Dojo Change-Makers: A Mindful Approach to an Eco-Conscious Workspace

The past month has seen our BizDojo space in Wynyard Quarter grow substantially in human occupancy. The new John Lysaght Building on Pakenham Street West is now home to both the GridAKL project and a thriving community of diverse and passionate BizDojo residents. More people has meant more of everything. More energy, more skill sets, more knowledge, more challenge, more conversation. All of these changes are welcome and positive and embody the kind of personal and professional growth that we strive for. It’s not all speed dating and shared lunches though!

Having more people co-existing together also means more waste. More paper used, more coffee ground, more rubbish thrown away... and more difficult to control or influence the environmental impact of our workspace. More difficult, but far from impossible.

Two BizDojo residents who migrated down to Wynyard Quarter from our K'Road community are Dave Watson and Amanda Wright of Greenshoot Pacific. Greenshoot Pacific are specialist advisors who provide sustainability strategies across multiple industries, and during our orientation week for all of the relocated residents, they led a rad, really valuable session on ways that we as a community can tweak our behaviours and mindset in order to create a more eco-conscious work environment.

 

The response to that session was strong and nothing short of inspiring. We want to build a movement within these walls...one that eventually transcends beyond them. The Dojo Change-makers are a group of residents (and staff) who are beginning that conversation, and hopefully our numbers only grow.

Located in Wynyard Quarter, we are in good company. The burgeoning community in this area is growing from an initial core of environmental awareness and sustainable practice. We have Sustainable Coastlines set up in Karanga Plaza with their Flagship Education Hub; a community garden of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers that Wynyard Quarter residents are encouraged to both take from and contribute to; a location where we are literally hugged by the ocean on all sides; and a common landlord (Panuku Development) who are forward-thinking enough to consider environmental and sustainability issues to be at the forefront of any development plans going forward.

This thinking is being woven into the fabric of Wynyard Quarter through energy-efficient homes and offices, the simplification and encouragement of eco-friendly disposal of organic waste and recyclable materials, green spaces, and - probably the most difficult to implement - a long-term plan around reducing single occupant car traffic to the area through public transport management, cycleways and limited parking options. The impact and efficiency of each of these areas will be measured through the amazing WQ smart site being painstakingly created by Panuku Development and Method Studios with assistance and learning from central Government’s, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). We are super excited to see the next stage in the development, an augmented reality “Sustainability Trail”, overlaying sustainability data to ones surroundings as they explore the precinct. 

The Wynyard Quarter Smart Site - this site will become more and more valuable as a resource as WQ grows and data is added. 

The Wynyard Quarter Smart Site - this site will become more and more valuable as a resource as WQ grows and data is added. 

With that kind of solid inspiration around us and and a proactive attitude resonating from within our space, how could we not start a little eco-revolution of our own at BizDojo? While we aren’t quite at Captain Planet status just yet, we do have some systems in place already, and a plan to introduce plenty more. Supplying plentiful bike racks, showers (with a timer and heat regulation - same as all taps in the building), lighting on timers and sensors, and a building that will eventually capture data around our energy usage and display that on a dashboard (thanks Panuku!) are all ways we are already walking a more mindful path.

Following our first Dojo Change-maker’s ‘meeting’ on Tuesday afternoon, we have plans to slowly, gently and effectively begin introducing measures to create and support a more eco-mindful and holistic approach to our everyday work environment. This will address everything from paper consumption (and education on digital alternatives to printing documents) to waste management, public transport, emissions awareness, and actively finding ways to have a positive impact on the ecosystem around us, rather than focussing only on minimising the negative.

Watch this space. Each lesson we learn and put into practice we will share via the blog, including the conversations we have and the actions that come from them. We will celebrate what is working, and acknowledge the things that could be done better. Hopefully, once we have our own home in order, we can step out with some insights that may inspire other workplaces to foster an awareness of their surroundings and their impact.

Casey is the Community and Communications Coordinator at BizDojo Auckland. Follow her on Twitter