Each industry faces their own unique challenges to reduce their carbon footprint, but one way in which all of the biggest and most valuable brands in each sector can lead by example is the effort they make in creating a more sustainable physical space to operate in.
For many companies within sectors such as tech, retail or hospitality, showing a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint is not only the ethical choice. It also positions their brand favorably among the consumers that they rely on to sustain their business.
Millions of environmentally conscious Gen Z iPhone users surely celebrated when, in 2020, Apple announced its ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. It gave them one less reason to discard their sleekly designed phones in favor of another brand that might rival or better Apple’s sustainability record.
Within industries such as finance, however, the environmental concerns associated with major companies can be more discreet but just as polluting. Finance contributes an estimated 3% of the world’s carbon emissions, which is a similar percentage to big tech.
However, these pollution levels are a result of where their money flows via investment, lending and underwriting in other polluted industries, rather than the direct actions of those working in banks.
Sustainability in bricks and mortar
For a company to be deemed sustainable, they have to make conscious and practical adjustments to how they do business on an environmental, social and economic level.
Part of this mission involves making progressive changes to where a company’s employees meet to work. With buildings accounting for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, the office also needs to take major steps in decarbonising for a greener future.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification measures buildings on various grades of sustainability. At the time of writing, it has graded and highlighted over 166,000 buildings, identifying those leading the way in making commercial structures more environmentally and socially sound on the road to net zero.
These certifications consider a range of factors when assessing the sustainability of a building, including water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality and location & transportation.
Taking a deeper dive into the LEED database and other types of building that are credited for environmental innovation, we have analyzed the headquarters of 10 world famous companies to see what elements make their buildings so innovative and renowned for their sustainability.