Sustainability as the future of the workplace

Studies have shown that employees working for companies practicing sustainability are happier and more productive in the workplace. More employees are also starting to demand amenities that put a premium on their health and well-being.

The pandemic has moved industries to reimagine the workspace of the future, with an aim to reduce negative environmental impact while helping improve employee morale and health.

Companies have turned to integrating sustainability features into the workplace in the post-Covid world of work.

By using solar power instead of the municipal power supply, businesses can limit the production of greenhouse gases.

Here are six sustainability features of JEG Tower @ One Acacia, the pioneer green, LEED Gold certified 22-storey office and retail high-rise development in Cebu City, which companies should consider when rethinking the workplace of the next generation, according to JEG Realty, the real estate arm of JEG Development Corporation.

Cycling is promoted as an alternative mode of transport by allocating space in the building for bike racks.

Green transportation

Eco-friendly modes of transport, such as cycling and low-emission cars, are shaping up to be the ideal alternatives to public transport and private car use. Companies have started ramping up their climate commitment by promoting green transportation in the workplace, which is characterized by its
cost-efficiency and ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the Philippines where pollution and severe traffic congestion continue to be a challenge.

JEG Tower @ One Acacia promotes cycling as an alternative mode of transport among its occupants by allocating space in the building for bike racks for those who want to pedal their way to work.

“All employees in the building are encouraged to own a bike to champion a healthy lifestyle and at the same time reduce their own carbon footprints. After pedaling their way to the office, employees can use any of the five water-conserving shower rooms in the parking area to freshen up before they go to work,” said Marko Sarmiento, JEG Realty’s President.

Apart from bike racks, there are seven specially designated parking spaces that are painted green for Low-Emission
Fuel-Efficient vehicles, such as electric and hybrid-powered cars. This particularly allows workers in the building to save up on fuel and reduce pollution.

Green roof deck garden

With office employees spending most of their time indoors, an essential sustainability feature that companies need to integrate into their workplace includes biophilic design elements, such as views of nature, green walls, and indoor planting. These are known to minimize the risks of pollution and building better biodiversity.

Beyond environmental impacts, research reveals that biophilia may have positive physiological and psychological impacts on humans. Businesses should learn to embrace biophilic design as it has been found to reduce stress and improve productivity as well as creativity in the workplace.

Its roof deck’s endemic flora can also help bolster humidity levels to the 30 percent to 60 percent range required for human health. It also features native and adaptive vegetation to ensure less maintenance and reduced costs by minimizing the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation.

Solar panels

A growing number of companies in the Philippines have invested in solar panels to attract tenants and occupiers. By using solar power instead of the municipal power supply, businesses can limit the production of greenhouse gases. What makes solar energy an even more viable sustainability feature in the workplace is it reduces operational costs, which means businesses can expect a partial cut in their monthly utility bills.

Solar panels are a top-grade green feature of JEG Tower @ One Acacia, making it the first commercial development in Cebu City to use solar energy. This tower entered into a 20-Year Power Purchase Agreement with COREnergy for a Zero Cash-Out solar photovoltaics plant.

“The development utilizes a 40 kWp Solar PV System from over 100 pieces of Polycrystalline PV Modules installed on the building crown. The system will be able to supply electricity to power, either fully or partially, the lower ground floor to the 6th Floor,” explained Sarmiento.

Sustainable building materials

Building workspaces without thinking about the environmental impact of the materials is slowly becoming a thing of the past. To create healthier workspaces, businesses now utilize sustainable materials which emit less carbon dioxide and minimize environmental impacts such as global warming, resource depletion, and toxicity.

Common eco-friendly measures include the selection of energy-efficient lights and office equipment, and flooring and wall finishes that are sustainably sourced, such as reclaimed wood or recycled construction materials.

Reduced usage of water and electric power

Businesses have also come under increasing scrutiny over the business costs of their operations. By putting in place energy-efficient devices, companies will not only be able to conserve electric power and water. These will also allow them to save money in the long run.

“Water efficiency and conservation are at the heart of JEG Tower @ One Acacia. It promises around 32 reduced water usage by employing a rainwater collection system and low plumbing fixtures that increase the efficiency of water use in the building. The rainwater collection system can reduce utility costs and allocate treated water for more important use,” said Sarmiento.

JEG Tower @ One Acacia is also equipped with 100 percent backup power that can run 24 hours, seven days a week.

Likewise, floor-to-ceiling windows made with specially treated glass don’t just present magnificent views of the city below and the surrounding environment. These can go a long way in reducing the use of electrical power throughout the structure, as ambient natural lighting illuminates workspaces in the daytime.

Waste management and recycling

Another way businesses choose to build a healthier environment is by implementing a recycling program throughout the workplace. Most millennials today want companies to be more environmentally conscious to ensure a sustainable supply chain.

One of the ways to achieve this is to practice recycling, which helps to save resources, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy, and minimize emissions associated with transporting waste to landfills.

The development prioritizes proper waste disposal and recycling. It collects and stores waste materials for recycling, including the diversion and demolition of debris from disposal in landfills and incineration facilities.

These recyclable construction materials are redirected back to the manufacturing process and appropriate reclamation sites. This process reduces demand for virgin resources and further reduces the environmental impacts of resource extraction, processing, and transportation.

“JEG Realty’s commitment to building a sustainable project demonstrates its leadership in today’s market, heavily influenced by demands for green buildings: to deliver buildings with a lesser negative environmental impact, lower energy consumption, and healthier indoor environments,” Sarmiento asserted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *