This summer we took up residence in a new studio space, moving our base from St Austell to Truro. Whilst we’re now one stop further down the train line, the move to a more sustainable workspace in Cornwall’s capital city opens up a whole host of benefits and opportunities for our business, our clients and the planet.
Truro’s Old Bakery Studios
Our new studio space is sited on the ground floor of the Old Bakery Studios in Blewett’s Wharf, beside the river in Truro. There are over 60 studios and workspaces hidden away in this amazing historic building as well as a vibrant event space and cafe, and our neighbours include a huge range of different businesses and artists making Old Bakery Studios Truro’s largest creative hub. In evenings and on weekends the creative space outside Leap’s door hosts live music, comedy, cinema screenings and theatre performances. We’re looking forward to utilising this space for workshops, conferences and talks about green business and design.
Us signing the lease on the space at the Old Bakery Studios was dependent upon a commitment from our new landlords to switch to a renewable energy tariff, helping us to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more sustainable workspace. We put the case to them that they would make an overall saving (from not having to pay the fossil fuel levy applied to business energy accounts). They agreed, we signed, and here we are with a new studio and the whole building and all of its tenants are soon to be running off renewable energy come June 2020 (when their tariff comes up for renewal).
Reducing Our CO2 Footprint From Travel
One of the factors that prompted our move from St Austell to Truro was a desire to reduce our team’s average commute; many of the team live in Truro or Falmouth and were having to travel by car or train to St Austell every day to work. By moving to Truro, not only have we reduced overall commute time and the carbon footprint created by our team’s travel, but we’re now based in a central location and travel hub.
We’ve calculated the average per-person savings in time, distance travelled (on foot and by car, train and bus) and CO2 emissions per day, averaging across the entire team’s weekly travel, to be:
- CO2 Emissions reduced by 15% from an average of 10.9kg/day to 9.32kg/day – a total saving of 5.53kg of CO2 per day across the team. At the end of each year we offset all carbon emissions associated with us doing business, including the team’s travel to and from work.
- Distance Travelled reduced by 23% from an average of 30.8 miles to 23.8 miles per day.
- Commute Time reduced by 10% from an average of 64.5 minutes to 57.8 minutes each day.
The Economy of a Shared Space
Occupying a space within a larger building full of other studios also means that both Leap and the environment can benefit from the economies found by sharing space – we’re not all heating stand-alone studios but rather all contributing less energy to maintaining a pleasant temperature in the building as a whole (we’re insulated by the studio above us, for example), and the shared gents toilets has a urinal which will reduce the building’s water consumption.
A Fresh Start for Our Studio Space
We’ve taken over and converted a 75 square meter space at the back of the events space, with large windows overlooking the river. It was a blank canvas – just white walls and a polished concrete floor – into which we’ve built a meeting room (with novel wall panels made by Smile Plastics from recycled plastic straws collected by our friends at The Final Straw campaign and bench seats upholstered in a upcycled silk fabric from pending B-Corper Stitched), run electrics around and installed some beautiful repurposed vintage lighting from Skinflint. We’ve also built in storage spaces and shelving (thank you, Koos Furtniture!) to hide files and showcase work and awards. Through this process, our construction partner Cloverfield Construction Ltd who did much of the conversion work have been inspired to begin their journey towards becoming a B-Corp business.
We brought all of our desks with us (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) with a large central island that has space for six creatives to bounce of one another. There is a snug with seating, a standing desk and a “breakfast bar” offering everyone here the opportunity to work in different ways, in different places within the studio. Our lovely new meeting table and two hairpin leg bar chairs were made locally with FSC certified Cherry and white steel by Cord Industries, and we have a beautiful twin easy chair in brown oak and orange upholstery from Bark Furniture – both great examples of Cornish craftsmanship that align with our commitment to supporting the local economy. We brought with us many of the interior design features that make Leap “Leap”, such as our living moss wall and lightning bolt sign, so the space will still seem familiar to longstanding clients and visitors. We’ll explore some of the features that reduce the studio’s impact upon the environment in an upcoming article about creating a more sustainable workspace.
Above all else, this move to Truro gave us the opportunity to design and define what a sustainable design studio is. It allows us to show in physical terms our commitment to a triple bottom line that considers people, planet and profit and to creating a more sustainable future in all that we do.
If you’d like to stop by and check out our new space, you can find us at:
Old Bakery Studios,