What do the experts think...
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be familiar with the Architects Declare movement. Declaring a “climate and biodiverse emergency” and moving the industry towards net-zero emissions - Australian architecture firms have pledged their commitment to becoming carbon neutral en masse. We sat down with Matt in our Growth team to talk about the power of the Architects Declare initiative and why sustainability should be at the top of an Architecture firm’s priorities.
Architecture, net zero, carbon footpring
Why should sustainability be the number 1 priority for Architecture firms in Australia?
- Compliance with regulatory landscape: There are various regulations and standards that architects in Australia must adhere to when designing and constructing buildings. These regulations include requirements for energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and more. By incorporating sustainable design principles into their work, architecture firms can meet these standards and ensure that their operations and output are compliance.
- Meeting client demand: In recent years, there has been a growing demand from clients for sustainable buildings - with Australia leading the way on many fronts. Existing and future clients of architecture firms are interested in reducing their environmental footprint and want to live and work in buildings that reflect those values. By offering sustainable design solutions, architecture firms can attract and retain clients who prioritise sustainability.
- Long-term economic benefits: It’s critical for architecture firms to understand that climate is a business risk - especially for the built environment. By designing buildings that are energy-efficient and use renewable energy sources, firms can help their clients save money on utility bills over time. Additionally, sustainable buildings often have higher resale values and can attract tenants willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly features.
- Employer brand: With the intersection of creative and technical skills, architecture firms are dependent on great talent to drive great business. The data continues to show that the talent market is driven by values alignment with their employer. It follows that architecture firms stand to recruit and retain the best talent when their values are demonstrated with clear action.
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What is the first step for an Architecture firm on the journey to net zero emissions?
One of the primary commitments for Architects Declare signatories is to conduct a carbon audit - in simple terms, to measure their carbon footprint. Measurement is an actionable step towards decarbonisation - and a way to communicate to stakeholders that you’re serious about your environmental values. For many firms, carbon footprint measurement can become part of their existing tech stack with software solutions like Trace having integrations with their accounting software. Carbon footprint measurements requires spend and activity data from business operations - these are then measured against emissions factors to determine the amount of carbon emitted.
Here at Trace, we are always telling our clients that you can only manage what’s been measured. It follows that once an architecture firm has measured their footprint, they can start the emissions reduction process on their way to net zero.
How has Trace directly helped the industry take action?
The best example is from the voice of one our very own community members - Urakawa Jenkins. They believe that as architects, their involvement in the construction industry poses serious impacts on the climate as well as natural habitats, so they want to practice what they preach and follow through with their commitment to the environment by offsetting their operational impacts. Choosing to offset as part of their broader action plan to net zero, Urakawa Jenkins chose to partner with Trace to measure and manage their emissions. We are proud to have partnered with Urakawa Jenkins on their carbon neutral milestone and beyond. One of our key support mechanisms for our customers is to provide them with the tools to communicate their action effectively and transparently with badges and marketing collateral. One of our favourite initiatives is to help customers build the very best impact page on their website. You can find more about Urakawa Jenkins' commitment, and the role that Trace played as their climate action partner here.
Read about other companies on the journey to Net Zero
Talaria Capital is carbon neutralLearn more
Radish Events is carbon neutralLearn more