There is something special about the look of a brand new office - new carpet, new furniture, freshly painted, all looking fantastic and a space you are proud to work in.
Whilst refurbishing a tired looking office has innumerable benefits, each time you fit out your offices you are adding to your carbon footprint.
So can we have the up to date, smart offices we would all like to work in and do so in an environmentally friendly way?
Several companies are setting trends in sustainable office fit outs and they are doing so by using one the simplest green solutions, recycling. For a company such as the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), when you are looking at opening a new office you really should be practicing what you preach. And so they did; when they fitted out their new offices in London’s Shoreditch, they retained and reused blinds, carpets, kitchen cabinets and network cables, amongst other things.
Another London based company who specialises in recycling also managed to ensure their refurbishment was as green as possible, by reusing or repurposing 86% of their current furniture and existing flooring.
We would expect “those in the trade” to be recycling whatever they can, but does this apply to other commercial designs? Could we all be doing a little bit more than a recycling box in the office kitchen?
Creating a greener workspace is not only down to fit out and design - we need to be able to source eco-friendly fixtures and furnishings when recycling is not an option. This has moved on considerably in the past few years and we are no longer having to compromise on quality when sourcing greener options. Manufacturers have realised their part in this journey and there are some wonderful options out there for office furniture that is more sustainable as well as all the other fixtures and fittings.
The old adage that you can’t have your cake and eat it is being thrown out of the window when it comes to green office fit outs - refurbishing your work space and leaving a minimal carbon footprint is becoming as financially viable as it is ethically responsible.