We have operated from the building since 2012 and it was a ground-breaking new development at the time. It has a BREEAM 4-star rating which makes it one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in Bristol and had the highest score nationally when it was first developed. As you might expect, any paper we use is from recycled sources, our catering is local and vegetarian, and we power the whole building using renewable sources. However, it is the details that are also really important to us. Here are some of the steps we have taken.
It might not be the first thing you notice when you walk into the building – in fact, you may not even notice at all. But as you walk around, the carpet beneath your feet has been specifically chosen because of its sustainable properties. It is made from recycled fishing nets and post-industrial threads, using 100% renewable energy. The manufacturers estimate that making carpets this way uses 50% less energy than producing carpets from new materials. Because the carpets are also particularly hardwearing, they need replacing less often, which further reduces the carbon footprint.
A refreshing way to minimise water usage
For co-workers who have chosen to cycle to work or make the most of our location next to Bristol’s harbourside to get out for a run at lunchtime, there are showers installed on the ground floor. The showerheads are designed to be efficient with water and use around 35% less water than standard models. The walls and floors are coated in sheets of plastic made from plastic waste gathered from beaches. The plastic was commissioned for Triodos, and it took 8 weeks to source and reform ocean plastics materials found on UK coastlines. Not only does this mean that waste is removed from the marine environment, but it avoids new plastic being created. Triodos Bank UK was the first company to use this particular brand of recycled plastic for this purpose and could pave the way for other organisations to follow suit.
Photo credit: Tom Bright
This sustainably-sourced sculpture was unveiled by HRH Princess Anne
Fourth floor of our Bristol-based head office
Keeping energy use down
One of our biggest sources of energy usage is keeping the building cool. In 2020, we had a new cooling system installed, which is one of the most efficient of its kind. By investing up front, we’ve chosen a system that should keep running until 2050.
The LED lights in the stairwell already use less energy than non-LED alternatives. To take things one step further, each light is individually controlled by a motion sensor. This means that no light stays on any longer than needed. It may not seem like much, but over the three years that these have been installed, they’ve made a noticeable dent in our energy usage.
Even the paint on the walls has been chosen with environmental impact in mind. The colour that brightens our walls is naturally non-toxic – and vegan! All pigments are natural and won’t impact water treatment or the marine environment. As well as having a lower environmental impact when any is washed down the drain during painting, these paints release fewer volatile molecules into the air, keeping our office air healthier.
The Triodos Bank Green Team is a core group of co-workers who drive green initiatives and try out new sustainability ideas throughout the company. On our fourth-floor balcony, you can find planters filled with pollinator-friendly flowers, and an elaborate bug hotel, created during a lunchtime workshop with co-workers from across the bank.
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