Originally set up to end the corrupt extraction and destruction of natural resources, over the last three years Global Witness has re-focused its work to more directly address the underlying causes of the climate crisis. When it came to finding a new office in early 2020, that focus on sustainability and the climate emergency was at the forefront of Fiona Lee’s, Operations Support Manager of Global Witness, mind.
Here, Fiona, tells us why it was so important to find a landlord who shared Global Witness’ values.
With much of our work focused on leading a climate revolution, we felt strongly that we needed to be in an office that mirrored our sustainable values. So we felt very lucky to come across The Green House – moving in and working here has been quite revelatory!
From the use of sustainable materials throughout the building to the provision of facilities that encourage tenants to cycle to work, The Green House definitely meets the values that we aspire to.
The environmental credentials of the building are clearly important to us, but so too are Ethical Property’s broader principles. We moved into The Green House just before the pandemic hit in early 2020 and, like so many campaigning and charitable organisations, it had a huge impact on us. But, thanks to the importance they place on ethical values, our new landlords were very empathetic about our situation and supported us without question.
When we first moved in, we had around 80 people working from the office. To meet our requirements, Ethical Property took a really flexible approach, combining two offices into a single space for us and, very generously, added a dedicated kitchen area. Post-Covid, we’ve moved to a hybrid working model and now have 30-35 people in the office. As a result, we’ve downsized and moved to a smaller space. Importantly, we’ve always felt able to have open and honest conversations with Ethical Property and they have accommodated our changing needs. They are always willing to lend a hand, even with things that fall outside the scope of their normal duties as our landlord.
An unexpected benefit of being based in The Green House is sharing it with likeminded organisations. Being able to work together in the same building as some of our partners, has improved our collaboration and brought clarity. It’s also given us strength in numbers. We feel like we’re not out there alone; we’re part of a much bigger movement - and that’s invaluable!