At Open Innovations, all areas of our enterprise prioritise sustainability. This post will take you through some of what we do.
Our space itself is made up of repurposed and recyclable material. The desks in the space were rescued from Birmingham Central Library and have been with us since we started in 2014! The chairs (made by Steelcase) are made of 30% recycled material and are 95% recyclable.
We also source a lot of our materials locally, with Curiosity Allotment providing local made furniture for our office space. When catering, we use homemade foods or employ local sources, such as KTA Cafe, which is on the ground floor of our building. We have also used Manjit’s Kitchen who are right across the road! We offer vegetarian and vegan catering, reducing our carbon footprint. In terms of utensils, we use all reusable cups and cutlery. We also engage in commercial recycling.
When working in the space, we are paperless, making use of our large whiteboard walls to work on. We also have infrared heaters, reducing the use of our central heating and saving energy. All of our lightbulbs are low-energy too.
We have many plants in our space which can help to improve air quality and reduce allergens by cleansing the air. As shown in NASA's Clean Air Study, plants provide a natural way of removing VOC's (volatile organic compounds) from the air and also reduces the presence of aggravating allergens.
Additionally, we’ve made sure our online presence is sustainable. Our website is low-carbon, and we’ve advised councils and universities on how to make their websites low-carbon too. We were delighted that our work on reducing carbon was recognised by the Net zero list.
We’ve also done lots of work on the use of data to promote sustainability, such as through #PlanetData. Through #PlanetData we hosted multiple events aiming to collaborate with our sponsors to use innovation to tackle the climate emergency. We also undertook related projects on energy, emissions and the environment. All of our work is published openly on our website.
Over the years, we’ve worked with all our sponsors to help them reduce carbon impact. For some examples, have a look at our work with Northern Powergrid and Yorkshire Water.
Sustainable transport is very important to us as well. We have an office electric car and bike and promote working from home to reduce carbon footprints. Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time alongside Tom Forth to #FixBuses and improve public transport.