The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has devised the Green Star rating system, which evaluates the design, construction and performance of a building for sustainability and environmental impact. Becoming a top-rated Green Star building can require significant spend on renovations and sustainable technologies, but that doesn’t mean the average office can’t become future friendly.
Take your sustainability cues from some of our nation’s leading Green Star buildings with these easy-to-implement tips.
1. Location, location
Consulting business dsquared recognised that the very nature of its work meant a lot of external meetings, and therefore a lot of travel. Before moving into a new space the company took this into consideration and decided to locate its office less than two kilometres from the majority of its clients. Staff members are encouraged to walk or cycle to meetings, or use public transport.
2. Replace desktops with laptops
Even the world’s biggest businesses, like Coca-Cola Amatil, go back to basics when searching for ways to decrease their carbon footprint. When building the new Coca-Cola Place in North Sydney, all desktop computers were replaced with laptops to minimise energy wastage. For a small business, this energy-saving tip can also reduce tech spend and facilitates more flexible working arrangements.
3. Become water wise
Wasted water at 1 Bligh Street, Sydney, is treated via a central blackwater treatment plant and recycled for toilet flushing and make-up water for the cooling towers to save approximately 100,000 litres of water a day. Although this impressive initiative may fall outside a small business budget, the high-rise has also implemented water-efficient appliances including showerheads, hand-wash basin taps and toilets to reduce water wastage.
4. Use indoor plants
The 6 Star Green Star ANZ Centre in Melbourne’s Docklands has distributed indoor plants through its offices. Indoor plants improve the air quality in an office space, meaning happier and healthier employees who are less likely to switch on the air conditioner. This keeps energy expenditure, and bills, down.
5. Go PVC free
Next time you need to purchase office furniture, fixtures and fittings, make like the 5 Star Green Star ISIS head office in Victoria and look for third-party-certified, durable items that have a warranty exceeding 10 years, and give preference to materials that are PVC free, low VOC and with low formaldehyde emissions.
Try our online quote tool to find out how much money implementing sustainable practices could save your business.