As part of our series to find out how flexible office providers are addressing ESG (Environmental Social Governance) within their spaces we caught up with Fiona Kelly, Director, Glandore to find out more.
Glandore is an Irish, family-owned, and managed business founded by the Kelly family who pioneered the concept of flexible workspace in Ireland in 2001. We provide flexible workspaces, serviced offices, coworking spaces, meeting & event spaces across ten prestigious locations in Dublin 2, Dublin 4, Belfast BT1, and Cork City Centre. Our mission is to create a dynamic, supportive, and friendly community and network where every individual and company can grow.
We have recently launched our 10th location in Ireland, Bottleworks, located on Barrow Street in Dublin 4. This expansion represents a 45% increase in capacity to Glandore’s portfolio of properties in Dublin and offers new and established companies turnkey custom-designed premium serviced office space with capacity to scale their teams to 200+ on flexible terms with no upfront capital expenditure. Glandore’s expansion in Dublin is meeting the growing demand for flexible workspace post covid where flexibility and agility are key to managing new hybrid work models. Furthermore, the scalability offered by Glandore’s portfolio which can accommodate the needs of individuals to teams of 200+ means it has become a longer term property solution for many international and indigenous firms. This scalability combined with flexible terms and our can-do approach assists in de-risking property decisions in these times of uncertainty thereby supporting growth & investment in Ireland.
Absolutely. At Glandore, we deeply value sustainability and strive to minimize our ecological footprint. Our sustainability framework encompasses a range of green initiatives that harmoniously align with our mission. These include waste minimization, the provision of compostable bins, utilization of 100% renewable energy, promotion of water conservation, utilization of low-chemical cleaning products, provision of electric car charging ports, and active encouragement of cycling to work. Additionally, all our buildings have LED lighting throughout, with lighting sensors also in most, enabling us to reduce energy wastage. Moreover, we have integrated solar panels in two of our buildings, harnessing clean and renewable energy to power our facilities.
In particular, our newest architectural gem, Bottleworks, shines brightly with its exceptional A3 BER and NZEB ratings . These comprehensive ratings reflect diverse aspects of energy conservation, encompassing space heating, water heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting. Within Bottleworks, our commitment to energy efficiency is exemplified by our A-rated offices, offering occupants maximum efficiency and reduced energy bills. Deliberate attention was paid to sustainability during the design process, as we consciously opted for environmentally friendly and recycled materials for furniture, fixtures, and interior design elements. Additionally, Bottleworks offers open spaces and outdoor areas that embrace a holistic approach to relaxation, exercise, and overall well-being. The strategic placement of indoor plants further enhances air quality, cultivating an invigorating and serene ambiance.
These conscientious efforts not only reflect our dedication to sustainability but also demonstrate our genuine concern for our occupants' welfare and the well-being of our planet.
We strive to address environmental, social, and governance issues equally. While our focus is on environmental sustainability, we also recognize the importance of social responsibility and good governance practices. We believe that all three pillars are interconnected and essential for creating a sustainable and thriving business.
Our initiatives include using 100% renewable energy in our facilities, promoting energy efficiency by encouraging members to turn off lights and equipment when not in use, implementing LED lighting and PIRs, and managing waste through recycling programs and responsible waste disposal practices. To further support sustainability, we prioritize sustainable transportation options, incentivizing public transportation, carpooling, and cycling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, we conserve water with hand dryers, dual flush toilets, and sensor taps in most of our facilities. Our commitment to sustainability extends to using low-chemical cleaning products for a healthier and environmentally friendly workspace. In our Fitzwilliam Hall car park, we provide electric car charging ports, encouraging the use of electric vehicles.
At Glandore, we uphold strong governance practices to ensure transparency, accountability, and ethical decision-making. Our commitment to compliance and risk management includes regular assessments and audits to meet regulations and industry standards while proactively addressing any identified issues. Data privacy and security are paramount at Glandore. We prioritize the protection of sensitive information for our clients and employees through secure systems and protocols. Stakeholder engagement is essential, and we actively involve stakeholders and investors in ESG-related matters, providing clear reporting and disclosure on our sustainability initiatives and progress.
Social: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Glandore has a full ED&I Policy, written by our ED&I champion. We pride ourselves on being a fully inclusive organisation, and communicate the policy to all new starters, along with a meeting with the ED&I champion. It is a key part of our onboarding process. We circulate presentations and relevant communications to all staff and have an ED&I folder accessible to all on our internal sharepoint. Our ED&I champion is heavily involved in promoting ED&I in the community and has attended many courses and events in the field to ensure our policies are up to date and comprehensive. Our people are our greatest asset, therefore ensuring they feel included and valued in their role is key.
Mental Health is also a big focus for us here at Glandore and many of our team have undergone Mental health First Aid training which allows them to provide awareness and support to staff that may require assistance in this area. Our Mental Health Team sends regular newsletters promoting mental health and wellness and guiding employees on their wellbeing journeys with tips and suggestions. We place an important focus on our employees’ wellbeing with our ‘in house’ wellness program, which includes activities, exercise sessions, yoga and mindfulness sessions, social gatherings and events. In collaboration with our insurance partner, we have recently launched our EAP programme as an additional resource to support employees’ wellbeing.
We actively engage with the local community by providing office space and facilities and also through sponsorship, volunteering, and initiatives that address social challenges and support community development.
Collaboration and Networking:
We facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing among our workspace users, organising networking events, workshops, and community-building activities to foster a sense of belonging and support.
We are Supporters of “Starting Strong” which is the most recent in the suite of complementary initiatives of Going for Growth and is designed for ambitious female entrepreneurs who are at an early stage in the development of their business. As a family business led by three sisters, Glandore is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and mindful of the obstacles in particular that prevent women from realising their full potential. Our annual ‘Hear from Her’ event also seeks to connect, support and celebrate inspiring women in the business community and promote Women in Business overall.
While we don't currently have a specific net-zero target overall, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact and continually improving our sustainability efforts. We recently decided to adopt the ISO50001 standard and apply for certification which we are in the process of going through currently. Our initiatives focus on waste minimization, renewable energy usage, water conservation, promoting sustainable transportation options and continuous monitoring and evaluation of our systems and processes so that we continue to improve our energy efficiency in all area’s.
Absolutely. Sustainability plays a significant role in our long-term strategic planning and site selection. We prioritize locations that offer access to public transportation, promote cycling infrastructure, and provide opportunities for energy-efficient building design. We believe that selecting sustainable locations aligns with our mission and creates added value for our members.
Yes, sustainability is a topic of interest for many of our clients and occupiers. They often inquire about our environmental initiatives, energy usage, waste management practices, and the overall sustainability of our workspaces. They appreciate our commitment to sustainability and seek partners who share their values and environmental concerns.
While sustainability has gained significant attention in the flexible office sector, there is still progress to be made. Some barriers include the cost of implementing sustainable practices, the need for industry-wide standards and certifications, and raising awareness among operators and occupiers about the benefits of sustainable practices. However, we are encouraged by the growing interest and efforts within the sector.
There is always more that can be done to further enhance sustainability in the flexible office sector. Continued collaboration among operators, industry organizations, and occupiers is crucial. This includes sharing best practices, developing sustainability guidelines and certifications, and fostering a culture of sustainability throughout the sector. Additionally, investing in renewable energy sources, promoting waste reduction, and integrating sustainable design principles into building projects can further advance the cause. Finally training and education play a vital role in ensuring that people are educated in best practices both individually and on a collective level also.