Crafting a Greener Workspace: Steps to a Sustainable Coworking Environment

Crafting a Greener Workspace: Steps to a Sustainable Coworking Environment

Coworking spaces are the future of green work environments. Nowadays, many industries focus on their staff’s health and corporate impact on the planet. With environmental concerns of climate change, air pollution, and changes in ecosystems increasing, so is the awareness—and necessity—for sustainable practices.

Resource scarcity, societal values, technological advancements, and economic benefits have also contributed to a rising emphasis on sustainability across the world. In the workplace, the new wave of coworking spaces targets environmental issues head-on.

Here’s how sustainable coworking spaces are transforming the workforce, one step at a time:

  • Energy-efficient lighting and appliances to cut down on energy consumption
  • Waste reduction initiatives
  • Modernization of workflows through digital platforms and paperless operations

These are some of the many ways coworking spaces are introducing eco-conscious behaviors in the workplace. Join the sustainability movement today and incorporate the following tips to create a greener coworking space and a vibrant future!

Energy efficiency and renewable sources

Want to support your operations without wasting excess energy? Consider powering your office up with these eco-friendly options:

  • Energy-efficient lighting: LED bulbs use 90% less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) are also an excellent alternative, generating 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • Energy-efficient appliances: Add energy-certified appliances, like refrigerators and dishwashers, to your workplace. Many companies, such as Whirlpool and GE Appliances, offer ENERGY STAR-certified products that meet the energy-efficiency protocols.
  • HVAC systems: Install smart thermostats to schedule heating and cooling during specific hours so your team stays comfortable while limiting unnecessary energy use. You can also consider zoned HVAC systems to minimize energy waste in unused areas of the building.

Additional ideas for renewable energy sources

Do your part to reduce your company’s carbon footprint and energy costs with the following solutions:

  • Solar panels: Install solar panels to convert the sun’s natural energy into electricity. Solar panels can support your lights, computers, appliances, and more.
  • Geothermal heating and cooling: Use the earth’s temperature through geothermal heat pumps to enjoy the perks of energy-efficient climate control.
  • Wind turbines: Produce electricity with a small-scale wind turbine. This option is beneficial in notoriously windy destinations like Chicago.

Sustainable interior design and materials

Did you know you can add your own flair to your office design while keeping the planet in mind? Eco-friendly, recycled, or upcycled furniture and décor is an excellent start. Explore your local thrift shop and see what treasures you can find for your workspace.

You can also select sustainable furniture made from wood or bamboo. Modular and adaptable options also help reduce waste and allow you to customize your environment. Prioritize natural elements in your office design to reduce plastic usage and give your environment a breath of fresh air. Here are some materials to consider:

  • Sustainable fabrics: Recycled materials and organic textiles.
  • Plant-based fabrics:  Cotton, linen, and hemp can contribute to a welcoming, eco-friendly environment.
  • Terracotta and clay: These are great accent pieces, adding warmth to the coworking space. You can experiment with clay textures with your planters.
  • Water features: Indoor water features establish a tranquil ambiance. Elevate your office’s aesthetic and impress your prospects.
A modern coworking space in an office building with a green wall.

Waste management and recycling

Say it with us: Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Use this mantra as you integrate green initiatives through your waste management efforts.

How to set up an effective waste segregation and recycling structure

To begin, establish a clear recycling system with labeled bins. Leave no room for error, and list what can be placed in each container. You can also use color-coded stations to help workers differentiate the waste areas.

Create a separate bin for hazardous waste disposal, like chemicals and batteries. Having protocols for safe handling is a must, so take advantage of your employee training sessions to cover your bases.

Schedule educational courses to raise awareness about sustainable practices in the workplace. You can cover recycling guidelines, initiatives, and intentional choices to make your office more eco-conscious.

Go the extra mile with a composting program for food scraps, coffee grounds, and used paper towels. Provide a compost bin in central areas of the coworking space.

Encourage your team to minimize waste and opt for reusable items

Use incentives to inspire employees to recycle and participate in a greener work environment. You can motivate your crew by praising their efforts, offering green bonuses, and hosting donation programs.

