Carbon Accounting in the coworking space – takeaways from WORKTECH21 SF

by Christy Cook, vranda Co-Founder, President, and Chief Sustainability Officer

I had the opportunity to moderate a panel at the WORKTECH San Francisco event with a group of amazing leaders. The conference focused on the future of work and the employee workplace experience. Our panel specifically focused on how people are using workspaces and implementing technologies that will keep teams connected, organized, safe and ultimately enhance their experience and productivity.

I’ve been in corporate sustainability for the majority of my career and helping clients meet their corporate objectives on workplace experiences. At this event, I brought the lens of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) to the workplace experience. 

I had two “aha moments” from this conference. First, was the  sheer number of coworking companies – there are thousands of companies in this space globally. Secondly, and it’s not a huge surprise with COVID impact, corporations are reducing their real estate space and working with coworking organizations for employee office space. 

So why do these two things matter and how is ESG connected to this? According to Verdantix, the top two areas CEO’s are concerned with are the risks associated with supply chain and climate risk to physical assets. This puts carbon emissions at the top of the docket for concern. Additionally, scope 3 was mentioned at least once in 689 transcripts of quarterly earnings calls and investor conferences so far this year.  That’s a 15-fold increase from 2019, when there were 47 mentions.

And the big takeaway? Coworking spaces aren’t prepared for the inquiries they will likely receive as these corporations outsourcing office space will want to learn more about how to account for those carbon emissions. It can be complicated but this resource can be helpful.  

The return to work scenario remains problematic for sure and there are advantages and challenges in terms of the employee experience. There are no easy answers but we must continue to innovate and adapt.

WORKTECH21 San Francisco was my first in person conference since at least March of 2020. The WORKTECH team did a great job creating an outstanding and safe conference experience and I truly enjoyed the great conversations with participants. 

I would be remiss to not mention the outstanding panel participants. It was an honor working with each of you!

Christy Cook is vranda’s President and Chief Sustainability Officer. Find out more about Christy and the rest of the vranda team here.

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