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Green Infrastructure: The benefits to the environment and employees.

In recent years as climate change has become a mainstream issue, companies are trying to understand what they can do to contribute to climate action. Companies now have multiple ways to contribute but a small step they can take in the direction of action is by converting their offices and building spaces into green infrastructure. This type of action not only provides benefits for the surrounding environment but helps to improve the mental health of those working in these infrastructures.

In cities that have a large urban environment, green infrastructure has become a way to allow for nature to be brought back into these spaces and is a small way of helping climate action. So, what are the actual benefits to the environment? A major benefit is that any of the trees, plants and vegetation on these buildings will absorb carbon dioxide and then release oxygen through photosynthesis, these sequences help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Aside from that there are other benefits; it improves air quality due to the plants absorbing pollutants, it will reduce the urban heat island effect as the plants provide shade, and these buildings support the biodiversity of the area as it provides a safe habitat for both plants and animals. Companies can create these benefits simply by renovating the buildings they already have into green infrastructures, an easy way to contribute to climate action.

But apart from the benefits, why should companies invest in these green infrastructures? In recent studies it has been found that employees being exposed to nature and greenery reduced stress levels, increased productivity, and improved their mood and overall well-being. This is because it has been proved that spending time in nature and being surrounded by greenery has a calming effect on the body. So turning a building into a green infrastructure makes the employees feel like their work environment is in nature, and without realizing it those calming effects will enact. This is extremely beneficial for those whose jobs are in high-pressure work environments, as any feelings of stress or anxiety will be reduced just by being in their work environment. Alongside this, studies have found that by being exposed to nature an individual's positive emotions will be boosted. A workplace with green infrastructure can help to foster a positive work culture as the employees being in a happy mood will make it easier to create positive work relationships, practices and attitudes.

If a company is unsure if they want to use their resources to help with climate action, green infrastructures are the perfect first step. Not only would the company be able to claim that what they are doing benefits the environment but it also benefits their employees, making it a win-win situation for them. Even if they do not continue to help towards climate action, at least by creating green infrastructures they will be creating long-lasting benefits for the environment of the area around them and their company's workplace culture.


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