New to the INNOVATION ZONE: How can companies build a greener workplace?

The behaviour of people working inside office buildings will have far more influence on creating a sustainable culture than smart technical systems. So how can we encourage changes in behaviour?

Everyone knows that the way we work is having a detrimental effect on our environment. Office buildings waste energy and resources by leaving lights on, ICT and air-conditioning systems running, and desks empty. Commuting and business travel also have a significant impact on attempts to reduce carbon emissions.

With customers now demanding greater sustainability and governments legislating for it, business organisations are looking for ways to develop a more sustainable culture, but many are struggling to define the right approach.

Within organisations, individual employees too are uncertain as to how they can make a difference. Many feel that the greener things they can do, such as not printing or recycling, are insignificant without a coherent company strategy for sustainability in place. On the ground, workplace and facilities managers are also unsure what more to ask of people without compromising their working practices. en

Looking more closely at the problem of unsustainable workplaces, one can see that much of the focus on achieving greener offices has been at the level of the technical building system. There has been far less emphasis on changing the behaviour of the people working inside office buildings and on supporting more sustainable work-styles….

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