to reduce the carbon footprint and become a zero-waste organisations on a significant level? Here are some ways coworking spaces could address the issue of waste and other environmental effects that greatly affect everyone today.
Small steps that lead to large scale impact:
- Proper waste segregation
The amount of garbage generated in workspaces has been rising, and office spaces continue adding to the 277.1 million tonnes of waste India generates annually (source: World Bank Report). Therefore, it is increasingly important to reduce the amount of waste generated and reach landfills.Coworking spaces can segregate, recycle, and compost waste across their centers as a daily practice to reduce wastage.Create a recycling culture by making it convenient for members to put cans, bottles, paper, packaging, and more in recycling can rather than a garbage bin. Coworking spaces can have separate wet and dry bins for their customers with posters that mention instructions on what needs to be put into which bin.
- Grow hydroponic plants
According to NASA research, plants help remove up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours. VOCs are toxins that are released by our everyday household items and furnishings. Hydroponic plants are a type of horticulture that involves growing plants, usually crops, without soil, by using mineral nutrient solutions in an aqueous solvent likeRosemaryLemon BalmBasilIt is a sustainable practice in agriculture with multiple benefits, notably a tremendous decrease in water usage in agriculture.Coworking spaces can use plants to give life to all their work desks, meeting rooms, cafes, and common areas. As a result, the plants keep fatigued, stress, and anxiety at bay and increase productivity levels. This helps improve the workers’ concentration, memory retention, and productivity by creating a sense of well-being.
- Switch to conservative energy practices
Unnecessary lighting is a major power drain. Motion-activated lights improve power efficiency by ensuring spaces aren’t lit when no one uses them.An ideal solution would be to rely as much as possible on natural light, which additionally has proven health benefits over artificial lighting, such as:-
- Natural light improves our productivity and focus
- Improved access to natural light can reduce levels of agitation and stress
- Natural light helps reduce headaches, eyestrain, or blurred vision
If you can’t install windows that let more sunlight through, try to set up a desk layout that gets the most lighting from existing windows.
- Using reusable resources & materials that are long-lasting
Modern technology has changed the way of communication in the workplace. We now digitize everything, from organizing company files to facilitating a meeting, even signatures. Companies can utilize messaging applications to communicate with employees.Unfortunately, not everyone can catch up with technology and digitize everything. Some still require paper documents, such as accounting and finance-related matters. Installing separate compartments for recyclable A3 and A4 size papers for reusable purposes ensures minimum wastage of paper. So, opting for recycled paper and limiting printer use as much as possible can significantly help reduce office waste. While designing a coworking space or an office space, materials that are long-lasting, sustainable, and made of waste residual should be used.
- Awareness campaigns
There are countless ways of informing your customers and staff about environmental issues and how they can contribute to living and working greener. You could host seminars with environmental experts as speakers or workshops with green projects as a theme. Even smaller-scale actions, such as holding a presentation to inform members on how to recycle properly, can make a difference.Since coworking spaces are one of the prominent places where innovative minds meet, all you have to do is build relationships with members and companies that have eco-friendly ideals. What is essential is that you surround yourself with like-minded people and start sharing ideas for a greener tomorrow.These are some small tangible steps that can be taken to create a positive impact. If every organization encourages its team members to take such small steps in their everyday life, the world will be a better place. Let’s create a sustainable environment for our future.