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Economic benefits of green buildings highlighted

worldInHands

Green buildings can be delivered at a price comparable to conventional buildings, with investments recouped through operational cost savings and, with the right design features, create a more productive workplace, says the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). A new report, which looked at the benefits from green buildings received by different stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a building, “synthesizes credible evidence from around the world on green buildings into one collective resource, and the evidence presented highlights that sustainable buildings provide tangible benefits and make clear business sense,” said Jane Henley, CEO of WorldGBC. More →

Buying green products should involve a closer look at the supply chain

Green chainLast year’s unrest in the Chinese factory that is a principal manufacturer of the iPhone5 shone a light into one of the usually dark corners of modern life. Namely that beneath the sleek facades of the products we buy lies the story of their production, transportation, marketing and eventual demise. Look further back than the factory and it usually starts with a hole in the ground; and, in the case of the iPhone, an open-cast rare earth mine in the Nevada desert which produces the raw materials for the cutting edge technologies that make our lives tick.

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Job dissatisfaction highest amongst Gen Y workers

Gen YHot on the heels of the news this week that generation Y workers are more risk averse than older employees, it seems they’re also more dissatisfied with their jobs than other age groups. A new survey by Office Angels shows that over a quarter (27 per cent) of 25-34 year olds are unhappy in their current job, compared to just a fifth (20 per cent) of those aged over 55. This backs up the Monster.com survey, which found more than half of Gen Y employees (55 per cent) see their current employer as a mere stopping off point in their career path.

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Psychrometry is key to holistic energy efficiency

KS20 Psychrometry

A holistic energy efficiency strategy is needed to ensure a balance between efforts to make buildings more airtight and the need to increase ventilation. This is why an understanding of psychrometry is an increasingly important issue for the built environment. Psychrometry is used to prevent environments being created which are detrimental to health, either through too dry an atmosphere or conditions where damp and mould can flourish says the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) which has issued new guidance.

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“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 →

MIT survey shows link between sustainability and profitability

money-grows-on-treesA report published today by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group has found that more than half of companies see a rise in profits when they embrace a more sustainable business model. In addition to the link between sustainability and profitability, the number of companies reporting a profit from their sustainability efforts rose 23 percent last year, to 37 percent of the total, according to the report entitled The Innovation Bottom Line. The survey of 2,600 managers and executives around the world, also found that nearly half of respondents said their companies had changed their business model as a result of sustainability opportunities.  More →

A Field Guide to Workplace Terminology

As the ecosystem around the workplace industry grows ever more complex, so too does the language we use to describe it. In an attempt to bring order to chaos, guest writer Simon Heath presents here a glossary of terms, acronyms and abbreviations to help you navigate these linguistic waters. (For example Business Intelligence – A commonly used oxymoron.) For more of Simon’s worldly, wise and witty writing on all things work and workplace related, visit his blog at https://workmusing.wordpress.com.

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Ageless workforce welcomed, despite sickness absence increase

GRiD age research

One third (33%) of UK employers have seen the average age of their workforce increase over the last year, with three in five (59%) believing that the removal of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) meant they were more likely to recruit employees aged 50 and over. Older workers are viewed positively, despite the fact that, according to new research by Group Risk Development (GRiD), over a quarter (27%) of employers report increased absence rates or an increase in age related health conditions since the removal of the DRA. More →

Economic boost for UK builders with Green Deal launch

energy efficiency
The Green Deal launches today to help improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s built environment by enabling householders and businesses to secure the up-front capital to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings. Refurbishing existing buildings to new standards and turning them into good green assets has recently been identified as one of the best bets for the property sector in the year ahead and today UK-Green Building Council’s Paul King said the launch of the energy efficiency scheme could help create jobs and stimulate economic activity.

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Innovation needed to catapult UK to technology success

Catapult centre

The government must scale up the UK’s new programme of technology and innovation centres – Catapults – by 50% to 100%, the Big Innovation Centre will announce at a meeting at the House of Lords today. Will Hutton, chair of the Big Innovation Centre at the Work Foundation warned: “Catapults are desperately needed and important new institutions that could allow the UK to reproduce German success in 21st century industrial sectors and services. Yet the Catapult programme needs to be bigger and bolder in its scope, aims and resources if their potential as convenors, catalysts, risk-mitigators and horizon scanners is to be fully exploited.”

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Changes to Construction and Design Regs delayed

Proposed changes to the Construction and Design Management Regulations (CDM) 2007 have been delayed. The draft changes will now only be presented to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Board for consideration in March 2013 at the very earliest. The CDM regulations, apply to all construction work in the UK, comprising construction, alteration, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance, decommissioning, demolition or dismantling, underwent a review last year, with industry practice found to have a significant influence on how the regulations are implemented. More →

It pays to check the green credentials of manufacturers

Generation from Knoll

Generation from Knoll

There is a theory that when companies talk about issues such as corporate social responsibility they are doing so because it helps them to achieve their business goals. This is the coldly rational thing to do according to people like free market guru Milton Friedman who argues that companies should not actively pursue altruistic ends unless that pursuit is ultimately in the interest of their shareholders. As Friedman puts it: ‘Hypocrisy is virtuous when it serves the bottom line. Moral virtue is immoral when it does not’.

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