Implementing green initiatives in the office can save companies money, report finds

World Green Building Council’s new report ‘Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Wellbeing in Green Building’ has urged companies to make green improvements.

The report makes the case for the economic benefits of green building and it argues that there is improved employee satisfaction when companies implement new health, wellbeing and productivity features in existing green structures. They used 11 case studies from around the world.

The report says that employers prefer green buildings that make them feel ‘healthier and more productive’, and they use a case study from Cundall UK’s office, which focused on improved indoor air quality, which they say helped them save over £200,000 in a year from lower staff turnover and sickness.

Similarly, Floth’s net zero carbon office resulted in 94.5% staff satisfaction and better health was reported by 72% of their employees, while at Sherwin-Williams’ Centro América headquarters there was a 68% reduction in reported respiratory problems and staff sick days almost halved.

The report summarised that:

  • Achievements in energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions coming from on-site renewable energy systems can be incorporated with no negative impact on the design for occupants.
  • Employees prefer and work best when they are in spaces with ample natural light, good air quality and access to greenery and amenities.
  • The largest improvements in employee satisfaction happen when staff are engaged in co-designing their new green and healthy workspaces.

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: ‘This report should send a clear signal to companies with employees as well as building owners and managers to make green building investments a priority.

‘It’s obvious that making energy efficiency improvements will reduce operating costs, but arguably an even greater impact of green improvements are those felt by the people who spend their working lives in these spaces.

‘Greener workspaces are healthier, more enjoyable places to work, and this has a tangible impact on productivity, employee health and the business bottom line.’

Ed Dixon, Director of Sustainability Insights, Landsec said: ‘It’s clear from the quality of the case studies that there is a growing amount of evidence in the bid to build green.’

‘We’re delighted to see that green buildings have a wider impact on employee satisfaction and result in happier, healthier workplaces.’

Read the report here


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