LOHAUS welcomes the Year of the Horse with new initiatives to improve its sustainability, enjoyability and convenience in 2014 for all our friends using the LOHAUS Shanghai space for events, meetings and coworking. It was only eight months ago in June 2013 that LOHAUS made its debut as Shanghai’s first social enterprise for events, meetings and coworking. Since then, we have proved that this innovative social enterprise is not only an enjoyable place to do business in Shanghai, it can also be a sustainable financial model for others to follow. How does LOHAUS implement the social enterprise paradigm? It is inspired by one part lifestyle of health and sustainability and one part Bauhaus, from the German 1920s architectural and design movement that continues to influence people today in new ways. You can learn more about our own philosophy of health and urban sustainability in our LOHAUS Manifesto, but in brief we are a Shanghai-based for-profit corporation that gives 100% of its profits to social impact initiatives. That means all the money earned from our downtown Shanghai building’s event space rentals, meeting room rentals, and co-working desk usage goes to supporting socially important activities such as reducing pollution in Shanghai’s urban environment and improving the health of its residents. Among our major activities in 2013 was the promotion of double-glazed windows, rooftop insulation, and LED lighting as ways to reduce energy use at home and at the office. We use all of these at LOHAUS and encourage others to do the same, thereby causing less electricity to be generated by eastern China’s many coal-fired power plants. For example, in the summer of 2013 LOHAUS switched all of its work lights to LED bulbs and has been enjoying hundreds of RMB in savings each month. We’re on track to recoup our ~7000 RMB investment in LED lightbulbs in about eleven more months.
We also helped our local community to adopt LED lighting with our light bulb swap program last November. This event allowed local residents close to our Yongjia Road location to receive a free Opple LED light bulb in exchange for bringing in an old non-working CFL bulb for recycling.
The event was an outstanding success thanks to partner Miss Earth China who had several of the Miss Earth China contestants onsite to educate and interact with the public. We also had help from our friends at Green Drinks China who recycled some of the older incandescent bulbs into amazing decorations for the launch of Green Initiatives. We plan to host more LED events in 2014. Other improvements we made allowed our visitors to host sustainable meetings and events in Shanghai. Features of our sustainable meeting rooms include:
- Insulating and noise-reducing China-grown and locally-manufactured hemp fiber carpets to keep the room warm and comfortable
- State-of-the-art LED-laser projectors in both of our meeting rooms that maintain their brightness, run more quietly and significantly reduce excess heat, allowing the added benefit of reducing air conditioning costs during all-day meetings
- Healthy food options for meals from NOSH and Kush, now renamed Pure and Whole.
Dozens of companies, organizations and groups of people enjoyed using our LOHAUS event and meeting space in Shanghai in 2013, and 2014 is going to be even better. We welcome several new entrants into the Shanghai social enterprise landscape for meeting and event space, so we are preparing for the competition with even more new benefits and features. This means that 2014 is going to be a great year in terms of new sustainability initiatives, centered around our implementation of a circular economic model for sourcing, usage and recycling of everything that happens in LOHAUS.
For example, while we continue our policy of using only 100% China-grown coffee beans, we will be introducing several new suppliers this year to show the variety of flavors available from Yunnan’s several coffee growing regions. We also offer only China produced teas and will go even more local by including Longjin green tea from nearby Hangzhou. LOHAUS will be implementing new energy-saving initiatives such as an upgrade of some of its older air conditioners this summer to the most energy-efficient models, allowing LOHAUS to reduce its energy use towards its goal of being a carbon-negative meeting space, and also allowing its members to be more comfortable.
Part of LOHAUS’s social enterprise philosophy is connection to the local community. In 2014 we are launching new events for both local and international residents of Shanghai, such as our LOHAUS Inspirational Speakers Series, featuring talks from Shanghai-based coaches and trainers, as well as events such as design forums and sustainable living community groups. We will also have more local artists to display their work at LOHAUS following the successful 2013 shows from artist Michelle Yuan and author/illustrator Ake. LOHAUS continues to host the Shanghai Forum, one of Shanghai’s most popular meetup groups for discussions of China’s business environment and economy, including collaborative events with our partner Green Drinks / Green Initiatives such as China’s sustainable economy.
Finally, in addition to Green Initiatives and Miss Earth China, LOHAUS joins with a new partner for 2014, L’otel. For visitors to Shanghai who are participating in events at LOHAUS, we now offer special rates at one of L’otel’s comfortable and sustainable hotel rooms for a low-carbon-footprint stay and meeting in Shanghai. 2014 promises to be an interesting and enjoyable year, and we look forward to meeting again with our friends from 2013 and making more new acquaintances in the Year of the Horse. If you want to get in touch with LOHAUS for sustainable event space, creative meeting rooms and coworking in Shanghai, or for any other reason, please contact us.