Trudie Lee, Senior Consultant, Strategy & Change discusses how we have put sustainability at the heart of our new home.
When I joined Prosperity, we were based in an office that (although charming) had the strangest air conditioning flows. Your top half could be sweltering while your toes were freezing off, similarly, the seasonal ‘water feature’, that appeared to the rear of the property, was somewhat unique. So, I was not saddened to learn that we were in the midst of an office move to where the old Tiffin restaurant had once been. However, it wasn’t until I stopped Chris, our CEO, to ask him what he was doing with his tape measure that I realised just how deeply the values run in this company.
I spent a large part of my early career in aviation – and fifteen odd years ago, sustainability wasn’t the hot topic it is now. It’s something I’ve long cared about though and I found myself on the IT department’s Green Team – benchmarking departmental measures to understand where we were, introducing change and communicating our small wins in a way that would mean something to stakeholders whose priorities at that time were more centred around profit and operational efficiency.
So, imagine my delight when Chris explained that although we’re doing an office move, we wanted to do it as sustainably as possible and that meant, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, and he was looking at re-use of office furniture and measuring up to check that everything would fit the new spaces.
One great thing about Prosperity is that people will always make time for you, and once Chris saw that he’d piqued my interest, he told me all about the new office space and why it was so important to him to do the move as sustainably as possible.
It’s core to the Prosperity 24/7 values – as a company whose vision statement is “If we look after our colleagues, our clients and our community equally, then we will prosper”, sustainability very much supports that vision. Looking after our environment is part of looking after our community and we believe that we have a shared responsibility to do so. Finally, for those who don’t embrace ESG quite as enthusiastically, doing an office move sustainably simply makes good financial sense.
In order to cut back on the amount of waste produced, we preserved as much of the existing physical space as possible, in spite of recommendations to demolish everything to start afresh. Whilst it might not have been a substantial proportion, the fact that we managed to avoid the unnecessary demolition on 20% of our new office space, meant a disproportionate saving as this ‘20%’ included multiple, perfectly serviceable WC’s, from the former restaurant, ensuring we could maintain compliance with hospitality legislation.
We’ve also taken the opportunity to look at our energy consumption and have built a ‘Smart’ office, enabling us to track consumption across multiple dimensions (lighting / cooling / kitchen), not just at the level of the physical unit as a whole, enabling us to monitor, modify and improve our energy management, intelligently.
We re-used as much of the existing facilities as possible:
- Chairs – brought over from the old office. Where new chairs have been purchased, they use PET felt seating (made from recycled plastic bottles).
- Air-conditioning units were retained, refurbished and re-used (with only four additional units required due to the changing nature of the physical space).
- The processing plant on the roof was re-used.
- The offices hot/cold water infrastructure was retained for re-use.
- The stainless steel bar equipment in the downstairs café area was cleaned and re-purposed.
- The same goes for as much kitchen equipment that was serviceable, in many instances, once refurbished, only new feet needed to be sourced to make much of the café kitchen equipment re-usable.
As the new office space has different furniture requirements, desks and spare screens that weren’t needed were donated to Family Nursing Health Care.
Cooking oil that was left in the former kitchen cookers was recycled by Les Amis, who run a scheme to recycle commercial cooking oil, which is converted to biofuel in the UK.
Any stainless steel, metal work, air handling ducting, or extraction hoods that could not be re-used were recycled.
Any furniture or useable kit that was not required from the former Tiffin site was sold or gifted to various entities and similarly, anything that couldn’t be re-used from our old office was either recycled or donated to local charities.
We’ve already seen a positive transition from a sustainable transport perspective with a significant behavioural shift through an increase in cycling commuters, directly correlating to the provision of more secure lock-up facilities and showers.
While we’ll always be a hybrid-type business with our consultants working from a mix of locations, we’re seeing more choosing to come in to use the office, enjoying the environment and its carefully considered zoned spaces. This was the key purpose for the major investment, namely, to build our ‘social fabric’, ensuring we are all re-connecting after the lasting disruption of the pandemic.
We’ve also considered the office layout to support our strategic alignment with ISO standards.
In terms of the office move, it feels like we’re very happy in our new home. In terms of sustainability, this is just one step on our journey and we continue to be passionate about doing the right thing for our environment.
We have added ‘sustainability partnership’ status to the CISCO partnerships we already hold, are already signatories to the Microsoft Partner Pledge which focuses on four key pillars, namely Digital Skills, Diversity, Responsible and Ethical AI, as well as Sustainability. In addition we are members of the Jersey Eco Active network and have a working group coordinating our efforts as a business.
I know we have a number of client events planned this year and we’re looking forward to showing off our new home – if you join us at one, perhaps you can see if you can spot where we’ve reduced, reused and recycled… or alternatively, please just enjoy our great space, like we do.