Making the Pitch for Corporate Greenery

Highly successful workspaces designed to enhance collaboration, innovation and productivity, embrace building features that impact on health and wellbeing.

Incorporating creative interior landscapes that reconnect people with green plants and our evolutionary past is an integral component of Biophilia.

The value of atrium gardens, sky-gardens and vertical gardens and indoor trees, extends beyond aesthetics. Interior landscapes make buildings attractive and pleasant for people, while contributing to the economic viability, financial success and higher market values of high-rise buildings,

Evolving beyond achieving sustainability in building fit-outs, the differentiator now is how all the aspects work together to create a great experience for everyone using commercial buildings.

Here are some compelling reasons for the CEO and CFO to endorse the pitch for greenery. Feel free to arrange the order of priority to suit individual needs.

Here are 10 top reasons to “go green with plants.” 

  1. Company brand
  2. Enhanced value
  3. Improved marketability
  4. Higher tenant retention
  5. Improved reputation/profile
  6. Healthier work environment
  7. Contribution to points for Green Star/LEED/WELL rating
  8. Commitment to ESD
  9. Property brand differentiation
  10. Reduced liability/risk

1. Company brand:  the perception of corporate image

Well-designed and maintained interior/exterior landscape is a cost-effective way of changing and enhancing the corporate perception.

The corporate atrium may instill a company’s philosophy into the interior design through the various landscape elements that can distinguish the corporate interior. A well-maintained interior landscape reflects the quality of the corporate image.

In the premier spaces in their building interior, landscape, including vertical green walls, can be the central focus of the offices, atria, and the reception areas.

2. Enhanced value: Perceived Quality of Life. 

People associate eye-appealing landscaped areas with a higher quality of life. This is important in attracting businesses and sustaining growth and property values.

3. Improved marketability: Boost Occupancy Rates. 

Landscape amenities represent an effective way to boost the occupancy rate of apartments and other commercial buildings. People enjoy attractive, pleasing areas and are much more likely to choose to live, work and shop in buildings with attractive landscapes, so there is a high correlation between attractive landscaping and high occupancy rates of buildings.

4. Higher tenant retention:

By enhancing the tenants amenity, higher rents and reduced churn is likely.

It therefore becomes more economically feasible to invest money in landscaping because the return in the number of tenants and amount of rent money far exceeds the cost of installing ornamental plants. Owners of buildings should seriously consider landscaping as a means to attract new tenants.

5. Improved reputation/profile:

More than two in five people (41%) erroneously believe marketing claims such as “green” or “environmentally friendly” mean a product has a beneficial impact on the environment.

Only about one in three (29%) understand that these terms more accurately describe products with reduced environmental impact compared with competing products.

Those companies recognizing the value of landscape to their properties, are generally perceived by their clients and tenants to have greater awareness of environmental issues and social amenity, leading to a higher industry reputation and profile.

6. Healthier work environment: It can keep your team healthy, with improved performance/energy

The presence of plants in the work environment can help people improve their performance by giving them an increased feeling of vitality and increased energy levels. Corporate interior landscapes offer employees a more natural and soothing setting in the midst of an otherwise typical workplace.

Another benefit can be through increases in employee productivity, and several studies have shown a correlation between a building’s internal environments (e.g. its air quality) and employee health and productivity.

A green workplace can help reduce absenteeism in your office. Plenty of fresh air and natural light are good starting points. But what about the hidden concerns?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are substances that can be harmful to health. They include formaldehyde, which is in the top 10% of the most hazardous substances to human health. Yet it’s found all over many offices, in everything from fabric finishes and fire retardants, to gloss paints and insulation. Original research and practical studies by Dr. Ronald Wood show that the presence of plants in the workplace can remove VOCs and clean the air.

7. Impact on building rating:

Provision is made in the Green Star/LEED rating system for the installation of plants to contribute easily achieved points to the IEQ rating, at relatively low cost.

8. Commitment to ESD:

It’s easy being green; businesses have a real opportunity to be cleaner, greener, healthier – and more profitable with well-designed landscapes

So if your team sees your company doing good work, you’re more likely to have a happy, well-motivated and loyal workforce.

9. Property brand differentiation: Improve your brand and competitiveness

Consumers and companies are increasingly showing their environmental awareness by choosing to deal with responsible companies. So taking a green stance can give you credibility – and the edge over the competition.

Interior and exterior landscapes are visible evidence of commitment to a green environment.

10. Reduced liability/risk: Green air is not clean air

Indoor air along with the supply of electricity and water has the same duty of care when supplied to a building

We take for granted that the “fresh air” supplied to a building is free of contaminants and safe to breathe. Meeting the rating requirements for indoor environmental quality doesn’t automatically lead to clean breathable air for building occupants.

Ventilation and air exchange systems are designed to effectively flush the internal air of a building and limit the build up of pollutants and irritants. Outdoor air supply is “fresh air” only in regard to replacing the building’s “stale air.”

Indoor air filtered through a living plant system (Botanical Air Filtration) purifies the air, demonstrating the company’s commitment to its workforce.

Here’s how you can avoid the risks and achieve long term sustainable outcomes

Systems Thinking in Managing Living Green Plants 

Innovative Plant Technology Structured Solutions – PLIMA®

To remove the uncertainties in designing, installing and managing living green plants indoors, Innovative Plant Technology has developed a structured framework, PLIMA® (Plants, Light, Irrigation, Media, Air) to manage even the most complex indoor/outdoor landscape installations, from the design stage through to completion and performance verification. Early engagement at the design concept stage will identify and address the issues in a systematic way to avoid poor performance and costly replacements, ensuring healthy interior landscape performance over time.

Ronald A. Wood PhD, BSc. is a director of Innovative Plant Technology Pty. Ltd, advisors to leading building construction and management companies, shopping centre owners, architects and landscape architects. 200 George Street, Sydney is a recent project.

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