Green Survey: Lack of funding hits green activity
Research suggests that many companies are now switching on to the benefits of sustainable thinking, partly due to the cost savings but also as part of their corporate responsibility. This is an essential transition for UK businesses if the government’s ambitious targets are to be met, which involves cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 in a bid to tackle climate change.
Non-domestic buildings – including offices, industrial properties, shops and hotels – currently account for 18% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, and according to the Carbon Trust, these non-domestic buildings use as much energy as Switzerland produces in a year.
But what are the attitudes of the people that inhabit those buildings on a regular basis? Are they as committed to reducing carbon emissions as the UK government, or are we sorely lacking in motivation to address that old enemy: change?
According to a recent survey conducted by officebroker.com on green office buildings, of which 200 people responded, 95% of respondents have recycling bins in their offices, along with energy saving lightbulbs and/or sensor lighting (72%), bicycle storage (70%) and efficient heating or cooling (43%). Other measures such as green or living roofs (7%) and the use of recycled materials in the building (9%) are becoming known, but are much less common.
On a positive note, when asked to rate the importance of sustainable buildings out of 5, almost 70% of respondents gave a rating of 4 or 5, with 40% saying they are “vital”.
However, when asked how dedicated their company is when it comes to promoting and implementing sustainable features, the results were mixed – 20% replied with “lazy”, saying that very little is done or acted on. 36% said that their company is “interested” – being generally keen to act on climate issues – while a further 29% replied with “active” – saying that they are implementing green measures and making them happen.
When it comes to full dedication, a respectable 13% of respondents said that their company is “committed” with a full plan and backing in place, actively implementing measures and regularly seeking ways to develop new and existing schemes.
According to the results, the biggest problem comes down to finances, with 50% of respondents claiming that a lack of funding is the main reason why their organisation fails to do more. Furthermore a lack of resource (29%) and a lack of appreciation or knowledge of green benefits (29%) are the next most popular reasons.
The serviced office industry is making positive tracks towards becoming more sustainable, with more and more buildings adopting a greener and more environmentally friendly approach. For example, icon Business Centre in Leeds is a BREEAM rated building that produces 80% less carbon emissions than standard office buildings.
Wingbury Courtyard Business Village in Aylesbury is another highly efficient property, which features 48kv PV panels with single axis tracker (to follow the sun all day), water saving ball valves in all toilets, and a ground source heat pump.
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- Which measures are installed or implemented in your building?
- What do you think is holding your company back?
- How dedicated is your company to implementing sustainable features in your building?
Does your office property feature any carbon-reducing attributes? What are your thoughts on sustainable buildings and climate change? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.