It was World Earth Day last week. I’m sure you saw the many posts on LinkedIn and were reminded to think about your own environmental agenda. It’s an important date that prompts us to think about how our actions on this planet have long standing effects, good and bad.
While I was researching for this blog, I found some unsettling statistics. That businesses in the UK are responsible for the generation of 27.5 million tonnes of commercial waste and 13.6 million tonnes of industrial waste every year – a total of 41.1 million tonnes. Our industry – construction - by comparison, produces a whopping 100 million tonnes of waste making it the largest contributor (over 50%) to annual UK landfill waste.
With most offices having an average life cycle of 3-5 years and the materials used typically not recycled, it’s not lost on us that our industry is part of the problem. Our aim is to become part of the solution. That’s why every day is Earth Day at TX.
We challenge the typical nature of our industry in several ways:
- By enabling a bespoke design service from the first viewing, we’re making sure that the office that’s built is the one the occupier wants, scrapping the need to chop, change and discard elements of a speculatively designed Cat A+ space. We also give tenants the opportunity to choose CAT A specifications before any up-front investment is made, reducing waste.
- The schemes that Ali and Charlotte design, and materials they specify, will last 10 years and upwards so that when we do build an office, it's built to last.
- We provide landlords with environmentally accredited offices. Most recently we’ve partnered with Legal & General to align with their ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) objectives. At 26 Throgmorton Street, we’re delivering a sustainable office option aimed to attract BCorps and eco-conscious companies.
- We work hard to find environmentally responsible commercial suppliers such as Airlite who produce low-pollutant paints, Smile Plastics whose worktops and other finishes are made from 100% recycled materials like yoghurt pots and plastic bottles, and PLANQ who create textiles from recycled clothing. Interface and Desso are making waves with their cradle-to-cradle initiatives ensuring that carpet tiles are also recyclable.
London already enjoys a stock of over 3,000 BREEAM rated buildings. However, for investors, sustainability doesn’t just mean investing in existing green buildings. 64% of the City landscape was completed more than 20 years ago leaving a huge opportunity to enhance their green credentials along with their value. A win for landlord, tenant, and the world.
Companies, in and out of the construction industry, that consider waste management as an ongoing process, that plan early and think green up and down the supply chain can challenge the disturbing statistics and help minimise the amount of waste we generate.
It’s something we’re passionate about and it’s exciting when our partners - landlords, agents, suppliers and occupiers – are on the same journey. If we’re all aligned in our desire to make a difference, we can ensure our planet gets the helping hand it needs.