Our carbon reduction plan

15 January 2024


We have been measuring our practice carbon footprint since 2006, assessing and minimising our global warming impact. We know that immediate reduction of emissions is the urgent action required to mitigate catastrophic climate change, not just simple offsetting.

To improve the understanding of our carbon footprint, we have split the impact between how we operate as a practice, and the impact of our projects.

Our practice

Within our practice greenhouse gas emissions, we include:

Scope 1: Gas-fired boilers, office cars, refrigerant leakage
Scope 2: Electricity used on site.
Scope 3: Upstream emissions: Trains, flights, paper, other consumables, waste

Our carbon footprint is independently audited through our ISO14001 process. It is assessed as emissions per employee, recognising that the shape and size of the practice may change over time. Additional elements of our carbon footprint may be assessed, but will be subject to reduction targets specific to those elements.

The baseline year for improvement is taken as 2013, a year that not only represents the current shape of the practice, but also the first audited carbon footprint.

Our baseline carbon footprint, 2013: 204 tCO2e, or 1.4 tCO2e/person.

Our net zero carbon emissions target date is 2030, taken as April 2030 to April 2031. This represents a 6% reduction year on year from 2013.

Our Projects

The emissions that arise from our projects are significantly higher than the emissions from our practice. This is our Downstream Scope 3 emissions. We include:

Operational Carbon: the carbon emissions associated with the building’s energy use, over a 60 year period, using the contemporary carbon emission factors from the UK government’s Green Book

Upfront Carbon: the carbon emitted over the construction of a building, from cradle to practical completion, following BS EN 15978:2011 life cycle modules A1-5

Our baseline year for carbon reduction is 2013, aligned with our practice baseline year. Carbon emission reductions will be based on kgCO2e/m2, based on the Gross Internal Area (GIA) for our projects, recognising that the quantity of projects completed in any one year may fluctuate.

In 2013, our footprint, measured as projects achieving practical completion between April 2012 and April 2013, and estimated using RIBA 2030 “As Usual” figures for carbon emissions:

Baseline Operational Carbon: 2,919 kgCO2e/m2
Baseline Upfront Carbon: 897 kgCO2e/m2

Our target 2030 project emissions are aligned with the RIBA 2030 and LETI target emissions for as built projects, which would enable them to achieve net zero carbon certification when coupled with offsetting.

2030 Target Operational Carbon: 248 kgCO2e/m2 (based on 55 kWh/m2.a all electric systems)
2030 Target Upfront Carbon: 350 kgCO2e/m2

These targets represent a 6% improvement year on year, based on measured performance of our built projects. Projects will be reviewed at each key stage to identify carbon performance at the earliest stage.

A Regenerative Practice

We have a net zero carbon target for 2030 across the practice and projects, but we recognise that this does not go far enough, and we need to be a regenerative practice, improving the planet for future generations. Beyond 2030 we aim to become a net positive practice, both through our actions and our designs, helping to alleviate the climate crisis.

Ian Taylor & Joe Jack Williams