stok Part 1: Reimagining City Skylines for Social and Environmental Impact

By: Net Impact staff | January 6, 2017

Part 1 of our 4-part blog series featuring stok, a company with a unique plan for innovation
Part 1 of our 4-part blog series featuring stok, a company with a unique plan for innovation

What do you see when you look out at a city skyline? The perfect Instagram picture, your neighborhood, your workplace or your next vacation? 

stok sees opportunity. 

stok is a vertically integrated real estate firm. Pick any building in your skyline and stok can reimagine and redefine the space, balancing the financial and performance goals with social and environmental impact. For stok, a city skyline becomes a birthplace for high-performance spaces; better for the environment; better for the people. 

After hearing stok speak at a recent Net Impact event we wanted to learn more about this inspiring company so we met with them at their office in San Francisco and learned their unique approach to innovation. From their humble beginnings to their influential projects, measurable impact and non-traditional work culture, stok stands out from the rest. 

We have turned their story into a four-part blog series; let us introduce you to stok. 

What’s in a name?

Previously known as Environmental Building Strategies and focusing mostly on LEED consulting, commissioning and energy modelling, stok went through what they call “an organizational soul-searching,” one year ago. They realized the value of “zooming out” to approach impact design differently and to create a better built environment. They found a need to define and align sustainability goals every step of the way from real estate acquisition to decommissioning. They found their niche- the place they could make great change and their purpose; “to boldly catalyze an environmentally restorative and socially equitable world.” 

The name stok is a hybrid derived from the word stoc, an old English word meaning house, place or dwelling, and the word stoke which is often used to describe happiness and joy or to spark, ignite, or catalyze. From their origins in striving to influence and enhance places, to what they are achieving today, “stok” represents both - and no we are not forgetting to capitalize the “s.”

What they have to offer:

Their interdisciplinary team of specialists provide partners with a comprehensive approach to real estate services. These include helping clients find a space, design consulting, sourcing architects or construction companies, workplace culture consulting and monitoring a project after completion. stok works to incorporate flexible working spaces and conditions to create spaces where people feel engaged. They also say we must think about the people outside the building and in the community. 

The future of design?

stok sees the future of design as focusing on the experience of the space. stok also says that it is taking less time to convince companies that funding green upgrades is needed; now the focus is on how to get the most impact while making financial sense, a sign that the economy is moving toward sustainable design. 

With a unique blend of authenticity and grit, stok is redefining impact design and high-performance spaces in the San Francisco skyline and around the world. 

Stay tuned for parts 2, 3 and 4 of our blog series on stok.

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