How workplaces can become more sustainable in 2021

How workplaces can become more sustainable in 2021

By Rebecca Fairfield, Head of Key Accounts at Brita Vivreau

The importance of sustainability in workplaces

As we become more aware of the impact our behaviours have on the environment around us, more employees are concerned by the sustainability credentials of their workplace. Back in 2018, nearly two-thirds (64%) admitted they would not take a job if a potential employer didn’t have strong corporate social responsibility practices . Today, despite all the changes faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, employees have become even more focused on environmental issues within the workplace. In fact, 82% say sustainability is more important to them now than ever before .

What are employees looking for from their working environment?

Recent research has shown that 83% of people are looking forward to being back in the office for at least some of the working week. However, despite employees missing social interaction with colleagues (56%), a dedicated workspace (40%) and high-quality facilities like tea, coffee and filtered water (20%), there have been some benefits to mass homeworking.

Research from WSP, a global professional services firm, recently found that not working from the office during the summer months saves the typical British commuter around 400kg of carbon emissions each year, which equates to 5% of their annual carbon footprint. This is because the carbon emissions produced by commuting exceeds what you’d create by simply using energy at home. This means employers need to have provisions in place to make a return to the office attractive to their staff.

Brita Vivreau’s latest research has revealed that almost a quarter (24%) of staff want to see more sustainability initiatives to mitigate the impact of working in the office versus working from home. This could include banning single-use plastic and introducing reusable bottles and cups, something which nearly half of the office workforce (49%) wants to see happen.

How can employers tackle single-use plastic?

For workplaces looking to improve sustainability targets, Brita Vivreau water dispensing systems are a great place to start, offering a more environmentally friendly provision. By encouraging the use of reusable bottles, water dispensers reduce a workplace carbon footprint by eliminating the need to transport, store and refrigerate single-use plastic water bottles.

What’s more, the powerful cooling technology within Brita Vivreau water dispensers that uses a natural refrigerant helps to lower power consumption and therefore reduce carbon emissions associated with energy use.

With research showing that since the first lockdown there has been a 45% decrease in the number of people buying plastic bottled water on-the-go, it is clear that consumers recognise the impact that single-use plastic bottles have on the environment and are looking for more sustainable alternatives.

This need for a reduction in waste is only becoming more urgent, as the consumption of single-use plastic during the pandemic has been unprecedented. A study in June 2020 suggested the UK is now sending 1.6 billion non-biodegradable facemasks to landfill every month. This highlights the need for employers to do their bit to make the office environment as eco-friendly as possible. After all, small steps can make a big difference in the long run.

Should employees be concerned about reusable items?

While it has been recognised that some employees may be fearful of using shared items on their return to the office, a recent survey signed by 119 experts concluded that reusable containers do not increase the chances of virus transmission if washed properly. Employers should clearly communicate this to their employees and encourage the use of reusable bottles, to help prevent the problems associated with plastics in the environment.

Find out more a hygienic, safe and sustainable water dispenser solution for your workplace by heading to the Brita Vivreau Top and Extra product pages, or visit Or contact the Dispenser Customer Service Team on 034567 496 555 or


How workplaces can become more sustainable in 2021