February 1, 2023

How can you create a sustainable office?

Have you ever thought about whether your daily actions, including your involvement in marketing, are good for the environment and society? Maybe you have given up meat and become a vegetarian, or you have stopped shopping on Black Friday...!

Congrats, because you already reduced your negative footprint by 50%. Well, one way or another, today’s generation's mission is to live a healthier life while adapting to fast-changing environments.

Maybe you're a sports/NFT enthusiast working for an up-and-coming tech start-up, or maybe you're just looking for a new private office space and you want to do it as sustainably as possible while comparing different suppliers.

Whoever you are, this blog aims to show you why you should invest in your workspace or the office you work in to create a sustainable office space. In doing so, guidance and tips on eco-friendly office design could be particularly valuable.

The big-picture perspective

Did you know that the built environment, such as buildings and other human-made structures, uses almost 50% of the materials extracted on a global scale every year and significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions? This may sound alarming but every great challenge can be a great opportunity too.

Different actors across the built environment sector from real estate developers to product manufacturers can redesign the sector’s nature and utilize circular economy principles. 

The building environment is an extremely complex industry and won’t go into that much detail but did you know that the actual building materials account for 20% of global CO2 emissions?

Architects and interior designers are in a position of great power by embracing these principles to lead forward in a new innovative and sustainable way.

To minimize further damage to our planet, we as a society have to act and do what’s in our power.

Moving on to the sustainable architecture and interior design industry, the designer's role is to aim to minimize these negative impacts in their designs by applying sustainable/regenerative approaches and circular design principles.

Circular economy - Butterfly Effect, by Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Source: Circular economy - Butterfly Effect, by Ellen MacArthur Foundation

How can interior designers minimize mentioned negative impacts when designing desired space?

  • Taking the advantage of natural light
  • Looking for energy-efficient solutions, such as led bulbs should be the first on your list
  • Prioritizing furniture and fixture made from less harmful materials and ethically sourced materials
  • Consider the lifespan of each product and invest in pieces that are made for longevity
  • Using low-volatile organic compounds paints and finishes *release less harmful toxins
  • Utilize the space of your office
  • Repurpose existing elements before buying new
  • Ensure proper ventilation of the space
  • Optimize acoustics
  • Optimize temperature and light → install energy efficient heating/cooling system

Many people get shut off as in general, sustainable furniture, that is fairly produced and designed locally, tends to be - generally speaking - more expensive. We totally understand the fact that you simply cannot go over the budget and that’s that, period. 

However, all of these points may seem more expensive for the moment, but in the long run, it will cut down expenses and reduce the carbon footprint.

What can you do internally as an employee/employer as a first step?

Initiate the change, get informed, seek more information and inspire. Simply, you can start by encouraging your co-workers to recycle in the office, ask your office manager to install recycling bins, and maybe add compost as well. This can help reduce the amount of waste produced by your office…instantly!

Instead of printing documents, opt for digital. Switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products, choose reusable kitchen items such as lunch boxes and water bottles and be mindful of your water and light consumption. Read more about lighting in the office!

Margherita AG office design by Upscale Spaces.
Margherita AG office design by Upscale Spaces.

So what should you demand from an interior designer when designing your office space?

When it comes to the actual office design, it is easier than you think - if you have the knowledge and demand. That’s why we propose a few visual inspirational ideas on current workspace design trends when designing sustainable office space.

Source: Ethnicraft.
Source: Ethnicraft

Demand furniture pieces and brands that are:

  • Preferably locally produced
  • Made-to-last or its core characteristic is its durability
  • Focus on quality
  • Choose materials produced with minimal emissions
  • Seek transparency when it comes to logistics and supply chain 
  • Seek brands that support a circular approach
  • Designed for Modularity (effective in hybrid and open office spaces)

Source: Tylko
Source: Tylko


It might sound bold, but working in a sustainable space is a new norm for modern companies. Overall, sustainability in interior design and architecture is about creating spaces that are not only beautiful and functional but also environmentally responsible. By incorporating eco-friendly materials and technologies, and designing for the long term, interior designers and architects can help to reduce the environmental impact of the built environment, while also creating healthier and more comfortable spaces for the people who use them.

To conclude, first educate yourself and your employees. Simply, organize a workshop, join an educational webinar, and make your team feel involved as every little improvement counts. Empower your team and be an example! 

Make it fun and ask your team members to learn about their overall carbon footprint. Indeed every little change in your lifestyle makes a huge difference - it’s like a domino effect. . .

The way how your working station is designed can truly be a changemaker for your business and can result in the overall well-being of you and your employees. 

If you are part of a growing company, a startup that is ready to scale, or simply just need some help to get started with a revamp of your office space on this journey. If your team desires conscious office design then submit your project details and the Upscale team will help you set your office space based on your needs and sustainability requirements. 

PS - Our team offers exceptional discounts for purpose-driven companies and is open to collaborations with purpose-driven businesses. 

In the end, it’s no longer about ‘do no significant harm’, it’s about doing good. There is no planet B.