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Furnishing the Workplace – Targeting Carbon Zero

The London studio of architect and design firm, Perkins & Will provided the perfect venue for the latest, hybrid seminar hosted by WOD – Women in Office Design. With attendees from around the world, the event was lively and informative.

Adam Strudwick, Principal at Perkins & Will commenced the event with an overview of the company’s Net-Zero Now interiors pledge. Designed to ensure the internal fit-out of offices and commercial buildings will be net-zero embodied carbon, the initiative also includes the build of a searchable directory. “Our directory will enable designers to specify sustainable and circular products and materials from suppliers,” explained Adam.

The seminar was chaired by WOD’s Sustainability Group Manager, Joanna Knight. She was also joined by the environmental campaigner and sustainability consultant, Georgia Elliott-Smith and Jamie Russell from leading workplace solutions company, Bureau.

The hour and a half session covered a wide range of topics ranging from the UK’s Government’s consultation on waste reduction including the potential for a mandated Extended Producer Responsibility scheme through economic and overall system change.

All agreed that as a society we cannot keep relying on virgin materials. There must be a determined commitment to maximise a product’s lifecycle as well as recognition of the need for value retention of the component materials.  “Urban mining” was discussed as a concept – the fact that cities contain a wealth of materials that can be reclaimed, reused or repurposed in order to minimise waste.

“We can’t ask companies to cut their own throats to do the right thing,” said Georgia. “Waste is very low cost to dispose of but really expensive to convert into value. We need economic and legislative change to drive a change in behaviour.”

The discussions were up-beat and positive. “Sustainability and carbon reduction are important considerations for the majority of our customers,” said Jamie. “This commercial pressure will also help drive the industry forward.”

Watch the full video below:

This seminar, sponsored by Bureau, was the first of a series of forthcoming events to be hosted by Women in Office Design. You can join WOD Digital to register for all events by visiting: