Office with glass windows and trees on the other side

6 of the World’s Most Sustainable Offices

Sustainability is only becoming more important in today’s business world, especially when it comes to designing our workplaces. The building sector uses 36% of the world’s energy and is responsible for nearly 40% of all CO2 emissions. Adopting sustainable office designs can dramatically reduce these figures and go a long way in protecting our planet. 

In this article, we’ll showcase (in no particular order) six of the world’s most sustainable offices and why they’re so impressive. And if you’re on the lookout for a sustainable office in London for your own business, you’re in the right place—we’ll also share what makes Uncommon’s workspaces such a great choice for eco-minded businesses, and how to make it your HQ. 

Bloomberg’s European Headquarters

Location: London, United Kingdom

First up is Bloomberg’s European Headquarters in London. This building is not only visually striking but also boasts an exceptional BREEAM rating of 98.5%. 

For those unfamiliar with BREEAM, it is the world’s oldest method for assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings.

This sustainable office space reduces its environmental impact by cutting water use by 73% and energy consumption by 35% compared to typical office buildings. The secret? A combination of smart design and innovative technology.

The building features solar panels that supplement its power needs and an advanced ventilation system that adjusts the airflow based on how many people are in each area—making sure energy isn’t wasted. 

It also uses natural ventilation and collects rainwater on the roof to power a net-zero flushing system, saving about 25 million litres of water annually.

Since 2010, Bloomberg has also operated on a zero-landfill basis in London, meaning all waste is either recycled, composted, or converted into energy. 

Google Bay View

Location: California, USA

Spanning 1.1 million square feet, Google’s Bay View campus is one of the world’s largest buildings to secure LEED (another sustainable building certification) v4 Platinum certification. Google has set an ambitious goal to reach net-zero emissions across all operations by 2030, and Bay View is a crucial part of this plan.

The campus features a groundbreaking “dragonscale” solar skin, uniquely designed to maximise solar power generation throughout the day. As an all-electric campus, Bay View is also water positive and includes an innovative geothermal pile system that significantly reduces its reliance on traditional energy sources.

The campus also embraces biophilic design principles, incorporating a lot of greenery, natural daylight, and ensuring every desk has an outdoor view. This approach aims to boost the health and well-being of everyone at the office, creating an environment that feels as natural and invigorating as being outdoors.

The building’s ventilation system is another highlight, using 100% outside air, far above the typical 20-30%, which helps maintain a fresh and healthy indoor atmosphere. 

Google also promotes sustainable eating habits; the campus includes a vegetable garden, and the Café 150 sources all ingredients from within a 150-mile radius, supporting local farmers and reducing the carbon footprint associated with food transport.

With all these features, Google’s Bay View campus is a leading example of how large corporate environments can operate sustainably.


Location: Krakow, Poland

Completed in 2019, V.Offices in Krakow, achieving a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating of 90.57%—the highest in Poland at that time. 

The building was designed with sustainability at its core, right from the drawing board. For instance, it uses durable materials and smart construction techniques that will help it last longer. 

The building also features a high-tech rainwater recovery system that slashes water usage by up to 55%. Energy efficiency is prioritised too,  with everything from the lifts to the lights designed to conserve energy, while solar collectors further boost its environmental credentials.

V.Offices is also cyclist-friendly with plenty of bike racks, showers, and lockers, and even has electric car chargers for those driving into the office.

The Edge

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opened in May 2015 in Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district, The Edge is a creation of London-based PLP Architecture, boasting a sleek glass facade and open floor plans centred around a 15-story atrium. 

This design is all about fostering a dynamic, high-performance workspace that boosts creativity and flexibility.

The Edge operates as a net-zero energy building, packed with smart technologies and advanced systems. For instance, employees can tweak their workspace lighting and climate through a smartphone app, which not only cuts down on energy costs but also offers a peek into how the building runs day-to-day.

On top of this, the building is decked out with solar panels, uses thermal energy storage for efficient heating and cooling, and features a rainwater harvesting system for more eco-friendly water use. 

And it doesn’t stop there; additional green touches of this sustainable office include temperature and CO2 sensors, electric vehicle charging stations, and motion-activated ventilation.

Bullitt Center

Location: Seattle, USA

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, designed by Miller Hull Partnership for the Bullitt Foundation, is built for longevity. This six-storey office isn’t just sturdy—it’s designed to last 250 years. 

It also meets the highest standards of LEED and the Living Building Challenge. This is partly because it generates as much electricity as it uses each year through its 575 solar panels, and it captures all its water from rain.

Strategically located for easy access by foot, bike, or public transport, the Bullitt Center consciously lacks onsite parking for single-occupancy vehicles, in a bid to promote greener travel options.

Another notable design feature is the building’s prominently placed and elegantly designed “irresistible stairs”. 

These stairs offer stunning views of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound but also encourage physical activity and energy savings, aligning with the building’s sustainability goals and promoting a healthier lifestyle for its users.

Shanghai Tower

Location: Shanghai, China

Shanghai Tower, located in the heart of Shanghai’s financial district, is a 128-story building that combines impressive architecture with sustainability. Built in 2008, it has earned LEED Platinum certification for its numerous eco-friendly features.

The design, inspired by Shanghai’s urban parks and courtyards, was crafted by San Francisco-based Gensler architects to make the most of the space while minimising environmental impact. The tower’s unique twist reduces wind load by 24%, which also enhances its earthquake resistance.

On the sustainability front, Shanghai Tower is equipped with smart systems that help monitor and reduce electricity consumption, effectively cutting the building’s carbon footprint by 34,000 tonnes each year. 

It also features a rainwater capture system used for internal operations and wind turbines that generate 350,000 kWh of electricity annually, contributing significantly to its energy needs.

Looking for your own sustainable office in London?

Uncommon has you covered. We’re serious about sustainability and proud to be a certified B Corp

We kicked off our ambitious ESG strategy in 2022, setting goals for the next five years to improve our impact on the climate, our operations, our suppliers, our team, and our community of members.

We’ve already made significant progress and are continuously pushing to meet new and challenging sustainability targets. 

If sustainability is important to you and you need an office that reflects these values, come see us. Book a tour at one of our London locations in Liverpool Street, Borough, Fulham, Highbury & Islington, or Holborn (opening soon) today.