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Sustainable development trends - Prioritising green credentials to complement tenant needs

Reducing waste, inventive ways to upcycle and low-toxicity decorating

March 2024 is officially B Corp month.

As a business on our own journey to certification, we've been reflecting on the inventive ways asset owners are prioritising green practices within property development. This not only complements the wants and needs of tenants, but ultimately, positively impacts everything we do within the property industry.

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Creating sustainable spaces which adhere to tenant requests

One of the overarching themes of recent months has been requests for sustainable spaces

Tenants who occupy the offices are requesting them, and asset owners are adhering to these requests.

The vast majority of asset owners we’re working with at Kontor are heavily focussed on green credentials; advanced filtration systems, excellent BREEAM ratings, and maximising outdoor space for wellbeing benefits to name a few.

This enhanced eco-focus not only benefits the end product of the office itself, but everyone else involved in the supply chain, including contributing to our B Corp certification journey. 

The inventive ways sustainability is shaping the workplace 

Aside from practices such as harvesting rainwater and investing in renewable energy, eco-friendly workspaces are taking on a variety of inventive formats:

Maximising green spaces - Green roofs, outdoor terraces and communal gardens; green spaces are becoming necessities within office space, contributing to a holistic design approach. 

Take Regent’s Place for example, 350 Euston Road is part of British Land’s Euston Road campus, which consists of 1.5 acres of landscaped gardens and roofs plus cycle spaces.

Creative upcycling - Restoring original flooring as opposed to replacing with entirely new materials, reusing meeting room partitioning, and even recycling old windows into unique light fixtures (as witnessed as part of a recent conversation with the team during an architectural meeting). 

In fact, reusing raised floors has the potential to save 18kg+ of carbon - on a recent tour 6,696 were being reused within one building, saving 175 tonnes of carbon. 

Mindful decorating - Opting for low-toxicity paint, energy-efficient lighting and upcycled office furniture - everything down to the finishing touches are being considered during the design and build process.

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Reuse not replace…

…Is the mantra, and asset owners and developers are constantly keeping this front of mind, making conscious decisions at every stage of the development cycle which enables many of them to continue to divert up to 100% of waste from landfill. 

Plenty also have clear pathways to net zero carbon targets, importantly supported with full buy-in from senior management. 

Arding & Hobbs is classed as carbon neutral, 10 White Lion Street features Photovoltaic roof panels to lower the overall carbon footprint and provide a secondary energy source, and Regent’s Place is progressing towards its net zero carbon target via renewable energy, zero waste to landfill and a reduction in energy intensity across the campus, contributing to carbon savings.

And working collaboratively with the same moral compass 

To say we’ve seen a mindset shift across the past few years would be an understatement, especially when considering the inventive ways sustainability is shaping the workspace.

How we’re behaving as an industry is resulting in a positive impact on everything we do, impacting the buildings themselves, the planet, and the exciting and innovative businesses residing in these spaces, especially if said companies are already B Corp certified or looking to achieve it. 

We saw a huge uplift in interest across energy usage reports and sustainable design in 2023 - clearly reflecting the wants and needs of tenants - and this requirement for green practices is something we’ll only expect to see more of in the coming months and years.

As a final thought, although all eyes might be on achieving that B Corp certification, focus shouldn’t solely be on accreditation but more so adhering to a particular moral code in how we conduct business. 

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By Jess Ward, Content Marketing Manager

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