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A sustainable workplace

Do you want to make a difference for the environment at work as well? Coor lists three key questions that you and your employer can ask yourselves to ensure a more sustainable workplace.

Today we know that the carbon dioxide emissions from a single flight correspond to about 40,000 train trips. We also know that about 40% of the energy consumption in the Nordic countries comes from buildings, and that a whopping 80% of emissions of harmful chemicals that are linked to the Nordic countries occur abroad. We know that 75–95% of the pesticide and antibiotic use related to our consumption occurs outside the nation’s borders, primarily in Europe but also in South America. Our meat consumption contributes to the decimation of rain forests in South America. Imports of palm oil lead to increased destruction of rain forests in Southeast Asia.

At the same time, we know that more and more people want their workplace to share their personal values, which means that companies that invest in and care about sustainability and the environment have an easier time recruiting the right people. Below are a somequestions you can ask yourself and your employer to ensure a more sustainable future.

Coor's sustainability check


1. How do you get to work? 


Most people who travel in their work know that train is a greener option than to travel by air or car. But many people do travel by airplane anyway. Or drive. In the first quarter of 2019, business travel increased by 12% compared with the same period in 2018.

Questions to ask yourself and your employer:

  • How can we reduce business travel by facilitating virtual meetings?

  • How can we make it easier for those who want to bike to work?

  • Is there bike parking, showers and other services that make things easier, like towels and bike maintenance?

  • What opportunities are there to charge electric cars, electric bikes and other electric-powered vehicles?

  • How can we facilitate and encourage people taking public transportation instead of driving?

  • Is it possible to work from home now and then?


2. What is the energy consumption at your workplace like?
Today, only an average of about 50% of the workspaces available in a workplace are used. Theoretically, we could reduce energy use drastically just by optimizing the use of our office spaces. Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, allowing for more mobile work and more energy-efficient and productive solutions for buildings and workplaces, in terms of things like lighting, ventilation, cooling and heating. In addition, many property owners today offer green leases, which set the stage for improved joint efforts to work for the environment.


Questions to ask yourself and your employer:

  • How do we utilize space in our workplace today, and how do we work to make better use of them in the future?

  • How energy-efficient is the building we work in, and what are we doing to make it even more efficient?

  • What are the biggest energy hogs at our workplace—the lighting, the computers or something else?

  • Do we have a green lease with our landlord? How can we as tenants adapt our behavior to reduce our energy use?

  • Are there sensors for things like lighting, and do you switch off your computer at the end of the day?

 

3. How sustainable are the services that are carried out in the building and at the workplace?
Most companies today purchase many types of services linked to their workplaces. From janitorial services to food, drink and providing office supplies. By making clear demands when you purchase these services, you can achieve a more sustainable workplace.

Questions to ask yourself and your employer:

  • What sustainability-related demands do we make of our service suppliers? Do they use environmental cleaning methods? Do they actively work to reduce the need for transportation and use environmental modes of transportation?

  • What ingredients are used in the restaurant, and do they work actively to reduce food waste?

  • Where does our coffee come from, is our fruit organic and do our office supplies have an environmental label?

  • Are there other tenants in the building, and if so, can we work with them to reduce our environmental impact? For example, can we use the same suppliers, to reduce transportation to and from the property?