Environmental sustainability is a goal that requires the efforts of people and companies at all levels. Beyond contributing to global efforts to protect the environment, engaging in environmentally friendly practices has been found to have a multitude of other benefits. Such practices help conserve resources and thus money, they support the swiftly growing ‘green’ industry, and they have been found to boost employee productivity, performance, and satisfaction. For all these reasons and more, Work Better engages in green practices at all levels of our business from construction materials and furniture to the vendors we work with. We are proud of our contribution to environmental stability and offer the following look into our green practices in hopes that it will further promote similar efforts amongst other businesses.
Construction and Design Materials
Environmental sustainability is a priority with all construction and design choices. We utilize recycled or otherwise environmentally friendly materials such as reclaimed wood and LED light bulbs and we source furniture from companies with sustainability policies in place when possible. For example, many of the office chairs we use were sourced from Steelcase, which is a company that incorporates sustainability into the entire lifecycle of their products from initial design through to the time when the products need to be recycled.
Construction and design choices have led to our Chicago location being LEED certified. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is “the most widely used green building rating system in the world” with it being in use in over 165 countries and territories. To qualify as LEED certified, a project, whether commercial or residential, must earn a certain number of credits, which are awarded for things like using low-emitting materials and having access to quality transit. Our Grand Central West location operates out of a LEED certified building, and our Chicago location was the first full floor and the second tenant overall in the Willis Tower to be LEED certified. The design of our Willis Tower location focused on sustainability from the very beginning through the use of environmentally friendly paints, recycled carpets, and more.
Once our locations have been constructed, our team continues to operate using environmentally friendly practices. On a day-to-day basis, our team helps to ensure that anything that can be recycled is properly sorted for recycling. Further, we work to reduce the amount of trash produced by providing our members with reusable ceramic mugs. And for any instances when we do provide disposable cups, we use environmentally certified, 100% compostable paper cups. Then when it comes time to decommission older equipment as we strive to provide our members with the best and newest technology, we partner with companies like human-I-T to ensure that older equipment is given to other companies with limited access to such materials or is responsibly recycled. Boiled down, it’s all about finding opportunities to make a green choice.
Vendors and Partners
Being environmentally friendly in the workplace does not stop at construction, design, and onsite operational practices; we also strive to partner with vendors with similar dedication to sustainability. Two of our most notable vendors with incredible dedication to sustainability are Counter Culture and SerendipiTea who provide all our locations with gourmet coffee and teas respectively. Beyond being delicious, both companies contribute to sustainability by carefully sourcing their products and ensuring best green practices throughout from harvest through to packaging and delivery to their customers. Both companies also engage in community outreach and education programs, so each cup of coffee or tea that is consumed at our locations helps support these companies in their efforts to protect the environment.
What are some of the ways you instill environmental sustainability into your daily lives?