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Big Sustainability Guide for Conscious Coworking Space Owners

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Adam Roper
Big Sustainability Guide for Conscious Coworking Space Owners

Are your customers looking for a more sustainable and eco-friendly coworking space? There is a growing trend of people looking for eco-conscious coworking spaces. As the world becomes more environmentally aware, people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and work in an office that aligns with their values without compromising convenience.

According to the Osdoro Coworking Space Market Report for 2022 - 2023, the ‘Push for Sustainability has been identified as an important factor affecting coworking spaces. Let’s face it, your potential customers have options for where they choose to work, “There are approximately 19,400 coworking spaces available in the world, and over 6,200 of those are in the U.S. as of 2022.” as per Zippia.

In order to stand out from your competitors, investing in sustainable initiatives can be a great way to target those entrepreneurs and individuals that value sustainability when deciding on a coworking space.

As a coworking space owner, there are many initiatives you can invest in and implement that can pivot your spaces to be more sustainable. In this article, we will discuss who is looking for an eco-friendly coworking space,  what those initiatives could be, and why choosing the right coworking space software makes this all more convenient for you and for your customers.

 
Who Is Looking for a Sustainable and Convenient Coworking Space?

People choose an eco-friendly coworking space for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s important to have a sustainable and environmentally friendly workplace to help the environment by reducing their carbon footprint. Others may appreciate the community aspect of eco-friendly coworking spaces and enjoy the feeling of being part of something larger than themselves. And lastly, many people are simply looking for a better work/life balance and believe that working in an eco-friendly environment can help them achieve that. These eco-friendly coworking spaces showcase the types of sustainable spaces that are out there right now.

How Coworking Space Software Can Help

coworking space manager with ipad

A good coworking space platform understands the needs of coworking space owners and users and strives to provide all the tools owners need to build and operate green coworking spaces. It needs to be easy to implement sustainable practices and initiatives and track how customers are using different spaces and notify and engage with your customers to foster a community and promote events. In order to attract and retain eco-conscious customers, any initiative that you invest in needs to be actively promoted and easy for you and your customers to use on a daily basis.

1. Make sure to highlight all the environmentally friendly initiatives you have implemented.

In addition to being able to book rooms and facilities, you also need a simple and effective way to make it clear what green initiatives you have implemented and how these can be accessed. These services and environmentally friendly benefits of your particular coworking space can be listed on your own branded coworking space management app.

Do you have special discounts or agreements with local companies, or have you partnered with local environmental organizations or companies providing eco-friendly products? Make sure to highlight these in the app and you can gain insights via analytics of how your customers are using any sustainable initiatives and how they are interacting with your partner program opportunities.

2. Foster community

Creating a community within your coworking space is another great advertisement for prospective customers interested in sustainability but is also a necessity for retaining these customers. Good coworking space software has the ability to bring together your customers in one place at their convenience. All your sustainable initiatives can be showcased directly in the community sections, with all events and notifications delivered directly via the app. With a few clicks, you can keep everyone up to date with what’s going on and what’s planned.

Networking where your customers can share their eco-friendly skills and services can be done all from the same place. Initiatives like ride-sharing can be promoted and managed through the app. You could also think about making your coworking space into a local hub for eco-conscious groups and organizations, promoting events, and selling tickets directly through the app, potentially this could also create more revenue after normal office hours.

3. One app to manage everything makes it more convenient

Let’s face it, these days there are many apps and while apps tend to make things easier, without proper functionality and added benefit to the user they become cumbersome and just another app that clutters up your phone and one you will delete later on. The same is true for sustainable initiatives - unless they are clearly highlighted as options to your customers, they won't know they exist and if it is not easy and convenient to actually interact use these services or interact with the community, your initiatives may have got people through the door will not keep them there, if another coworking space is doing it better than you.

With one place that does all of this, lets your customers interact with you, and gives you feedback on usage you can make sure everything is actually being used and is running smoothly.

Discover why hundreds of coworking spaces around the globe choose andcards software to streamline their processes and improve customer satisfaction.

What Sustainable Initiatives Can You Implement in Your Coworking Space?

With the right software at your fingertips, you can easily advertise all the great sustainable initiatives you have invested time and money in. You can give your customers easy access to these services and benefits and keep them engaged by creating a green community, but what are these initiatives? Here are some strategic initiatives you can invest into curate your brand into a more sustainable one.

