Publishing a seven-resolution Climate Action Plan in time for Earth Day 2020 that doubles down on its commitment to zero carbon
HMC Architects has just released a seven-resolution action plan for climate change that challenges the firm’s 350-plus people to work toward the reduction of greenhouse gasses associated with the built environment.
With global warming and the continuing rise of greenhouse gases, HMC is taking on a responsibility—through the firm’s leadership—to work internally as well as with its clients and partners to provide substantial relief to the crisis through the firm’s design work.
Using a myriad of environmentally responsible tactics, the plan—which has been in the making the last two years—is a strategic framework that highlights ways to measure, plan, and reduce the firm’s carbon footprint with the overarching goal of zero carbon architecture.
“Climate change is a threat that requires swift action,” said President and CEO Brian Staton. “As architects, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to eliminate carbon emissions and reduce energy demand—making positive changes for the human condition, society, and overall better health.”
HMC’s climate action plan includes seven resolutions within a framework of three distinct initiatives: The first looks at HMC’s personal operations within the firm and reducing its impact on the environment. The second is reducing its emissions through architecture. The third is about HMC’s overall impact in alignment with greater initiatives at the state, national, and global level.
According to Eric Carbonnier, PhD, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, vice president of sustainability for HMC, the climate action plan is a regenerative roadmap focused on high performance operations and architecture collectively leading to carbon neutral futures.
The firm has always taken a close look at the types of materials used in construction; passive and active strategies to reduce energy and water consumption; how much waste its buildings are creating as a result of the construction process; and designing infrastructure for the electrification of transportation. “As good environmental stewards, it’s just as important that we also begin to look at how environmentally responsible we are as a business,” said Carbonnier.
This means taking a closer look at the firm’s operations and how much energy the company is using once all 350-plus employees are inside the firm’s seven offices. That includes adding up the firm’s water usage, rethinking how everyone commutes to and from work, and determining what types of waste are being produced in each of those seven locations.
“Our hope is to inspire and motivate the people of HMC to lead by example,” said Eera Babtiwale, LEED AP BD+C, vice president of sustainability. “If they are inspired by our action plan efforts at work, then they’ll go and talk to their clients and families about these principles of reducing our carbon footprint.”
With the new climate action plan, HMC is laser-focused on its clients and eager to provide thought leadership and amazing environments for student learning, healthcare, and civic spaces with the climate in mind.
“While much of the climate action plan is based on the nuts and bolts of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Carbonnier. “One mustn’t forget that what makes a difference for our clients is a healthy environment that promotes wellness; not to mention the operational cost savings that designing high performance buildings will bring.”