You may well be asking yourself why a company like Bruntwood, whose primary function is the provision of office space, feels the need to celebrate National Gardening Week. Well, it’s not such a big leap to make when you consider the commitment and time Bruntwood gives to planning and initiating green projects throughout its estate and new developments: spectacular roof gardens, innovative urban landscaping, tree-planting schemes; transforming spaces doesn’t just mean stripping back the walls or choosing colour schemes, it also means thinking carefully about the environment we want to create.
And this isn’t solely because we want our spaces or developments to look pretty. No, it’s a commitment driven by a desire to see our customers and colleagues live happier and healthier working lives. Our partnership with the RHS through our sponsorship of the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park sheds some light on the importance of making sure we green-up wherever we can.
National Gardening Week was launched by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) five years ago and ‘celebrates all that is wonderful, inspiring and uplifting about gardens’. From making the world a greener place by covering cold grey space with beautiful plants, to 2016’s theme of getting fit in the garden, this week of celebration explores the many ways in which gardens can enhance our lives.
Being around green spaces can improve mental health and wellbeing as well as increasing the likelihood of physical activity. According to a survey commissioned by the RHS, 92% of people said that being in a green garden helped them to relax and de-stress and 95% said being in a beautiful garden lifted their moods. The more time people spend outdoors, the less stressed they feel.
And green spaces aren’t just good for people either, they’re also a great benefit to our environment. They help to regulate air quality, and in urban areas they counter the energy consumption created by the warming effects of paved surfaces. Just a single tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually - that’s the equivalent of 11,000 miles worth of car emissions.
Knowing how important green spaces are to both us and our environment, we make sure that we take care of the areas we get to enjoy in and around our buildings. Our Booths Park and Alderley Park sites are set within stunning countryside and parkland, giving colleagues the ideal environment to take a break from their usual office space and improve their mood. We’ve also created an abundance of roof gardens on our city centre buildings, providing much needed green space in built up areas.
As part of our commitment to the environment, we’ve also made a pledge to support the City of Trees initiative. Red Rose Forest and the Oglesby Charitable Trust are leading the effort to double the tree cover in Greater Manchester. Bruntwood is supporting its first tree planting session next week where 160 trees will be planted; the ultimate ambition of the City of Trees project is to plant a tree for every man, woman and child in the region.
And this isn’t anything new for Bruntwood. The well-being of our customers and colleagues has been at the centre of our ethos for the 40 years we’ve been in business, with the company and the Oglesby family donating 10% of profits to arts, charity, environmental and medical initiatives, including sponsoring the Royal Exchange Theatre and Manchester International Festival. Sponsoring the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park is just another way we hope to give something back to our community and to the environment.