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Building the workplace of the future at Deloitte London

Building a sustainable future

Healthy building… healthier planet… healthier, happier people. That was the thinking when we opened the doors at 1 New Street Square in July 2018.

Our efforts were rewarded as our London HQ has been recognised as a model of sustainable design and has received awards for environmental performance and promoting wellbeing.

Leading the world

In 2018, our new London HQ became the largest office in the world to achieve prestigious certifications recognising its sustainability and employee wellbeing credentials.

We began our environmental programme back in 2011, focusing on reducing our environmental impacts. We were making considerable progress, in particular around our buildings. We had delivered a number of green refurbishments and these, plus our investments in energy efficiency, had put our real estate on track for a huge reduction in carbon emissions – by 2019, these had dropped by 73 per cent.

We were very proud of the journey we were on, but when the once-in-a-decade opportunity arose to consolidate part of our campus within a new head office, we wanted to see how much further we could go.

Under the green-building scheme BREEAM, it achieved a record 94 per cent, far exceeding the ‘outstanding’ threshold of 85 per cent. It makes it the highest scoring BREEAM 2014 refurbishment and fit-out project anywhere in the world.

Alongside that came a WELL Certified™ Gold – a distinction from the International WELL Building Institute™ awarded to workplaces that enhance people’s health and wellbeing. 1 New Street Square became the world’s largest building to be given this rating for a ‘new and existing interiors project’, and it was the first to achieve both certifications.

It’s easy to see why. LED lights throughout, sensors that check how the building’s running, solar panels, a huge wastewater recycling tank – all designed to reduce our environmental footprint.

Gavin Harrison, Head of Internal Sustainability, says: “In achieving these certifications, we’ve shown environmental performance and user-focused design can go hand in hand, and redefined our blueprint for the workplace of the future.”

Well, well, well

Plants reduce stress levels. Sensors monitor 10 different environmental conditions to keep people comfortable and provide real-time data on available workspaces.

There is a new 1,100 metre square gym on campus, a 365-bay cycle facility, 12th floor terrace dedicated to our colleagues and an occupational/mental health suite. New leading-edge video-conferencing facilities also offer an alternative to business travel. Flexible, relaxing environments, tech-free havens and client areas help more than 5,500 colleagues work when and how they need to.

Gavin continues: “The future of work is about people. How we connect, collaborate and be the best we can be. With this building we’ve given our people the spaces to do just that, while being aware of our wider environmental impacts.”

Putting paid to plastics

Our move to 1 New Street Square was the perfect opportunity for us to make an effort in reducing plastic use.

There are no plastic cups, straws, sachets or cutlery – canteens and coffee bars stock the wooden variety. Metal cutlery can be borrowed and returned to collection boxes around the building. Colleagues have also been given reusable KeepCups and water bottles.

Environment Manager Nick Robinson heads up the zero-waste team behind these successes and has subsequently helped initiatives go UK-wide. The aim is to eliminate avoidable plastic waste from our buildings in the UK by 2020, with an aspiration to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2024.

“In 2018, The Blue Planet brought shocking footage of the damage caused by the discarded plastic items that we use in our everyday lives,” says Nick. “Our response can be a gateway to having a greater impact on sustainability. Already, it’s greatly increased engagement – in the past year, I’ve been approached by more people about our activities than in the previous five years put together.”

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