Blog Best Practices / Industry Trends

Even offices have a role to play in reducing climate change

By Catherine Steele

Industry Trends | October 9, 2019

Just last month, climate activist Greta Thunberg accused world leaders at the 2019 UN climate action summit of stealing her dreams and childhood with their empty words and failure to take serious action on climate change. While we are not outspoken environmental campaigners or world leaders and might feel we don’t have the power to change things, preventing the deterioration of our environment is something we can all play a part in. Even something as small as turning the lights off or switching off unused electronics can make a difference. In this game, every little bit counts and even offices can help reduce climate change. So, imagine if instead of your office taking up five floors of a building, with all its associated environmental pollution and large carbon footprint, you could cut this down to just three floors. That is three floors of desks that are in constant use due to a workplace booking and monitoring system rather than five floors of partially-used desks waiting for their part-time occupants to be in the office.

UK government office cuts carbon footprint by 20%

In 2009, the UK’s department of energy and climate change cut its carbon footprint by 20 per cent compared with the prior year through a variety of measures including making better use of its office space. While measuring the carbon footprint of office space is not easy – there are a lot of contributory factors – it goes without saying, that the larger your space, the larger your footprint and therefore the impact you are having on the environment. What is a carbon footprint? To put it simply, it’s a measurement, usually expressed in tonnes, that represents the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation or community. Reducing carbon emissions means minimising the CO2 contribution. While CO2 is a natural result of life, too much of it in the atmosphere is not good for the planet or other living creatures as it surrounds the earth and traps the heat from the sun, raising temperatures on earth.

Buildings account for 36% of the EU’s CO2 emissions

Buildings account for about 36 per cent of the EU’s total CO2 emissions[1] so reducing the size of your office space could have a significant impact on your carbon footprint. To address this, and other issues, we have developed HybridHero, a workplace and meeting room management system designed not only to optimise your space, but also to improve employees’ wellbeing and increase productivity. HybridHero has been proven to increase desk utilisation by 57.4% and reduce real-estate costs by 55%[2]. In our most recent case study, the detailed MI gathered from using the application provided evidence for the closure of 11 properties, which not only significantly reduced the amount of money our client needed to spend on real estate but also drastically cut their carbon footprint.

Cutting down on travel

Aside from the issue of building emissions, one of the quickest ways for a business to reduce its carbon footprint is to cut down on travel. This can be done by using the internet – conference calls or video conferencing, to avoid unnecessary business trips, or by offering flexible working. Allowing employees to work from home not only reduces the amount of space needed in the office, but also minimises the time they spend commuting and therefore the carbon emissions they generate.

Implementing flexible working can cut your carbon footprint

Using a workplace management system like HybridHero to facilitate the advance booking of desks or meeting rooms keeps employees happy and avoids some of the more traditional concerns associated with unregulated hot desking such as anxiety over desk availability. It also means that employers can track which desks are used when and fully optimise their available workspace.

To find out more about how HybridHero can help you optimise your workspace, save money and improve the overall wellbeing of your employees, sign up for a free trial today.


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