Search Results for: government

“Groundbreaking” guidance on drivers for social change

Network for business sustainability

Businesses can play a key role in driving social change according to a groundbreaking new report. Whether through product labelling, supply chain management, employee volunteerism and partnerships with non-government organisations (NGOs), companies have the power to help people get active, eat healthy foods, use less energy and live more sustainable lives. Now a new guide based on a review of 123 studies from the last 20 years, released by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) provides the evidence for any business interested in cause marketing, social innovation or responsible consumption. More →

Room for improvement in public sector workplace management

Portcullis HouseLast week technology company Citrix announced that the UK Government could cut its property costs by a third by adopting flexible working policies. It used a Freedom of Information request to discover how much space each public sector employee in the UK is allocated and how much it costs then applied a formula to work out how this would be affected by greater adoption of flexible working. What was interesting was not just the up-front argument you would expect from an ICT provider but also the discovery that the average employee is allocated 1.1 workstations with some enjoying 1.6. More →

Model new site announced for BIM aficionados

BIM

The UK’s BIM (Building Information Modelling) Task Group is launching a Digital Plans of Work site on February 28. The latest phase in the government’s plans to make the UK the world leader in BIM, the site will enable users to keep an online version of their work. BIM is also attracting support worldwide. Today, US construction giant ZMG Construction threw its weight behind the technology saying: “New technological developments continue to revolutionize the construction and design industries — and building information modelling, or BIM, is foremost on the list of these major technological advances.” More →

Flexible working seen as of more benefit to employers than staff

Flexible working

Nine in ten UK professionals think that flexible working will become the dominant employment model – but half think it will be adopted for business reasons rather than to benefit the workforce. According to research from specialist HR recruiter Ortus, just one in ten professionals (12 per cent) actually deem flexible working to be a vital benefit – lower than the proportion who said a free company mobile phone is vital to them. And just 1 in 10 said they thought it was being implemented to help with gender equality. In the survey conducted among 450 professionals across a variety of sectors, 51 one per cent felt the reason behind the growth of flexible working is efficiency and productivity – not to help people manage the number of hours they work. More →

Net-Zero buildings top measure of sustainability success

the Crystal

Net-zero commercial buildings, i.e. those that produce at least as much energy as they consume should be the long-term aim of corporate energy strategies, says a CoreNet Global statement. “Smart and responsible energy policies and practices reduce corporate carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions, (and) we encourage our members’ companies to drive energy efficiency to optimal levels with net-zero buildings as a top measure of long-term success.” The global real estate association calls on governments around the world to incentivise building owners, investors and occupiers who proactively reduce their carbon footprints. More →

Tech and media companies continue to reshape the world’s cities

google-doodleTech and media companies continue to shape the world’s cities and local property markets according to a recent report from BNP Paribas. While this is a global phenomenon, some of the most dramatic developments will take place in London, not least a shift of tech firms in the city away from their heartland towards Kings Cross following Google’s $1bn purchase of 2.4 acres of land within a major new development in the area. The new development may become a hothouse for technology companies in spite of the UK Government’s focus on promoting Tech City and surrounding areas in East London.  More →

British investors still see Dubai as an attractive proposition

DubaiBritish investors continue to see the property market in Dubai as a good bet, according to new statistics from the Emirate’s Land Department. Of the $16 billion invested in Dubai properties last year, over $12 billion came from overseas investors. Indians led the field with total investments of $2.5 billion followed by Britons ($1.36 billion) Pakistanis ($1.09 billion) and Russians only $545 million – roughly the amount Roman Abramovich hides in his sock drawer for emergencies.  The department’s director-general, Sultan Butti Bin Mejrin, said this showed how Dubai had recovered from global financial crisis with the help of support from local government.

Consolidation of state properties boosts London economy by £3.5bn

Whitehall,_LondonAccording to a new report from property consultancy Knight Frank into the impact of the Government’s policy of consolidating and improving the management of the public sector estate in London, the economy has been boosted by as much as £3.5 billion. The study has reviewed the results of the work carried out by the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group at 16 properties in central London including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for International Development, the Land Registry and the Crown Prosecution Service. Many of these sites were seen as dated and have now been redeveloped for use by other organisations. More →

Work-life balance proposals could cause employers to wobble

flexible work

Employment experts have raised concerns on the impact on employers of the Children and Families Bill, announced by the government this week, which introduces shared parental leave and extends the right to request flexible working to all employees. The idea behind the reforms is to give parents greater flexibility about how they ‘mix and match’ care of their child but Jonathan Exten-Wright, Partner from DLA Piper said: “Employers would no doubt welcome further guidance on how the new shared leave should operate in practice.”

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Crowdfunding could open doors for architects and their clients

Crowdfunding, the practice of investing in projects through the use of a crowd-supported web based fundraising campaign, could be of equal benefit to architects as it is to new business ventures and web-based innovations. According to a white paper by the American Institute of Architects, “Crowdfunding Architecture,” this increasingly popular tool is being used to leverage dedicated internet fundraising websites to provide investment and communications tools to encourage financing for a broad array of projects.

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Cautious welcome for Prime Minister’s green speech

Green economy

Environmental experts have given Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on Monday, when he reiterated his commitment to a green economy, a cautious welcome. The PM, who has come under some criticism for failing to follow up on his promise to make “this the greenest government ever” gave a short speech at the launch of the Energy Efficiency Mission at the Royal Society in London, where he underlined the Government’s commitment to energy efficiency and said that only the greenest and most energy efficient countries would win the global race. More →

Commercial sector bucks downward UK construction trend

Construction figsConstruction business activity fell by the third month running in January, with new orders at slowest pace since October 2012 according to the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). There were some reports that snowfall had contributed to reduced output volumes, but the majority of respondents cited weak underlying client demand and a lack of new projects.  However commercial activity was the only sub-sector to buck the wider downward trend in output during January with the latest data indicating unchanged volumes of commercial activity, ending five months of contraction. More →