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1 Workspace Group PLC THE BUSINESS CASE FOR SUSTAINABILITY Matthew James Research & Sustainability Manager For Knowledge London Thursday, 27 th September.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Workspace Group PLC THE BUSINESS CASE FOR SUSTAINABILITY Matthew James Research & Sustainability Manager For Knowledge London Thursday, 27 th September."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Workspace Group PLC THE BUSINESS CASE FOR SUSTAINABILITY Matthew James Research & Sustainability Manager For Knowledge London Thursday, 27 th September 2007

2 2 Flexible, affordable, workspace to let throughout London London’s leading space provider to SMEs Own & manage 100+ business centres in London with 4,000 customers Buy estates & extract value by refurbishing, re-using or extending A core value is to be the first point of contact Customer focused & have a sustainable business model About Workspace Group

3 3 Our properties

4 4 Our customers The typical Workspace customer: operates in creative industries/professional services (knowledge economy) employs less than 10 people (50% employ less than 4) been in current unit less than 2 years but trading for 5+ occupies 1,100 sq ft & pays an average rent c. £12,000 pa describes their business as “going for growth” considers Workspace to offer “value for money” BUT, “typical” doesn’t exist!

5 5 Sustainability Social e.g. volunteering, community involvement Environmental e.g. waste management, green travel Economic e.g. sustainable financial returns Climate change e.g. reducing CO2 emissions “Sustainability is about more than just recycling!”

6 6 Why is it important? Understanding impacts Assessing risk Identifying opportunities Encouraging positive change Addressing stakeholders’ needs Sustainable model for growth “We believe the case for sustainability is as simple as it is compelling: it makes good business sense.”

7 7 Making the case Reducing costs e.g. reducing resource consumption, waste Branding e.g. Plan A (M&S) Blue & Yellow Make Green (Workspace) Stakeholder demands e.g. customers, investors, staff, suppliers Policy & legislation e.g. EPCs, building regulations Local impact e.g. creating wealth, employment, etc “We have responsibilities to our stakeholders and the environment. Being sustainable is about managing these responsibilities”

8 8 Understanding the relationship 3 rd Dimension (PMA/Upstream) Observer article (Co-operative Investment Services) Carbon Disclosure Project Business In The Community (CR Index) EIRIS (Ethical Investment) “Creating a sustainable business model that addresses our responsibilities and can deliver sustained growth”

9 9 Our customers & Us Best Foot Forward Ecological footprint – direct and indirect impacts Kingston University Customer research – customers want help from landlord Carbon Trust 5-year Carbon Management Plan Envirowise Waste & energy reduction – customer engagement pilots London Better Together Making London a better place to do business – customers, suppliers “We are property owners, not occupiers. Neither are we sustainability experts. Partnerships are the key”

10 10 Knowledge Transfer Partnership Metering understand metering - problems and opportunities use energy data to target reduction Customer Engagement Customer engagement – addressing “indirect” impacts Partnerships with specialist orgs. to encourage change Fabric & Refurbishment Structural improvements Refurbishment materials checklist KTP Program with Kingston University – James Dixon-Gough

11 11 The story of our year A coherent strategy – customer focused engagement 2006The London Plan – used as an external frame of reference Stern Report states economic impact of climate change Best Foot Forward calculates ecological footprint for WSG – reveals discrepancy between “direct” and “indirect” impacts Carbon Trust help WSG to develop 5 year Carbon Management Plan Kingston University conduct research into “green” attitudes of customers – reveals SME customers want to do more and want help from landlord Staff survey carried out to understand employees perceptions of WSG Blue & Yellow Make Green campaign launched “Green Days” with Thames Water, Envirowise & Carbon Trust held across WSG centres…

12 12 Questions How can we better understand the relationship between sustainability and business performance? Can we calculate its value? How can universities assist businesses in improving sustainable practices? How can universities access businesses? Do businesses communicate sustainability performance in the right way? And to the right people?


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