Call Us: 508-441-4622

Conscious Coworking: Practical Operations with Sustainability in Mind

It is no mystery that people are coming to understand how the choices we make impact our environment. This awakening extends into the realm of business and professional spaces, where the desire to integrate sustainability is gaining momentum. The imperative for coworking spaces to embrace sustainable practices becomes ever more urgent. This blog aims to explore the importance of sustainability within coworking spaces and provide actionable tips for creating eco-friendly work environments.

Sustainable Design

One of the many reasons that folks come to coworking spaces, other than needing a place to work, is the environment these spaces offer. Natural lighting, intriguing interior design, and functional furniture play an important role in decision making. So, how can coworking spaces offer these amenities with sustainability in mind?

The most sustainable practice a business can perform is utilizing the materials and resources that are already at their fingertips. Getting creative about repurposing items that no longer have a functional purpose is a great option, and at little cost. A lovely example of this is the large wooden tables that reside in the New Bedford Gallery and flex space.

These tables were repurposed from old wooden doors that were part of the original building before it became the Quest Center. Rather than disposing of these beautiful doors, they are now a main focus point and every day use for coworking members and staff.

Lead By Example

As a coworking space, we do our best to operate with sustainability in mind. Doing so promotes an environmentally-friendly culture that resonates with members and guests and encourages them to follow suit. It also attracts eco-conscious individuals from different industries and businesses, which furthers our sustainable culture. Some examples of these practices include:

  • Using smart automated lighting systems
  • Using green cleaning products and fewer toxic chemicals
  • Implementing recycling programs
  • Implementing energy-efficient technologies and energy-efficient practices
  • Minimizing waste by using reusable dish-ware and sustainable water refill systems.
  • Incorporating green spaces within the environment
  • Developing cycling infrastructure and public transportation partnerships
  • Repurposing old materials for functional and creative design

Environmental sustainability is just one aspect of the story. Another equally important factor is contributing to our community by supporting locally owned businesses and organization.

Like most modern businesses, it’s nearly impossible to avoid shopping at Amazon and other large retailers. But at Groundwork we do our best to source local goods whenever possible. Not only does shopping locally contribute to community growth and local character, it is also pretty great for the environment.

Local businesses often have a smaller carbon footprint. Typically, they source goods locally, reducing transportation emissions, and since they’re smaller, they consume fewer resources and produce less waste.

Jim Granat, Forbes

Our most successful initiative in this area is providing locally sourced coffee and food options to our members.

Encouraging Sustainable Behaviors

Coworking spaces can act as a catalyst and set the tone for sustainable practices by the nature in which they operate. The role of education and awareness can foster sustainable practices amongst members.

Creating a collaborative culture that values sustainability is extremely beneficial. It allows these ideas to expand beyond the coworking horizon and into the daily lives of those who implement them. Thoughtfulness and mindfulness allow people to develop practical ways to implement a greener way of being. This is how we are able to create lasting change. Some ways of offering this knowledge can be through suggestions, such as organizing workshops and events around environmental topics.

Beyond educational resources, there are little acts that go a long way, such as collecting food scraps and plant material to use in natural dyeing instead of throwing them away. Or having a community bike available for member use.

The community bike in New Bedford went on hiatus for a while after the pandemic, but we have since made it available for our coworking members to utilize during the warm New England seasons. Since we are conveniently located near the food hub that is Downtown New Bedford, biking is the perfect way to get a bit of movement in, grab a local bite to eat, and avoid starting up the car for a short drive.

We Can Make An Impact

By prioritizing sustainability within coworking spaces, we can help create a positive impact in work environments that expand into our every day lives. This not only supports productivity and collaboration, but also contributes to the greater good and a greener future. Implementing energy efficiency, reducing waste, repurposing materials, and encouraging responsible behaviors among coworking members are essential steps towards a sustainable community and culture. Remember, you are always able to make a change towards a more sustainable future. You deserve the very best.