Environment | Time to reduce energy waste in the workplace

Environment | Time to reduce energy waste in the workplace

Now is the opportune time to reduce energy waste in the workplace, says Kristin Marin

As businesses prepare for a return to the office, now is the opportune time to acknowledge how much energy we waste in our workplaces and take steps to address it positively – with a change in attitude and behaviour.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s report this month warns we’re running out of time to avert 1.5C of warming, leading to a statement by Boris Johnston that the next decade will be pivotal. In Bristol, according to the Green Alliance, 593 office premises waste over £5 million worth of energy every year, equivalent to powering over 8,700 homes for a year.

The business community in the south west has a huge opportunity to make a significant difference by reducing energy consumption in its buildings. A key driver in achieving this is behavioural change – the catalyst for three-fifths of the measures needed to get to net zero, says the World Economic Forum.

In Bristol… 593 office premises waste over £5 million worth of energy every year,
equivalent to powering over 8,700 homes for a year

Ampersand, a management consultancy that helps companies improve sustainability, and A4MT, are the organisations behind CUBE, a UK-wide competition that aims to help businesses reduce buildings consumption by up to 55% through gamification and straightforward changes in human behaviour.

It is the first step occupiers, landlords and building managers can take to change how we behave to make energy savings. Crucially, it’s done in an engaging, fun way that gets all employees involved; united by a goal that will help mitigate the impact of climate change.

We have been running CUBE in France for six years, delivering energy and equivalent annual cost savings of between 12% and 55% for the likes of BNP Paribas and Orange – through simple interventions and without significant investment.

We have been running CUBE in France for six years, delivering energy and
equivalent annual cost savings of between 12% and 55%
for the likes of BNP Paribas and Orange

We believe we need to look at net zero carbon as a responsibility but also as an investment that will pay back and make buildings healthier in the process. We also need to change the nature of the landlord and tenant relationship so it’s not about ‘imposing’ green leases but embracing them in the spirit of working together for mutual benefit.

There are almost 600 office buildings in Bristol – together they could make
a meaningful contribution to the city’s ambition to be net zero by 2030

The statistics might seem daunting but they, along with awareness campaigns like Net Zero Week, highlight the scale of the challenge and the importance of all of us taking on our fair share of tackling emissions to stop global warming.

There are almost 600 office buildings in Bristol – together they could make a meaningful contribution to the city’s ambition to be net zero by 2030. The council is calling for everyone to play their part – occupiers and landlords can do just that by joining a competition that engages their employees or building users in an effort to slash energy use.

Kristin Marin, CUBE

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