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Ultimate Guide to Sustainability and Environmental Accreditations

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What’s inside our ultimate guide to environmental accreditations?

In today's environmentally conscious world, businesses are recognising the importance of sustainability and its significant impact on their brand image, employee engagement, and overall success. One of the most effective ways to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability is to redesign your office to meet stringent environmental accreditation standards. These accreditations not only enhance your company's environmental credentials but also open doors to a plethora of benefits, including attracting top talent, retaining customers, and boosting employee morale.

Take a sneak peek inside our guide for the latest insight into environmental accreditations. What are the top 10 sustainability certifications that can drive meaningful revenue for your property portfolio? Let's find out.

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There’s no doubt about it, environmental accreditations are fast-becoming synonymous with the property market. But are any actually worth the investment? Becoming compliant can take a lot of work and so it is important to understand which environmental accreditations are worth the effort.

In our opinion, there are 10 certifications that are worth your time.

EPC

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a report that assesses the energy efficiency of a property, providing recommendations for improvement. Note that EPC regulations are currently changing and commercial buildings may need a rating of B + by 2030. You’ll see in our guide that many are currently falling far short of the mark.

BREEAM

First published by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 1990, BREEAM is the world’s longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment.

Standard LEED

Like BREEAM, LEED is an internationally recognised green building program. It provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED promotes design and construction practices that increase profitability, whilst also reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings.

SKA

SKA rating helps landlords and tenants assess fit-out projects against a set of sustainability criteria. This consists of 109 individual good-practice measures, covering everything from energy and CO2 to waste and pollution. Assessments are carried out at three stages: design, delivery and occupancy and projects can achieve ratings of Bronze, Silver or Gold based on performance.

Fitwell

Fitwel is a building rating system for commercial interiors that provides guidelines on how to design and operate healthier buildings. It specifically looks at staff wellbeing, and rates a building based on 7 health impact categories. Fitwel has identified 63 evidence-backed strategies that have proven to increase the health & wellbeing of building occupants. What’s more, the rating system can be used as a roadmap to aid the design of your new office.

WELL Building

Launched in 2015, WELL is now the world’s leading tool for advancing health and well-being in buildings. To do so, it utilises a flexible framework for improving health and human experience through design. We’ve talked more about wellbeing in the workplace here.

WIREDScore

Founded in 2013, WIRED SCORE is tasked with making the world’s buildings better connected. Although the process varies per client and project, there are three standard steps to WIREDScore:

  1. Engineers evaluate a building’s connectivity and digital infrastructure
  2. Test results provided to WiredScore
  3. If a building passes the assessment, WiredScore promotes your space via third-party platforms

The idea is that this will enable a more collaborative, innovative and dynamic future for all of us.

AirRated

AirRated delivers an easily recognisable, international benchmark for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The certification is underpinned by leading medical and scientific research and industry best practice guidelines. Of course, this accreditation has become even more important in the past couple of years. And with staff returning to the office, this is definitely one to consider.

GRESB

GRESB is a relatively new entry certification that’s objective is to make real estate a sustainable long-term investment. The GRESB Real Estate Assessment is the global standard for ESG benchmarking and reporting for listed property companies, private property funds, developers and investors that invest directly in real estate.

B Corp

One final honourable mention goes to B Corp. Although it's not property-specific, this certification is only awarded to businesses with the highest social and environmental performance. Essentially, ‘B Corps’ balance purpose and profit; they consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Interested in becoming B Corp? Find out more about what’s entailed in our guide.

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Area: Your partner in sustainable office redesign

At Area, we understand the importance of creating a sustainable workspace that aligns with your company's values and contributes to a healthier planet. Our team of experienced interior designers and project managers can help you transform your office into an eco-friendly haven, ensuring that your space meets the requirements of various environmental accreditations. We offer a comprehensive range of office fit out and refurbishment services, from space planning and furniture selection to energy-efficient technology integration and sustainable building material procurement.

Unlocking the benefits of environmental accreditations

Achieving environmental accreditations can bring a multitude of benefits to your business.

Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Attract top talent: Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability is a powerful tool for attracting and retaining top talent. Employees increasingly seek to work for companies that share their values and are committed to making a positive impact on the environment.

2. Retain customers: Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to customers, who are more likely to support businesses that are taking steps to protect the environment. By achieving environmental accreditations, you can enhance your brand image and build customer loyalty.

3. Reduce operating costs: Sustainable design practices can lead to significant energy savings and reduced waste disposal costs. These savings can positively impact your bottom line and contribute to long-term financial sustainability.

4. Improved employee morale and productivity: A healthy and sustainable work environment can foster a more positive and productive work atmosphere. Employees who feel valued and connected to their surroundings are more likely to be engaged and motivated.

5. Enhance your company's reputation: Achieving environmental accreditations strengthens your company's reputation as a responsible and forward-thinking organisation. This positive image can attract investors, partners, and other stakeholders.

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At Area, we are committed to helping businesses create sustainable workplaces that not only meet environmental standards but also enhance employee wellbeing and productivity. Our experienced team understands the intricacies of various environmental accreditations and can guide you through the process of achieving certification. We use our knowledge and expertise to create spaces that are not only environmentally friendly but also aesthetically pleasing and functional for your team.

Embark on a Sustainable Journey with Area

Partner with Area to transform your workplace for sustainability. We embark on a collaborative journey with you to comprehend your company's aspirations, devise a sustainable design vision, and undertake the necessary steps to attain your desired accreditations. Let us aid you in crafting a workspace that embodies environmental mindfulness, serves your employees well, and mirrors your company's core values. Together, we can leave a positive imprint on the environment while cultivating a flourishing and productive work environment for your team.

Ready to learn more?

Download our latest guide to environmental accreditations or get in touch with us today to start your sustainability journey.

Download our guide today

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