BCO research reveals link between energy efficiency and improved business performance
28 Mar 2014
Research from the British Council for Offices (BCO) reflects shift in attitudes to understand how offices actually perform environmentally rather than how they are designed
Today, the BCO publishes its latest research 'Improving the Environmental Performance of Offices' illustrating the benefits of energy efficient offices and the positive impact they can have on employee productivity.
Whilst staff costs typically account for around 90% of business costs, dwarfing the 1% represented by energy and water costs, the report shows how greater attention on the latter can help improve staff productivity and therefore business performance. It suggests that improved energy efficiency may represent a saving of as much as £50 per square metre.
The report also suggests that occupant satisfaction is impacted by the environmental performance of offices, and it highlights the benefits of engaging occupiers when addressing energy efficiency issues.
By doing this, businesses can gain a clear understanding of the features that are valued by employees as well as those that negatively affect them. For instance, a complaint about glare could lead to the lighting control system being recommissioned. This sort of targeted investment, based on employee feedback, has the ability to transform productivity levels and return significant reductions in business costs.
Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, says:
"This research shows that environmentally efficient offices have a positive impact on employee satisfaction, and as a result can lead to improved business performance. In order to reap the rewards, companies need to ensure their offices are delivering energy efficiency.
"It represents a significant shift in attitudes, whereby the actual environmental performance of buildings is in the spotlight and the industry has moved away from focusing on the planning, design and construction of offices as a way of assessing performance."
'Improving the Environmental Performance of Offices' offers guidance on the following areas:
- Different sources for benchmarking data, including CIBSE's TM22 and the Real Estate Environmental Benchmark (produced by Jones Land LaSalle and the Better Buildings Partnership)
- Ways to measure improvement such as degree-days (the amount of energy required to heat a building in a given location) and weekly gas meter readings
- Importance of collecting and evaluating feedback from occupiers through surveys
- Popular survey tools to carry out post-occupancy evaluations, such as the Leesman Index and the Building Use Studies (BUS) methodology
The report includes numerous case studies that illustrate the findings. More information can be found at www.bco.org.uk
For further info please contact:
Scarlett Yianni / Andy Rogerson
British Council for Offices / Blue Rubicon
T +44 (0)20 7260 2700 / 07850 922350
Notes to editors:
About the BCO
The British Council for Offices (BCO) is the UK’s leading member organisation representing the interests of all those who occupy, design, build, own or manage offices in the UK. Since inception in 1990, the BCO has provided thought leadership and best practice in all issues related to the creation and use of office space – through to its research, awards, conference and events programmes.
Forthcoming dates of note:
Scottish Awards Lunch (4 April 2014)
Midlands & East Anglia Awards Lunch (10 April 2014)
London & South East Awards Lunch (29 April 2014)
South West & South Wales Awards Dinner (1 May 2014)
BCO Annual Conference (14-16 May 2014)
Northern Awards Dinner (21 May 2014)
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