On the heels of the March 20 report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which urged for a “mainstreaming” of “more ambitious action” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we want you to know that we’re doing our part.

We’ve revamped our firmwide Green Operations Plan—first implemented in 2005—to double down on decarbonizing each of our 28 studios’ daily operations

Our enhanced commitments include:

Fossil fuel elimination

By 2025, our new and renewing studio leases will no longer use natural gas, and by 2023, any new studios must be 100% electric.

Energy efficiency leadership

Starting in 2025, all studios will install sub-meters that measure all energy use. This will complement our nearly 20-year practice of installing low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and Energy Star efficient fixtures.

Climate and ecosystem Data

“Place Walls” within each studio will provide local climate and ecosystem data to ensure our teams understand the environmental context in which they work. Additionally, these “Place Walls” will recognize the indigenous peoples who stewarded the local land prior to colonization, educating our teams on historical demographics and settlement patterns of the surrounding community

Green power

To support the decarbonization of our utility grids and the uptake of renewable energy, over the next few years, studios wherever possible will purchase green power RECs for their electricity use and ensure on-site renewable energy accounts for at least 50% of their annual energy use.

Carbon offsets

Starting in 2023, all new studios and studio renovations will undergo a whole life carbon assessment to measure their operational and embodied carbon profile, while also offsetting operational carbon wherever possible.

Phaseout of Single-Use Plastics

Plastic production requires fossil fuels, and plastic waste harms the environment. Our studios will avoid the purchase of single-use bottled beverages, single-use coffeemaker cups, and plastic cutlery. Additionally, we will instruct all of our caterers and vendors to stop providing us with plastic utensils.

"The enhancements offer us a chance to lead by example, As a large firm, We're responsible for our environmental impact across the globe."
Jason F. McLennan Chief Sustainability Officer

Of course, this is only a small snapshot of what’s inside our Green Operations Plan. We invite you to read through it yourself, here. You may find it to be a source of inspiration for your own enterprise. On the other hand, you might discover you’re already doing these things, or even going above and beyond (in which case, whoop-whoop! Nice work!).

Either way, as the world’s second-largest architecture firm, we’re optimistic about our potential to make a positive difference through greener everyday decisions—and lead by example within our industry. Moreover, with terrific clients like you taking steps in equal measure, we know we can reduce the rate of global warming, helping to protect ourselves and future generations.

Please don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you like what you’ve read or have any further suggestions. I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you, as always, for your support. Wishing you a bright and happy Earth Month, and a healthy, sustainable future!