Green Office Makeover

Recycling unit for green offices

Oliver Heath and Surrey County Council unveil UK’s first ecological workplace concept

A new dawn in eco workplaces is coming to the town of Chertsey in Surrey. Novex Solutions, a specialist in commercial interior design, won Surrey County Council’s green office competition to promote best environmental business practice. The prize was for sustainable design guru and TV star Oliver Heath to design a purpose-built, dedicated recycling unit, the first of its kind, to be unveiled at its offices on 10 July. Oliver’s project comes courtesy of the 3Rs campaign from Surrey County Council on behalf of Surrey’s local authorities.

Eco Chums Cathryn Barber and Oliver Heath

Novex Solutions was chosen as the winner for its outstanding commitment to greener practices and its determination to pass on the green knowledge gained from this groundbreaking project to its interiors clients. They beat off stiff competition from Pelican Buying, a company providing purchasing services to a range of public and private sector clients, and Roffe Swayne, a long-established accountancy firm based just outside Guildford. The eco credentials in the entries of the two runners-up showed that companies all over Surrey have a real desire to get involved in making their businesses greener.

Novex’s offices in central Chertsey will be transformed by a specially designed unit where reducing, reusing and recycling will be covered: reducing thanks to gadgets such as an electrisave monitor to keep an eye on electricity use; reusing through built-in lists of how and where household and office goods can find a new home; and recycling via units to store everything from paper to glass, cardboard boxes, batteries and drink cans.

Matt Smyth from the 3Rs campaign explained the initiative: “This competition and the recycling station are the perfect way to raise awareness of business waste and the need to tackle it. Businesses generate over 80 per cent of the total waste in Surrey and we want to engage with employers and employees across the county to remind them how vital it is to do their bit. The unit is practical and attractive – it’s something we’d love to see replicated across the county and nationally.”

The unit’s designer Oliver Heath, who worked in collaboration with Surrey County Council’s business waste team, explained that the concept will help employees to think and act greener. “People are now used to being greener around the home and I wanted to bring this thinking to the workplace. This easy-to-install station is the perfect way to get people talking about all things eco, and thinking about the way their community – both in the office and in the surrounding area – can help them operate more sustainably. I hope this green office transformation will create an atmosphere which encourages employees to do their bit for the environment and feel really good about it.”

Cathryn Barber, MD of Novex, commented: “It was fantastic to be named as the winners of this competition. Increasingly our clients are asking us to incorporate environmental considerations into our commercial interior designs and office refurbishments. Having our own green office unit designed by Oliver Heath will help us to share our experiences with clients as well as help Novex and our employees reduce, reuse and recycle as much as we can. We will closely monitor the success of our own 3Rs campaign at Novex and share the results with businesses in Surrey.”

Find out how Sustainable (Green) office design, refurbishment and fit-out makes total sense for your business; when you work with Novex Solutions you will help to conserve natural resources, benefit from reduced energy costs and work towards your GREEN targets.



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