At The Workplace our philosophy has always been to provide the highest quality work spaces for the fairest price. Our principles regarding sustainability go hand-in-hand with this. Our furnishings are made to last and we always buy fair trade, local, or recyclable.
We aim to be sustainable in both the setup of the buildings and the running of them, by using products that minimise our carbon footprint. We accomplish this with a combination of buying items that are well-made to increase longevity, and using materials that are particularly sustainable or easily recyclable. On top of this, we aim to source local produce, such as milk produced in the Cotswolds.
Sustainability in the fit-out:
- The table tops are compressed bamboo – far more sustainable than wood, and twice as dense as oak, so will last a very long time unlike the melamine topped types. They are coated in oil, not plastic-based varnish, and will decompose after use.
- All other wood that is not visible but used in construction is FSC-certified.
- Some of the wooden sofas and tables are made by Ercol, and are either period pieces that have been upcycled, or were purchased at the factory in High Wycombe.
- The electric table legs have lengthy guarantees. Parts including the motor and controller are all replaceable. They are also made from steel which is recyclable.
- Carpets in our offices are made of at least 90% recycled or bio-based material. They are made by Interface, who are also able to recycle them after use: https://www.interface.com/EU/en-GB/sustainability/our-journey-en_GB
- All of our chairs are Herman Miller (an eco-friendly company) with a 12-year guarantee. All of the individual parts are replaceable and almost all recyclable https://www.hermanmiller.com/en_gb/products/seating/office-chairs/sayl-chairs/product-details/
Sustainability in the kitchen
- Waste: rigid plastics, glass, paper, card and tins are all recycled.
- Food waste and coffee grounds are commercially composted.
- Coffee beans are sourced from James Gourmet Coffee.
Peter James, the company owner, buys from small farms around the world, which he can vouch for selling in a fair-trade way. Most are too small for them to be officially registered as organic, but the majority are. The beans are roasted in Ross-on-Wye.
- Tea bags are mainly from Clipper (who also supply our hot chocolate) https://www.clipper-teas.com/ and The London Tea Company, owned by Cafedirect https://www.cafedirect.co.uk/products/.
The Chai Latte is from Zuma https://zumadrinks.com/about-us/.
- We check that tea bags never contain any plastics and that they are produced using fair trade principles.
- The milk is all locally produced by Cotteswold milk.
- The crockery is all handmade in the UK for us.
- We would never use disposable cups etc. We have a piped water cooler and hope people will use it instead of bottled water.
- The kitchen units are handmade from bamboo and stainless steel (recyclable).
- The paper we use for printing is mainly Woodland paper: https://www.rymanbusiness.com/woodland-trust-a4-office-paper-75gsm-pack-of-2500-wtoa4–1?ppc_keyword=PPR00138-&gclid=CjwKCAiA0KmPBhBqEiwAJqKK42CXrKvJW6SyWkwNM9bzQLx3vEYo61v9OfMVy_tOUsi397htkSdIUxoCD6AQAvD_BwE#pi1
- The heating/cooling mainly uses air source heat pumps through the aircon units – the gas heated radiators only provide a little heat and only at Star Lodge.
- Many of our lightbulbs are energy-saving and have motion-sensors to automatically switch off when no movement is detected.
- Sue Ryder collects our real Christmas tree for composting (we will never be having a plastic one)!
- There is a sedum roof on the new building at Star Lodge. This increases biodiversity and reduces the heating and cooling requirements in the building.
- We offer a charging point for electric cars and a bicycle rack to encourage an eco-friendly commute when possible.