For instance, spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity for your team to declutter their homes. Encourage them to donate their old supplies and equipment. You can also have them bring their coffee mugs and utensils to reduce waste.

Green transportation options

Flip commuting on its head by making it more collaborative and earth-friendly. If you need some ideas, use these tips to kick off your brainstorming session:

  • Use public transportation.
  • Carpool or rideshare with colleagues.
  • Bike to work.
  • Host remote meetings and video conferences.
  • Offer flexible work arrangements, like telecommuting or flexible work hours.
  • Provide EV charging stations to support electric vehicles.

If your team hesitates to jump on the green transportation train, incentivize them with a commuter benefits program to reimburse them for their commuting expenses. You can also highlight employees of the week who are committing to the cause.

Indoor air quality and greenery 

Stay calm and breathe easily with indoor plants. Adding greenery to your office creates an aesthetically pleasing environment while purifying the air from pollutants. Before you stop by your local nursery, we have some recommendations to ensure you select the right plant types.

First, opt for air-purifying plants like spider, snake, aloe vera, or peace lilies. Then, determine the best placement. Consider positioning your greenery near desks and windows. Note: Some plants may require more light than others, so do your research.

In addition, you can incorporate plants into your custom office design with built-in planters or a living wall.

A coworking space with a white desk and a laptop on it.

3 tips for reducing indoor pollutants with eco-friendly cleaning supplies

Many conventional cleaning products contain harsh chemicals, contributing to poor air quality. Fortunately, you can avoid this unnecessary situation with the following hacks:

  • Opt for eco-friendly cleaning supplies: Search for products labeled with a green seal. Review the ingredients to see if they’re free from chemicals like bleach, phosphates, and ammonia.
  • Dilute your current cleaning products: If you already have cleaning supplies, you can reduce the harsh chemicals by diluting them with water.
  • Ventilate the office: Open the windows and doors to circulate fresh air and reduce intense odors.

Water conservation measures

Every drop counts in a sustainable coworking space. Consider installing low-flow faucets and water-efficient toilets to conserve your water usage. In addition, you can share water reduction goals with your staff and monitor progress toward your green objectives.

Take this opportunity to educate your workers on water conservation and encourage them to report leaks and plumbing issues.

You can also implement simple water-saving protocols, like turning off the sink while lathering soap on your hands. Every intentional action makes a difference, no matter how small it may seem.

Community engagement and education

Foster a community of eco-conscious professionals with workshops, challenges, and sustainability events. You can invite guest speakers to share their expertise and expand your environmental awareness.

Work on your green initiatives outside of the workplace. Invite your employees to participate in community cleaning days and tree planting. These services highlight your commitment to protecting the planet and creating a thriving future.

Partner with local environmental organizations to inspire more eco-conscious initiatives. While it may seem challenging to incorporate green habits in the workplace, sharing tips and resources can empower your staff to become advocates in their daily lives.

Sustainable partnerships and vendors

Are you partnering with sustainable vendors? If not, you can start today by researching environmentally-friendly brands and keeping a lookout for certifications like Fair Trade and USDA Organic. Then, contact like-minded partners who align with your green values.

In addition, incorporate ethical products in the workplace. For instance, reusable utensils, compostable tableware, and eco-friendly coffee pods. Consider ordering sustainable snacks in bulk to add to your office menu, such as:

  • Organic snacks
  • Fair trade coffee and tea
  • Locally-sourced produce
  • Vegan and plant-based options

Experiment with these treats and select your favorites for the next order!

A person coworking at a shared workspace, pouring coffee into a glass coffee pot.

Creating a greener workspace begins with you

Making intentional choices in your workplace can significantly impact the environment. It can reduce your carbon footprint and waste, conserve energy and water, and promote a healthier planet.

Be proactive and encourage your colleagues to integrate some of these eco-friendly tips. You can promote sustainable practices in your office by:

  • Educating your team
  • Introducing green initiatives
  • Establishing a clear waste system
  • Motivating your staff to be intentional inside and outside of the workplace

Use this post to inspire a new wave of green initiatives and contribute to a sustainable future for future generations, starting with a sustainable coworking environment.

Are you ready to take the first step with our state-of-the-art coworking spaces?

Explore our diverse catalog of coworking options today!

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