From McPlant burgers from McDonald’s and Vegan Pizza Express, to Veja trainers and Beyond Green hotels, sustainability has become synonymous with fashion and a sense of ‘cool’ as it’s risen up the social, political and corporate agenda. Nowadays being eco is no longer associated with inferior products, boring sermonising and bland CSR policies. ‘Greenwashing’ is still something to look out for but, with ever-greater brand transparency and consumer awareness, it is harder for companies to get away with it.
Among others it was young and impassioned Swedish activist Greta Thunberg that got the world to finally take sustainability seriously, as well as David Attenborough’s moving documentaries about the natural world, which highlighted in a particularly powerful way how we are now at a tipping point when it comes to climate change. What’s key, though, in achieving a change in mindsets and the adoption of new behaviours is for them to become mainstream ideas. Caring for the planet is a necessity and, thanks to the on-going efforts of campaigners, influencers and innovators, everyone wants to be a part of it.
Recognising that being sustainable is not only vital in terms of lowering its environmental impact but in winning ethically minded, entrepreneurial professionals as customers, Spaces is leading the way by opening coworking locations that make special efforts to be more green. From repurposing existing buildings and collecting rainwater to sourcing renewable materials and using innovative solar protection glass during construction, the result is professional workspaces that both look and feel good to be in.
Some of the most eco-friendly flexspaces from the brand are in Europe, Spaces De Walvis in Amsterdam has an ‘indoor jungle’ of plants to oxygenate public spaces, as well as windows with triple-coated solar control glass. Meanwhile, Spaces Koneser in Warsaw has transformed an old vodka distillery into a hip coworking hub with a certificate of excellence from BREEAM for its energy efficiency. At Spaces Tour & Taxis in Brussels, rainwater is harvested to water the location’s surrounding gardens, while Oslo’s Spaces Tullinløkka was built without any associated carbon emissions, thanks to a combination of property renovation and recycled interiors.
Kristine Aassved Storeide, an architect for Scenario Interior Architecture Design, which designed Spaces Tullinløkka, said: “We found lots of tiles that were going to be thrown out or smashed up and used them to create these different and distinct bathrooms, as well as making a very beautiful feature table out of them.” It’s a great example of how upcycling and repurposing materials can lead to more beautiful environments.
In the months ahead, hybrid workers – who split their time between working from home, an office and a local flexspace – will set the trend for ethically holistic lifestyles, combining everything from the use of greener workspaces to carbon-free commutes by bike rather than car.
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