The British Council for Offices has urged occupiers and building designers to cut carbon emissions with the launch of a guide to environmental management

The launch comes just over a week after Sir Nicholas Stern’s report on global warming for the Treasury. Stern urged immediate action on the environment to head off the potentially massive damage to the global economy that climate change could cause.

Richard Kauntze, chief executive of the BCO, said: ‘We need to adopt a more holistic approach to the design, construction and occupation of Britain’s offices to meet our environmental targets.

‘This new guide provides everyone in the UK with suggestions on how to work in a more environmentally friendly way.’

Titled Environmental Management in Offices, the BCO guide is written by engineer Hoare Lee. ‘The guide links the often separate worlds of design and construction to that of property management,’ said Hoare Lee partner Nick Cullen.

‘By doing that, we hope we’ll get feedback into the design process based on experience of managing the building.’

Simple, low-cost measures, such as educating building users to switch off lights and computers, together with turning down the air conditioning to allow the building to reach slightly higher temperatures in summer, can cut energy use and carbon emissions by up to 20%, Cullen said.