Investec Wealth and Investment Management (IWIN) reduced carbon emissions 33 percent per person, compared to the previous year, earning the UK company the Carbon Trust’s first Low Carbon Workplace Standard.
The UK’s first low-carbon commercial building, a 160-year-old former printing press, also cut its annual carbon footprint by 1.4 percent despite an increase by 46 percent in the number of hours that the office is occupied. Other carbon-cutting achievements include:
- 45 percent lower running costs when compared to similar buildings
- Recycling 68 percent of its waste
- A 42 percent increase in the use of sustainable forms of transportation by employees
The Carbon Trust developed the Low Carbon Workplace concept to break what it calls the “circle of inertia” that has prevented many cost-effective CO2 reduction opportunities in non-domestic buildings from being realized. The organization says a 35 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 from non-domestic buildings can be achieved using cost-effective measures. These would yield a net benefit to the UK of at least £4 billion ($7 billion).
The Low Carbon Workplace breaks the inertia by delivering refurbished low carbon buildings and a tenant, motivated to realize potential energy savings.
Funders, developers, landlords and occupiers collaborate to ensure that buildings are designed, built and operated to maximize energy savings. The Carbon Trust then monitors energy efficiency performance over a two-year period and rewards successful performance with the new standard.
Last year the Carbon Trust launched the world’s first international standard for companies to certify that they are managing and reducing waste later this year.