ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is a concept that is gaining increasing importance in the business and investment world. This set of criteria assesses a company’s performance in terms of environmental, social and governance sustainability: we’ve talked about it in depth in two articles, dedicated respectively to ESG Rating and its importance in the design phase of a project.
ESG is not only an ethical issue, but also a strategic one: companies that adopt its practices are able to attract and retain talent, customers and financiers, as well as reduce risk and increase competitiveness.
But how can ESG be integrated into office design? What are the elements that must be considered to create a workspace that respects the principles of sustainability and responsibility? In this article we will look at a few tips for developing an ESG-friendly office.
Energy saving and environmentally friendly materials
One of the most important aspects of ESG is the environmental impact of a company’s activities. In order to reduce CO2 emissions and waste, it’s essential to choose energy-saving solutions and to use environmentally friendly and certified materials.
Examples we can consider are:
- LED lighting systems, which consume less energy and have a longer lifespan than traditional bulbs.
- Exploitation of natural light, through appropriate layout design and the installation of adjustable curtains or blinds, to help avoid overheating during the warmer months.
- Motion sensors and/or smart switches that switch lights off automatically when rooms aren’t being used.
- Furniture made entirely or at least partly from recycled and recyclable materials or from safe supply chain sources. Frezza’s collections include a variety of proposals in this regard, from office furniture made of FSC®-certified wood to upholstery made of sustainable fabrics.
- Use of environmentally friendly paints and glues that don’t contain substances that are toxic or harmful to health.
Employee well-being and safety
Another key aspect of ESG involves employees, whose well-being and safety influence productivity, creativity and motivation. In order to create a comfortable and stimulating working environment, it’s important to take certain factors into account, such as:
- Air quality, which can be improved by installing filters or purifiers, or by having green plants which absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
- Temperature and humidity, which must be maintained at optimal levels.
- Ergonomics, which concerns the posture and comfort of workers during their daily activities. We talked about this in more detail in a recent article.
- Acoustic comfort, to isolate unwanted noise or to create quiet zones to promote concentration. Sound-absorbing panels, noise-cancelling headphones or other suitable devices can be used too.
Employee involvement and participation
The third pillar of ESG concerns corporate governance, i.e. the way a company is managed and controlled. Offices can strengthen this by adopting transparent, ethical and participative organisational models that involve all stakeholders in the definition of goals and strategies.
In addition, an ESG performance monitoring and reporting system can be implemented, using clear and verifiable indicators, within the reach of all employees, suppliers, investors and the company as a whole.
The integration of ESG strategies in the office is an important step for companies wishing to adopt a sustainable and responsible approach. These actions not only promote environmental protection, but also bring employee welfare and corporate transparency to the forefront.
Integrating them can have beneficial effects on society and the environment, but also on the company itself, through the creation of a healthier and more satisfying working environment for employees, which is very important in terms of reputation.