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Responsible business: How to create an environmentally friendly office

The prevailing fashion for environmental responsibility is not only a sing of a fleeting interest in the subject, but it also shows that people are aware of the importance of environmental care. This article discusses solutions that each of us can bring into their office to care for the planet. We also show how we do it at Nowy Styl Group, by consciously implementing projects in our offices, showrooms and plants.

We are being flooded by news about the deteriorating condition of the natural environment and the shrinking resources of our planet. An environmentally-conscious approach to life has therefore become not only a good habit, but something you simply have to do because of the dramatic impact on the life of future generations.

Also in business, long-term positive effects of an environmentally-friendly attitude should be kept in mind. Choosing greener solutions may initially seem costly, but in the wider perspective they offer great savings and are an investment in the image of your business. Eco awareness is growing, and so partners and customers are more likely to cooperate with those companies whose approach to environmental care is consistent with that of their own.

A company can take many roads to arrive at better resource management: from changing things in the office, to marketing, to plants and logistics. So how can you make green solutions a reality? Start by educating your employees. Good waste segregation, sensible use of the printer, other equipment and furniture, as well as water and electricity consumption are in their hands. The next step is to abandon non-energy-efficient lighting and install motion or dusk-to-dawn sensors, use electronic document circulation, manage your old equipment properly and, where possible, avoid relocating your office too often. These investments will let you reduce the cost of running your office with simple savings. Finally, there is a task for the bigger players: put greener processes in place, abandon the use of harmful substances in your production and introduce green products and services.

Here are some benefits of being an eco-friendly business:

  • reduced spending on office maintenance
  • improved energy efficiency
  • enhanced company image
  • attracting eco-friendly customers
  • team integration
  • wraising the credibility of the company
  • reducing the environmental footprint
  • benefits to health and nature
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The Dutch way of reaching environmental success

Less waste’ or ‘zero waste’ solutions are increasingly popular, and in some cases they are even regulated by law. The commitment of governments to respect the environment is ever-growing around the world.

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The Netherlands is a global leader in implementing circular economy, so it is worth looking at the solutions introduced by that country. Dutch ministries have set very high standards when it goes for office furnishings. They have placed equal emphasis on office furniture being made from environmentally sustainable materials, and on product life being long and efficient, with easy recycling and disposal which do not impact the environment – comments Barbara Kokoszka-Bugla, Brand Strategy Coordinator at Nowy Styl Group.

The project we have completed for the Dutch government was a true environmental challenge, successfully met by Nowy Styl Group. Details were important: desktops and all other wooden elements were made of a FSC-certified board. As a result, the contracting entity can be assured that the natural raw material comes from responsible sources and the sustainable chain was not interrupted at any stage of production or logistics. With chairs, on the other hand, disassembly was the important aspect.

Contractor’s ability to provide services such as maintenance and repair was equally important for the Dutch ministries. With the right product quality and care, we have managed to significantly extend the lifecycle of furniture products, while maintaining their full functionality for users.

Recycling: a secret weapon in the battle for the environment

Recycling-based activities are also on the rise. The things that land in the waste bin have long ceased to be garbage: now they are raw materials. Repurposed materials include plastic, metal, glass, textiles, promotional banners and even coffee grounds. It is a great idea to set a trend for using repurposed raw materials in your company. Plastic bottles are a big problem in the struggle for environmental protection. That is why we have opted for unique solutions when designing our showroom in Kraków. The wall claddings at the Office Inspiration Centre are made of panels made by our company, which have been upholstered with the REVIT EGL26 fabric from CAMIRA’s offer. The fabric is made from REPREVE® fibres, obtained from 100% recycled PET bottles. 22 ground down 500 ml plastic bottles are used to make 1 m of the REVIT fabric! Also the pressed felt panels from our Tepee modular system have been 100% recycled.

 

Economic development must not take place at the expense of the environment. Production companies therefore implement zero-waste policies, and the added value of this change is the creation of new innovative technologies based on seemingly used-up raw materials.

The facade of the building on Radzikowskiego Street has been made from claddings supplied by Proderma. With the natural and fully recycled materials used in the production of the panels, points for the LEED or BREEM assessments can be scored. For environmental reasons, we have also given up bottled water at the Office Inspiration Centre. Thanks to a GROHE BLUE PROFFESIONAL filtration system, we get drinking water straight from the tap.

The Office Inspiration Centre is an expression of our consistent development. It is not only an exhibition of state-of-the-art furniture solutions in attractive settings, but above all a meeting place where we want to have inspiring discussions and share our knowledge and experience. That is why also here ecological solutions are important for us.

Xilium: more than a chair

We effect our ecological approach when designing our offices and showrooms, but also in the production process of our furniture. The Xilium chair line is a good example here. It has been implemented based on a Bill of Materials, which includes requirements for suppliers in the area of user health and safety (environment, toxicity and emissions).

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A very important stage in the implementation of that product was an audit of the structure, origin and recyclability of all materials. About 96% of them can be recycled after the end of the chair’s product life. The Xilium chair line has been implemented in line with circular economy guidelines. By purchasing that chair, our customers can rest assured that they are minimising emissions and the volume of waste.

The Xilium has been designed to be used for a long time. Its quality is confirmed by the warranty period extended to five years. Next to its strength, the chair’s timeless design is another aspect that makes it more useful and usable in an office space, and for a longer time. In addition to the universal design, in the Xilium line of chairs the finishes can be replaced at any time in the course of use.

An environmentally-friendly office

The zero-waste trend has appeared in our offices too. Employees act in line with the basic principles of harmonious coexistence with nature, and do their best to pay more attention to reasonable use of electricity and other resources, such as paper and other office supplies. We are aware that recycling is an important element of environmental care, so to support that process we have placed special bins in our kitchen, with descriptions telling people how to segregate properly. We have installed motion sensors in the hallways of our office to prevent unnecessary consumption of energy, and work is underway to implement electronic document circulation. The paper we use every day is FSC certified, and the water we drink is not bottled. It comes from the city water supply system and, before going into our employees’ glasses, it passes through a system of filters that need to be replaced only twice a year.

We also get together for the common goal of reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Carpooling and cycling to work are popular at Nowy Styl Group. The Kraków office is also taking part in a campaign supported by the municipality.

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Since April, Nowy Styl Group has been supporting a campaign organised by the City Council of Kraków called Cycle to Work: Home, Bike, Work, Repeat. The aim of the campaign is to encourage as many people as possible to leave their car in the garage and commute to the office by bike. Together, we want to cut down the number of the least environmentally friendly means of transport on our roads. The employees who are the most frequent cyclists are rewarded with prizes – says Dominik Szwiec, who is in charge of the pro-cycling campaign at Nowy Styl Group.

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Want to know more about our green products? See Xilium and Tepee.

Reducing emissions released into the atmosphere is one of the most important provisions of our Environmental Policy. We have described our environmental goals in the CSR Report. Download it here.

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