Coworking space manager holding a plant in the pot

1. Leverage Local

Can you promote any sustainable initiatives or get local companies to showcase their products or services in the workspace, then users can use the self-service procedures on the app. While coworking offers many advantages, one of its primary drawbacks is that it can often be difficult to find sustainable and convenient options for food and other amenities.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that coworking space software can help to leverage local resources. For example, the app can feature any local shops and products that are available, as well as any local initiatives or events that workspace users might be interested in. By highlighting these local resources, the app can help to make the coworking experience more sustainable and convenient for everyone involved.

2. Curate a green community

Coworking spaces provide an excellent opportunity for people to come together and collaborate on projects. Sustainable coworking spaces are becoming more and more popular, for example, in Europe with Green Coworking as an advocate for sustainability and fostering a coworking community. A greener, eco-conscious community can be fostered and nurtured directly through a coworking space app using the Events Showcase & Community Feed. This feature allows operators to highlight events that are happening in the space, as well as share news and updates with members.

Events can include workshops on how to grow your own food or reduce your carbon footprint. They can also be social events, like movie nights or game nights. Whatever the event, it’s a great way to bring people together and help them connect with one another.

The Community Feed is also a great way to share news and updates with members. Operators can use this feature to post about new amenities, changes in hours or location, or just to let members know what’s happening in the space. This is a great way to keep members informed and engaged.

3. Ensure energy efficiency

As businesses become more and more conscious of their environmental impact, the need for eco-friendly and sustainable coworking spaces has grown. In response, many operators are implementing ESG requirements into their business models in order to minimize their negative impact on the environment.

ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance, requirements refer to the guidelines that businesses use to assess and improve their sustainability. These requirements can include anything from reducing energy consumption to ensuring fair working conditions.

With increased public and government pressure, more countries are introducing new policies that companies must follow if they want to prove their transparency in sustainability data— specifically Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics. For example, the European Union is currently evaluating these directives but it certainly won't be the last nation to do so.

Energy efficiency is a great way to show your customers that you care about the environment. When you make an effort to be more sustainable, it sends a message that you're concerned about the future of the planet and you're willing to take action to protect it. This can be a major selling point for many customers.

4. Go renewable where possible

There are many reasons why coworking space owners should consider using renewable energy. Perhaps the most important reason is that it can help a brand be seen as more sustainable. In an age where people are increasingly concerned about the environment, using renewable energy can set a business apart from its competitors.

Another reason to go renewable is that it can save money in the long run. Renewable energies like solar and wind are becoming increasingly more affordable, so using them can help reduce a business’s energy costs. Finally, using renewable energy is a great way to show support for sustainability initiatives. When more businesses adopt renewables, it will help bring about the large-scale change that is needed to combat climate change.

Governments are waking up to the fact that while renewable energy is great for the environment, it needs widespread impetus for people and companies to invest. For example, in the United States, Congress recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act to give companies more tax breaks for making their buildings more energy-efficient. In the United Kingdom, small businesses can get grants and other financial incentives from the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets to help them reduce carbon emissions and save money on commercial energy use.

These are great initiatives that you can take advantage of, for more ideas on how you can do this, check out this informative interview with Amy King, CEO, and Co-founder of Good Coworking.

Enjoy the ease of use and management of your coworking or flex space with the andcards app.

10 Simple Tips for Creating a More Sustainable & Convenient Coworking Space

There are also many smaller, simpler ways that you can implement in your coworking space to get started. When it comes to running a coworking space, there are many things to consider – from the design of the space to the amenities offered, to the types of members you want to attract. But one thing that may not be on your radar is sustainability.

Coworking space member sitting in the lounge surrounded by green plants

Sustainability is a word that gets thrown around a lot, and it can mean different things to different people. But at its core, sustainability is about creating systems that can be continued indefinitely without damaging or depleting resources. And when it comes to running a coworking space, there are a few ways you can make your space more sustainable:

1. Reduce water and paper towel waste

Water and paper towel waste are common issues in many offices and coworking spaces. Fortunately, there are a few ways that these wastes can be reduced.

For starters, installing a water meter can help to reduce water waste. In addition, providing incentives for using less water, such as providing lower rates for those who use less, can also be effective. Additionally, encouraging people to reuse paper towels can help to reduce paper towel waste. Providing bins for sorted recyclable materials can also make it easier for people to recycle and thus reduce the amount of waste produced.

2. Caffeinate conscientiously

Many coworking spaces still have room for improvement when it comes to being eco-friendly. One way they can do this is by using eco coffee pods.

