By Tania Longeau
Companies all around the world are doing their part to go green. Some use energy-saving techniques, while others participate in recycling programs and use office supplies made of recycled materials. Many companies even allow telecommuting and remote work options to save on costs.
Some companies take this a step further and create entire office spaces that focus on beauty and energy savings. They are like paradises – except you are expected to do some work. Read on to learn more about companies that are taking eco-friendliness to a whole new level.
- The technology giant is known for its eco-friendly workspaces and has inspired other companies to follow suit. Google uses sustainable materials in its buildings, as well as clean air and natural light. The company’s Mountain View campus in California received the City of Mountain View’s first-ever LEED Platinum certification. Google offers green commuting options for employees, as well as a variety of other cool perks.
- The computer company’s campus in Cupertino, California is on track to create an environment that functions like its own city. Much of the asphalt has been turned into a green hideaway that helps promote creative thinking. The company is building its own energy plant and plans to shun cars and all forms of carbon emissions altogether.
- The technology company has three LEED Platinum certified buildings in San Jose, California. These green buildings are highly efficient and feature bathrooms with automatic flush valves and waterless urinals. The buildings are also smart, allowing employees to monitor to control and monitor the lighting, thermostat, and more.
- The social media company has created a sustainable space that is not only green but fun as well. No changes were made to the building itself, so staff went about making modifications to the indoors. The decorations are eco-friendly, and the furniture and paint are non-toxic. The logo and desks are made of reclaimed barn wood, and there is a concrete table made of recycled aggregates.
- The apparel company’s European headquarters in the Netherlands offers many eco-friendly elements. The roof collects rainwater, which is used for toilets and gardens. This practice alone saves at least 4 million liters of rainwater annually. The basketball and tennis courts are made of recycled shoes – about 8,000 of them, to be exact.
- Audubon Center. You can’t ignore the Audubon Center, which was the very first LEED Platinum building in the United States. The building functions off the electrical grid, thanks to solar energy. The space uses water conservation and locally used materials
- Bank of America Tower. This New York skyscraper is not only super tall but also quite energy efficient. It produces net zero carbon dioxide emissions and was the first skyscraper to receive a LEED Platinum rating. The building is made of recycled materials. Floor to ceiling windows produce heat and natural light. Complete with low-flow fixtures and waterless urinals, the building also has an air filtration system that creates clean air for the city.
- Banner Bank Building. Here’s another energy-efficient bank building. This Boise, Idaho mid-rise building is surrounded by seven acres of land to help it function efficiently. Storm water is collected and reused, while water conservation systems keep water use in check.
- California Department of Education. This building has the distinction of being the first state office building to be LEED Platinum certified – as an existing building. The building was already green but has been enhanced to save much more energy. The building increases water efficiency and uses cool roofing to keep heat at decent levels. The employer encourages its employees to use alternative transportation.
- Sun and the Moon Altar. This office building in China is the largest solar-powered building in the world, at 75,000 square meters. Modeled after a sundial, this office space has solar hot water and a special insulation system that results in 30% less energy consumption.
- A worldwide sustainability cooperative based in Amsterdam, Except created something truly unique by turning an abandoned shipyard into what is known as the “Crystal Forest.” This energy-neutral office is filled with hydroponic modules that use chlorine-free rainwater to produce food indoors.
- Selgas Cano. This architectural firm in Madrid, Spain has an office literally located in the middle of a forest. This long, rectangular office has a window that extends all along one side. This allows employees to enjoy the scenery outside. They can watch the seasons change and watch the squirrels and other wild animals pass by.
- One Westminster Place. This building overlooking London’s Thames River is as beautiful as it is green. The glassy exterior reflects sunlight in multiple colors. The glass, which allows employees a gorgeous view of the river below, also collects energy to save on electricity and costs.
- BP has gotten a bad reputation for its involvement in oil spills, but, ironically, the company’s refinery office in the Netherlands is surprisingly energy-efficient. The office is located under a man-made dune, which is helpful in insulating the office. This saves on energy costs while offering protection against explosions.
- The Bow. Known as the most popular skyscraper in Calgary, Canada, The Bow takes up two blocks of space. This iconic building boasts mountain views and sky gardens. It’s also set up to capture daily sunshine. The position and shape of the building help it manage variable wind patterns during the winter and summer months.
Beautiful, sustainable workplaces offer many benefits. Unlike cubicles, they reduce stress and promote creativity. Architects are taking going green to new levels and creating workspaces that make employees feel good, mentally and physically. With increased productivity and fewer absences, the health benefits speak for themselves.
Tania Longeau serves as the Head of Services for InkjetSuperstore.com Tania oversees a team of Operations and Customer Service Reps from the Los Angeles headquarters.