ECO Office Space: How To Help Fight Climate Change

According to data collected by Danfoss, construction environment is responsible for nearly 40% of annual emission. Any positive trend that improves this condition is therefore at a premium.

One possible solution adopted as a way of fighting global warming is flooring. The first paper in Poland which involves architecture, impact of materials used in interiors on both people and the environment from the perspective of flooring is "FLOORING matters". The paper is published under the patronage of Interface, the biggest producer of carpet tiles as well as the leader of sustainable development.


Every Element Provides Some Function

All global changes should involve actions undertaken within global cooperation at every level. Single company, industry or sector cannot win this battle alone. Every element of interior design can impact well-being and health of people and every single decision made during selection of materials can contribute to improvement or worsening of the environmental situation. Environmental benefits should therefore influence decisions concerning making a purchase. In the case of bigger entities such as corporations or large enterprises, sustainable construction and conscious selection of materials do have meaning when it comes to employment, constituting a tool of employer branding, thus they're the proof of actual execution of the specified company's values. Now, both those who search for a job and business partners more often appreciate such values as a sense of social responsibility or care about health and psychical condition of employees.

Nowadays, ecology has greater meaning in office design. Decreased impact on the environment is becoming a priority matter for investors these days. Selection of the right equipment, lighting and finishing materials, including flooring, is of key importance – says Anna Irek, MUSU commercial interior design studio.


Sustained Trend

A positive trend that was on top in the previous year is biophilic design, a concept assuming that human-nature interaction is signed into human nature and should be constantly maintained because its lack may involve worsening of health state and well-being. The expert in this field – Olivier Heath – believes that this interaction may occur by introducing plants to office space, providing access to natural light and air movement or applying natural colors, patterns and textures. He often applies flooring finishing products made from natural materials that refer to nature with their texture and colors.

According to the "Human Spaces" report, access to natural elements such as sunlight or greenery improves well-being of employees by 15% and their productivity increases by even 6%.


To Reduce Material Consumption

Modern trends in office interior design concentrate on human and their needs. Comfort of work, attractiveness of surroundings, the right lighting, humidity or emission of pollution are of great importance right now – says mgr inż. arch. Anna Fiałkiewicz-Waga, Design Manager at TriGranit.

A crucial factor that impacts ecosystem is selection of flooring materials. Although their connection with pollution isn’t an obvious association, such a seemingly small decision may influence health of people who benefit from the interiors with healthy solutions applied. The example of such a responsible approach to the issue of environmental pollution and benefits for all involved people from different industries is a delivery chain created by Zoological Society of London and Interface. During the program of Net-Works, fishnets fished out by local communities from Philippines and Cameroon are bought back, and then, transferred and used as yarn in flooring production, which limits consumption of other materials.

Business needs to be the main engine to positively influence both the environment and the society by concentrating on solving the biggest problems. The expectations towards business are changing from the "responsible" approach to the one that is based on a positive impact – says Geanne Van Arkel, Director of Sustainable Development at Interface.


To Reduce Carbon Dioxide In The Atmosphere

Many years ago, Interface took up a challenge to limit a negative impact on the environment till 2020, the so called Mission Zero. Thanks to the positive results, the company raised the bar and started a new program called Climate Take Back, which is to reverse climate changes and create the good conditions for living.

These actions contributed to record-breaking decrease in carbon footprint in production process by over 60%. Interface offers Carbon Neutral Floors tiles to customers, which are neutral in respect of carbon dioxide emission throughout the living cycle of product. Thereby, emission of over 4 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere was balanced from 2002, and if this trend maintains, this number will increase by 400 000 tons at the end of 2018, which responds to the amount consumed by over 200 thousands ha of wood within a year.

In order to positively influence the environment, the producer created a prototype of Proof Positive tile. Carbon dioxide absorption from the environment in the process of making exceeds its emission. Implementation of this solution on a broader scale would have an impact on reversing the global warming.


Factory With Mechanisms Inspired By Nature

The idea of a positive FaaF (Factory as a Forest) was created in order to provide sustainable development inspired by nature. This involves self-propelled ecosystems of high efficiency that imitate woods. The project executed by Interface is at the stage of implementing the first phase of earlier devised orders.

Implementation of such innovative projects proves that running a company in compliance with their values is possible and this is a huge asset. Acting for sustainable development can influence decisions of employees and customers on establishing cooperation with companies that promote such actions. Both large and small enterprises can contribute to the environment, for instance, by designing their interiors.


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