Greening business parks

Greening business parks

As the awareness and impact of global warming continues to rise, tenants and employees at business parks need to pay more attention to greening business parkssays Simon Blackley, Business Development and Biodiversity Manager at Nurture Landscapes.

There are plenty of good reasons to increase sustainability and green initiatives at business parks, from the chance to improve relationships with tenants and their customers to reaping the benefits of cost savings. Here, Simon explains why going green is the only way forward. 

Climate warming

The Earth is getting warmer. The rate of Antarctica ice mass loss has tripled1, and the past ten years have been the warmest on record2; we are heading towards a crisis, unless we all start to take action to protect the environment.

Large sites such as business parks have ample opportunities to lead the way in making highly impactful changes that will contribute to protecting the planet whilst at the same time, improve relationships with tenants and by extension, their customers.

How ‘green’ is grounds maintenance?

With the right toolkit, grounds maintenance becomes a sustainable practice.

Petrol-powered gardening tools heavily pollute the environment. A report from the American Chemical Society shows that just one hour of cutting grass with a petrol-powered lawn mower pollutes the air as much as a 100 mile drive in a petrol car.3 By replacing this equipment with eco-friendly battery-powered tools, the amount of carbon emissions reduces, and enhances tenant experience by removing harmful fumes and noise.

Eco-friendly gardening tools have vastly improved in recent years, with today’s models equipped with longer-lasting, fast charging lithium-ion batteries that are capable of managing larger areas in one charge, saving considerable amounts of fuel & electricity over a period of time.

Battery-powered tools can also improve health and safety on site, as cordless equipment is usually lighter than its counterparts, which means less risk of pulled or strained muscles for the operator.

Replacing equipment may sound scary, but it can boost your bottom line

Taking steps towards sustainability, such as replacing high-pollutant equipment with battery-powered tools, may require an investment. However, there are many grants and schemes available to support businesses who want to reduce carbon emissions and you may be eligible for reliefs or be exempt from some environmental taxes if you meet certain criteria.4

Using less fuel and electricity means that going green will be more sustainable and cheaper for your site in the long run. Additionally, renewable energy costs are set to become less expensive than fossil fuels in the near future5, and the amount of money large sites can save by becoming greener is expected to increase over the years.  

Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability as a USP

There are many compelling reasons to commit to sustainability, besides saving money on energy bills. Organisations and their staff are already making changes in their own habits, no matter how small, to contribute to saving the planet, such as choosing to take public transport over driving. By making their own sites eco-friendly and energy efficient, business park owners and their managers become integral to building the ‘culture of sustainability’ needed to protect the environment.

There are opportunities to demonstrate CSR for both business parks and its tenants with sustainable sites and eco-friendly facilities. Additionally, with growing Government initiatives to encourage businesses to more environmentally-friendly, including tax reductions and funding for eco-friendly technology, it may also become a financial choice for tenants to choose to house their business on a site that already has eco-friendly facilities, saving them from having to invest themselves to make changes.

Going green may attract new talent

A recent survey by Swytch revealed that Gen Z and Millennial employees are more likely to accept a job offer from, or stay loyal to, greener companies. In fact, “over a third” of both Gen Z and Millennials said it would be “a deal breaker for them to work for a company that does not have a strong sustainability culture6.” The results suggest that sites who work towards becoming more sustainable will be able to attract and retain top talent.

Now that the world is ‘waking up’ to the effects of climate change, there has never been a better time for business parks to go green.

Nurture Landscapes Group is committed to championing sustainability and the environment. Changes include cutting on carbon emissions by using battery-powered equipment and electric vans, fitting solar panels and ‘living walls’. 

References:

  1. https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51111176
  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010529234907.htm
  4. https://www.gov.uk/green-taxes-and-reliefs
  5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2019/05/29/renewable-energy-costs-tumble/#2c46768de8ce
  6. https://solarbuildermag.com/news/survey-employees-more-likely-to-work-for-company-with-sustainability-programs/