In the current climate crisis, sustainability is seen as the cornerstone of responsible business practices.
Organisations, particularly those in the public sector, are quite often hesitant to upgrade their outdated office spaces over concerns about the environmental impact.
What if we told you that an office refit doesn’t have to mean “wasteful”?
What if we told you it’s possible to minimise this impact, create a more sustainable space, and give back to the environment in the process of your office makeover?
This article offers a list of ways you can execute an office renovation with a limited carbon footprint. Most of these best practices don’t come with an elevated price tag or much extra effort on your part.
1. Sell your old furniture
The first step towards a sustainable office renovation is to consider selling your old furniture.
There is a range of local removalist services available that pick up your old office furniture and sell them. There are others who would come and take pictures of your furniture and add them to their online marketplace for resell.
This not only prevents waste but also gives your old furniture a new lease on life.
2. Embrace recycling
If your existing furniture is too worn to resell, recycling is a viable option.
Why not connect with recycling specialists in your area who make a business of sorting your items into recyclable material streams (including metal, plastic, and timber) to minimise the volume going to landfill?
Also, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. So, consider this when removing cabinetry and outdated office items that could be gifted to those in need or donated to a local charity.
Businessrecycling.com.au can help you find a furniture recycler near you. Or, if your office fitout is done by Bowen Interiors, we can organise that for you as well.
3. Reupholster your furniture
Reupholstering is another excellent way to give your old furniture a new look.
In the case of items like chairs and sofas, the option to reupholster in hand-picked fabric is sometimes even better than buying them new.
By upgrading the inner cushion and reupholstering the outer covering, your old couch can look and feel like it was bought yesterday and designed especially for you.
With Bowen Interiors, you have the option to customise your office furniture. We can also get your old furniture reupholstered if you choose to go that way.
4. Incorporate recycled material in your new office fitout
We strongly encourage the use of reclaimed or recycled materials in office fitouts.
These items can provide an unparalleled textural and aesthetic appeal that simply cannot be replicated, except at a great extra cost.
- Recycled wood can be used for flooring, wall panelling, desks, and furniture, providing a unique and rustic or contemporary look while reducing the demand for new timber.
- Scrap metal and used items made of aluminium, steel, and copper can be repurposed as structural elements, light fixtures, and one-of-a-kind decorative accents.
- Recycled glass countertops, tiles, or decorative features provide a sleek and modern aesthetic while reducing the consumption of new glass.
- Many acoustic panels and carpet tiles are now made from recycled plastic which is a sustainable option.
5. Invest in durable office furniture
Sustainability and durability go hand in hand.
Over the years, durable, high-quality items have made way for mass-produced, cheaply made items that are often designed to be replaced within a limited time frame.
The only way to avoid this highly unsustainable practice is to opt for quality items built of solid natural materials like wood, metal, stone, and sustainable textiles.
The initial cost can be slightly higher. However, when you factor in the fact that many of these items won’t need to be replaced for the next 5 to 10 years, if not more, it’s hard to doubt the validity of the investment.
By investing a little extra in sturdy and durable furniture and fittings, you can prevent frequent replacements, reducing waste and saving (a lot of) money in the long run.
Most of the furniture provided by Bowen Interiors is sourced from Australian and European manufacturers, and you can rest assured that the furniture in your fitout project will be durable and will go a long way.
6. Support Australian made
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of supporting local industries, with supply chain standstills due to global port lockdowns.
Sustainability means self-sustaining, in the truest sense, and on a local level that means supporting and being supported by the businesses in your community.
Australian-made products are known for their superior quality and durability due to strict quality control and government regulations.
By opting for Australian-made furniture, you contribute to the sustainability of Australia and the environment.
Who knows, buying local could open doors to local business relationships, in which your neighbours opt for your products and services in return for your loyalty.
7. Reduce energy consumption
A significant chunk of your sustainability considerations involves the energy systems you choose to install during your office fitout, as these will have an impact long into the future.
We can help you design an energy-efficient office space, which includes:
- smart HVAC systems
- LED lighting
- more natural light utilization
- green walls and spaces for natural temperature and air regulation, including purification and humidification
- strategic placement of mirrors for better illumination.
8. Water conservation
Water conservation is also instrumental to sustainable office renovations.
This involves the use of water-saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets, faucets, and aerators.
These fixtures are designed to provide the necessary functionality while significantly reducing water usage.
Low-flow toilets use a high-pressure technique to eliminate waste using less water, while low-flow faucets and aerators restrict water flow without compromising on utility.
Sensor-activated taps are a sanitary, sustainable, and convenient addition to office spaces. These taps only run water when they detect hands underneath, preventing unnecessary water wastage.
Beyond indoor water use, consider sustainable landscaping around your office. Opt for native plants that require less watering and implement rainwater harvesting systems for irrigation.
These measures not only conserve water but also contribute to the overall aesthetics of your office environment, creating a workspace that is truly sustainable.
Transforming your office space into a modern, comfortable, and sustainable environment is achievable, and it needn’t be more costly or more cumbersome than a standard fitout.
In fact, we believe that sustainable fitouts shouldn’t be the exception, they should become the standard.
Our commitment to sustainability and innovative approach to office renovations make us an ideal choice for organisations looking to upgrade their office spaces without compromising on environmental responsibility.