Eco coffee pods are made from biodegradable materials, so they can be composted after use. They also produce fewer greenhouse gases than traditional coffee pods, making them a more environmentally friendly choice.

There are a number of different eco coffee pod brands available, so there’s sure to be one that fits the needs of your coworking space. Some popular brands include Keurig Green Mountain, Nespresso, and Starbucks. Using eco coffee pods is a simple way for coworking spaces to reduce their environmental impact. By making this small change, they can help reduce the amount of waste produced and CO2 emissions caused by the coffee brewing process.

3. Endorse green commuting

By endorsing green commuting, coworking spaces can help reduce the amount of pollution caused by cars. In addition to helping the environment, endorsing green commuting can also help make coworking spaces more convenient. By promoting alternatives to driving, such as biking or taking public transportation, coworkers can easily get to and from the space without having to worry about traffic or parking. For example, carpooling could be an initiative that is promoted within the app, allowing members to easily find alternative ways to get to the building.

4. Turn off lights where needed

Coworking spaces can be more environmentally friendly by turning off lights where needed. When spaces are not in use, it’s important to turn off all unnecessary lights. This can help save energy and reduce the amount of pollution that is created. In addition, turning off lights when they are not needed can also help save money on energy bills. By promoting this simple habit, coworkers can help make their space more sustainable.

5. Embrace Zero Waste

The benefits of embracing a zero-waste philosophy are many. When it comes to running a coworking space, there are several reasons why going green is a wise decision.

For starters, reducing waste can save your business money. There are many ways to do this, such as recycling and composting. These practices help reduce the amount of trash your business produces, which in turn lowers your landfill fees. In addition, going green can help you attract new members. Today’s consumers care about the environment and are more likely to join a coworking space that is eco-friendly.

6. Go Digital on Paperwork

Coworking space owners can go digital to automate their operations and improve their workflow. The app provides a unified platform for managing all aspects of running a coworking space, from member sign-ups and payments to front-desk tasks and maintenance requests. This allows operators to focus on delivering great service and cultivating an engaged community. New users can be onboarded quickly and hassle-free for both parties.

7. Go Low VOC on paint

When it comes to painting, it's important to choose a paint that is low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOCs are harmful chemicals that can cause respiratory problems and contribute to air pollution. By opting for low-VOC paint, you can help keep your space healthy for both you and your coworkers.

Low VOC paint is available in a variety of colors and finishes, so you can find the perfect shade for your space. In addition, low-VOC paint is more durable than traditional paint, making it a wise investment.

8. Clean with green cleaning products

Research has shown that using green cleaning products in a coworking space can have a number of benefits. For one, it can help to improve air quality and make the space more comfortable for occupants. In addition, using eco-friendly products can help to reduce the environmental impact of the space, which is important for operators who are looking to be sustainable. Lastly, using green cleaning products can also help to create a more positive image for the space and attract new members.

9. Green the Air with Plants

Coworking space owners should consider adding plants to their spaces in order to improve the air quality. Plants are known to absorb toxins and improve air quality, making them ideal for spaces where people are working. Not only will this improve the air quality, but it will also help to create a more relaxing and productive environment.

10. Ditch single-use items

Single-use items are items that are used once and then thrown away, such as disposable cups, plates, and silverware. These items are not only wasteful, but they also create a lot of unnecessary landfill waste.

In addition, many food items come in packaging that is not recyclable or compostable. This means that even if you recycle or compost other materials in your space, the food packaging will still end up in a landfill. But there is an easy way to reduce both your environmental impact and your waste output, switching to reusable cups, plates, and silverware can significantly reduce the amount of waste your space produces.

And when it comes to food packaging, there are plenty of recyclable and compostable options available. If you’re not sure which packaging is best for your space, check with your local recycling or composting program for guidance. By making these small changes, you can make your workspace more sustainable and help reduce the amount of waste produced by the Coworking industry as a whole.

To Take Away

There are many ways for business owners to go green with their coworking spaces. By implementing some or all of these tips, you can help reduce your environmental impact and make your space more comfortable and productive for both you and your members. And, you may even find that being eco-friendly can be good for business too.

The end result will be a more sustainable and user-friendly coworking space that everyone can enjoy.


This article was written by Adam Roper, a sustainability blogger, and writer, passionate about promoting how people and businesses can each do their part in benefiting the environment through his writing and blog at adamdroper.com.

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