We have extensively researched our carbon footprint and worked to identify exactly where and how it can be reduced. Our strategy is to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible and offset it when it can’t be reduced any further.
In line with the NZCBC, we operate all three of our studios as carbon neutral, recording and offsetting all emissions under scopes 1, 2 and 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. These include direct emissions from heating and cooling, indirect emissions from electricity consumption, and those associated with business travel and the embodied carbon of our studio spaces.
We’re also signatories to the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (NZCBC), the UN’s Race to Zero, and the UK’s Architects Declare.
We review our sustainability policy annually, and disclose our yearly scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions – as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – for our London, Hong Kong and Sydney studios, along with the actions we’ve taken to mitigate these. See our total 2021 footprint below.
In 2021, we produced 199 tonnes of carbon. This footprint comprises emissions associated with the operation of our three studios, not the carbon emitted by the buildings we design. It can be broken down into three scopes, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. For 2021, these amounted to:
- Scope 1: 69.31 tonnes
- Scope 2: 36.18 tonnes
- Scope 3: 93.19 tonnes
Scope 1 includes direct emissions from machinery we own, like our air conditioning units and gas boilers, while scope 2 covers emissions associated with the power we buy. Both our London and Sydney studios operate on REGO-backed, 100% renewable energy supplies, making this latter figure lower than you might expect.
Scope 3 refers to all other practice emissions, including those produced by employee commutes and business travel; transmission of the power we buy; home and remote working; water we use and dispose of; our zero-to-landfill waste and recycling policies; and day-to-day studio resources, like the paper in our printers. We’ve calculated our practice’s footprint under scope 3 using technical guidance from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Because some of these activities are difficult to calculate, we’ve added an extra 10% on top to ensure we’ve accounted for everything.
Along with taking steps to minimise our emissions, we’ve teamed up with Trees for Cities to offset our entire footprint, plus 10%. This UK charity boosts environmental and social sustainability in cities around the world by planting tree species that capture carbon, enhance biodiversity and increase climate resilience.