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Architecture firms across Australia agree to strive for carbon neutrality by Dec 2020

Architecture firms across Australia agree to strive for carbon neutrality by Dec 2020
Architecture firms across Australia agree to strive for carbon neutrality by Dec 2020

Australia’s current climate emergency has seen architects nationwide fast-track their initiative to become carbon neutral by December 2020.

Currently, 818 local architects (and counting) have signed a global pledge to implement sustainability initiatives within every aspect of business operation to drastically tackle the impacts of climate change.

This week, many renowned architects are taking to Instagram to actively campaign for climate action.

Architecture firms across Australia agree to strive for carbon neutrality by Dec 2020
Source: Instagram/@batessmart

International environmental collective Architects Declare held a meeting at the end of 2019 to discuss a plan moving forward, developing a shared mission to bring the target closer and take a more radical approach to avoid further damage to our delicate ecosystems.

Fast-tracking attainment of net-zero carbon globally

The first global target outlined in the highly publicised Paris Agreement sought to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050. Over the last year, more than 3,000 B Corps from 70+ countries agreed to reach net-zero carbon by 2030. Given the social media posts we've seen recently, Architects Declare are taking an active role in effectively achieving these targets, with a three-step strategy outlined for 2020.

  1. 100% GreenPower by 30 January 2020
  2. Carbon Audit by 30 June 2020
  3. Carbon Neutral by 30 December 2020

As co-chair of B Corp’s Global Climate Task Force, Charmaine Love, puts it,

“If not now, when? If not us, who?”

What is a B Corp company?

Certified B Corporations (also known as B Corps) are accredited businesses that meet world-leading standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and legal accountability. B Corp companies make it their mission to combat global issues in many areas of their business – and from an environmental perspective, this means decarbonising their business practices.

What this means for the property industry

The movement aims to abolish wasteful typologies and building processes, replacing them with highly sustainable alternatives. Architects Declare aim to advocate for our built environment and provide a national benchmark that champions future-focused design.

Case study - The three-step process in action

Respected Australian architecture firm ClarkeHopkinsClarke have been certified carbon neutral since 2018 and are at 35% of their benchmark emissions for a “similar-sized professional services company”. This percentage is due to the company’s dedication to carbon mitigation and the purchasing of 'gold standard' credits. Despite their significant efforts already, ClarkeHopkinsClarke has even more plans to alleviate its impact on the planet further.

Robert Goodliffe, Managing Partner at ClarkeHopkinsClarke, explains that the company are planning to reduce their remaining carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 and believes that it's important to be prepared for future changes.

“Things are going to change rapidly over the next 10 years and it’s good business practice to have the answers.”

ClarkeHopkinsClarke’s mission for 2020

  • Purchase 100% Green Power
  • Increase teleconferencing
  • Implement a green travel plan
  • Move to new premises at Younghusband in Kensington which is certified by One Planet (a stringent protocol which encompasses not just power, but water and air quality too)

“Beyond that we’ll continue advocating on sustainable best practice to our clients. There are better materials coming on to the market every week. Regenerative measures are the ultimate target.”

Robert Goodliffe, Managing Partner, ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects

818 ARCHITECTS WHO HAVE SIGNED THE DECLARATION

Architecture firms across Australia agree to strive for carbon neutrality by Dec 2020

Data Source: Architects Declare

Lead image credit: Dale Appleton, DELWP

Olivia Round

Olivia Round

Olivia Round is the Features Editor of urban.com.au. Olivia specialises in news reporting, in-depth editorial content and video + podcast interviews with industry experts.

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