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Architects act on climate change


Kat Rischbieth


July 2020

red dry cracked earth

Architects and designers across Australia have been prompted to act on climate change and take steps to become carbon neutral by the end of 2020.

Taking action

Signatories have committed to taking positive action on climate by working towards carbon neutrality in a 3-step process. 

Defining This Term:

Carbon neutrality is achieved when the net release of greenhouse gas emissions is zero and is achieved through reducing and offsetting.

Architects and designers across Australia have been prompted to act on climate change and take steps to become carbon neutral by the end of 2020.

Architects Declare Australia is an initiative formed by Australian architects declaring a “climate and biodiverse emergency” and encouraging their industry peers to work towards net-zero emissions.

The initiative calls for the construction industry to strengthen their work practices, understand and account for the carbon emitted throughout the entire building process as well as the operational carbon of the building on its completion.

Carbon neutral by 2020

Recognising that the building and construction industry impacts on our ecosystems, the 900+ signatories are leading the way for more sustainable architecture and urban design.

Architectural practices on the signatory have committed to a 3-step process towards becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2020:

  1. Switch to certified green power by 30 January
  2. Conduct an audit to measure their carbon footprint by 30 June
  3. Purchase carbon offsets by the end of 2020

Measuring your carbon footprint

A carbon audit to determine your carbon footprint is a straightforward process and involves answering a series of questions to determine the scope of your business.

The following are some of the questions you will be asked to provide details on:

  1. The number of full-time equivalent staff that you employ.
  2. How many permanent office locations do you have in Australia?
  3. Do you have any serviced locations or remote workers?
  4. How many flights for business purposes do you take in a month/year? Do you use a corporate travel agent?
  5. Does the company have fleet vehicles? Do you use fuel cards?
  6. How many taxi or rideshare trips do you take for business purposes in a month/year?
  7. When would you like to start the process? After 30 June?

Please note the answers to the questions may differ slightly currently due to the COVID-19 environment.

Reduce and offset

The cost of a carbon audit will vary depending on the size and number of locations of the business. At the time of writing an audit will cost approximately AU$1600 for an architecture firm of 12-20 people based in one location.

After measuring you can implement changes in your business to reduce your carbon footprint and offset your unavoidable emissions through purchasing carbon credits.

Contact us to discuss measuring your carbon footprint and view our projects with available credits to offset your emissions.

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