Study finds green offices can deliver savings of up to £50 per square metre for building owners


Green offices could save owners up to £50 per square metre in operating costs and lead to happier staff, a study by the British Council of Offices has found.

The study found that more energy efficient offices could deliver productivity improvements from staff worth up to £50 per square metre.

It said: “It is worth considering that energy and water costs usually amount to little more than 1% of business costs, whereas staff costs account for around 90%.

“So a 1% improvement in productivity swamps utility costs.”

It said building owners and operators should benchmark and monitor their buildings’ energy usage in more detail to find areas for improvement, such as new lighting systems.

The study said that many businesses would be “surprised” how much energy their buildings use outside of office hours and that this was one of several areas ripe for change.

It added that improved offices would lead to a happier workforce that took less sick leave and improved staff retention, outweighing the cost of making improvements.

Richard Kauntze, chief executive of the BCO, said firms needed to ensure their offices were energy efficient to “reap the rewards” of “employee satisfaction” and “improved business performance”.

He added: “This study 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.”