Sustainability: How does it look today?

As we return to the workplace, safety is at the forefront of our minds. However, the requirement for safety must come hand in hand with a longer term factor - sustainability.

 

This is not just a view held by us at Rhino. A survey, representative of the UK population from the Climate Assembly UK, found that nearly eight in ten said measures taken by the Government to progress economic recovery from COVID-19 should also progress towards net zero.[1]

Thankfully, these attitudes have been reflected in recent government policy announcements. The UK is this year hosting the COP 26 Conference where global progress and agreements on climate change will be considered. The Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan also defines an approach that the Government will take to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic, supporting green jobs and launching us into the era of the ‘Green Industrial Revolution’.[2]

We know reducing emissions is not a wholly new agenda. Indeed, between 1980 and 2018 the UK made significant progress, decreasing carbon emissions by 40%.[3] So, if climate change is not a new topic on the agenda, then what can we do now to inspire the more radical changes to lower carbon emissions, at a sufficient rate to prevent a global crisis?

 

The answer: power is with the people!

In March 2021 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released a study to assess the development of climate policy across the Government. It placed particular focus on how public and consumer engagement will have an integral role in reaching net zero, starting now. This was backed by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) who indicated that the majority (~62%) of emission reductions will require some form of societal and behavioural change in how we currently live our lives.

It appears that a change in consumer habits and mindsets is essential in the race to net zero. Where better to start these new sustainable habits than the workplace?

We envision the workplace as a catalyst for sustainable practices. Incorporating sustainable elements is not only beneficial for the environment, but also for the people using the space. For example, cyclist facilities are listed as a feature of an office design that can aid towards a range of environmental accreditations, including BREEAM. Inclusion of these facilities can encourage and inspire your team to cycle to work rather than use carbon-intensive transport, while reaping the physical and mental benefits of being outdoors and exercising.[4]

Workplace design should encourage habits that are healthy for people and the planet. The pandemic has made us more conscious of connections and ties that bind people globally. In turn, this has fostered a desire to collaborate and tackle the climate crisis.

At Rhino, we recognise the importance of facing these two issues hand in hand and head on. Let's provide you with a people-centric space which promotes wellbeing, connectivity and productivity; safely and sustainably.

 

[1] UK public 'supports green recovery from coronavirus crisis' | Green economy | The Guardian

[2] The ten point plan for a green industrial revolution - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

[3] Net zero public engagement and participation: a research note (publishing.service.gov.uk)

[4] The Health Benefits of Cycling to Work, for Employers and Employees - Cyclescheme

 

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