A kaleidoscope of colour at Birdies sports and social space
Hidden under the iconic Battersea Power Station train arches, interior architecture studio SHED has created a cocktail bar and playful golf course.
The environment continues to be the hottest of hot topics – but how much do we really know and understand? Should we really believe all that we’re told? Apparently not. Here, Jon Khoo, Regional Sustainability Manager at Interface, presents seven myths about sustainability
Actually, it has changed. Human activity, known as the Anthropocene, is what has disrupted the carbon cycle over the last few years. But we still have the opportunity to change this by making low carbon choices, like protecting our natural carbon sinks – such as forests – and divesting from fossil fuels. The clock is ticking though, the IPCC says 2030 will be the point of no return if we don’t take action now.
Manufacturer’s should always look at how to reduce carbon emissions throughout their products’ lifecycle and carbon offsetting does have a role to play, if it’s done responsibly. Offsets should only be used to tackle emissions that are the most difficult to reduce or remove. You should always ask questions about how a supplier is reducing the carbon footprint of its products.
This might have been true in the past but it isn’t any more. When Interface started its sustainability journey, its share price did fall, but it also set it on the path of becoming both a sustainable brand and market leader. Interface is not alone. Last year, Unilever reported that its sustainable brands are growing much faster than other parts of its business. Plus, sustainability is increasingly a key investor concern.
Remember the saying ‘great oaks from little acorns grow’? Well, we can all play a part in tackling global warming and responding to climate change. Look at the debate around plastic packaging. It was individuals who put pressure on supermarkets and the hospitality industry to respond. There’s also some really effective community driven action; take Surfers Against Sewage’s Plastic Free Communities or individuals leading movements such as Ella Daish, Lizzie Carr and Martin Dorey.
Not at all, why wouldn’t you do both? We aspire to create places that are inspiring, productive and good for the planet. That’s done by making products which are beautiful, connect people with nature and tackle global warming.
It’s correct that buildings and materials have been associated with producing carbon emissions – whether that’s carbon emissions from their use (operational) or those relating to their creation (embodied). But we are starting to see buildings that can actually help reduce emissions such as Brattørkaia in Trondheim (designed by Snohetta) which produces more than twice as much electricity as it consumes daily, and will supply renewable energy for itself, surrounding buildings and for electric transportation.
We need a systemic approach to reversing global warming. That means considering everything from food, to building, to transport choices. While the stats vary on which area causes the most damage, the key is to understand the connections – which aspects you can help with and start making a change now.
Inspiration for your next read
The last in our series on how the current crisis will affect the commercial interiors (and wider) world, we’ve asked a number of leading end users and workplace experts to offer their opinions on where we’re likely to find ourselves post-COVID.
Angela Bardino, Design Principal at leading professional services firm, Jacobs, examines employees’ impact on both immediate business and subsequent end user groups.