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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Carbon neutral architects share ambitious sustainability targets

Architecture practice Pascall+Watson has announced ambitious new sustainability targets – which include a pledge to reduce the company’s emissions by 90 per cent by 2040.

The firm started 2023 as a carbon neutral business. 

The practice has committed to a 46 per cent reduction in emissions compared to its 2019 figures by 2030, targeting an average 4 per cent decrease each year – other than up to 2025, when it plans to achieve cuts above this average.

From there, the company aims to achieve an overall reduction in emissions of 90 per cent by 2040. Its targets have now been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). 

Planting trees

Pascall+Watson, which has offices in London, Dublin, Limerick and Abu Dhabi, has recently signed up to the Carbon Footprint Tree Planting Programme.

This means it will plant 690 trees in London and the South East to offset its emissions. The planting will predominantly be in school grounds, reserves and managed woodland, where the trees will live their natural lifespan, meet biodiversity targets, provide wildlife habitats and enhance the natural UK landscape. 

The practice has also invested in a new Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) windfarm project, to generate a clean form of electricity through renewable sources which will result in carbon emission reductions each year. 

Sustainability strategy

The company’s sustainability strategy contains two distinctive strands – how it will operate sustainably as a business and how it will deliver sustainable design goals within its projects – which were developed by its in-house Sustainability Leadership Team. To achieve the targets set, the practice strategy has been founded on six sustainability pillars – which have been influenced by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Pascall+Watson’s plans and initiatives have all been developed in line with both the UK Government’s commitment to achieving net zero, and the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge.

To ensure continued accountability, Pascall+Waston – which has specialist expertise in the transportation, education, leisure, hospitality, healthcare, retail and workplace sectors – will have its efforts objectively verified by designated organisations. These include Cundall, a multi-disciplinary consultancy delivering sustainable engineering and design solutions across the built environment, and the British Standards Institute.

Zero emissions

Phillip Wilson, Associate and Sustainability Lead at Pascall+Watson, said: “The UK government has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We know that to achieve this, we need to act now, and have a rapid and deep impact by reducing our emissions to create a more sustainable environment for all.

“As such, we’ve engaged with a series of initiatives and created a wealth of processes which offer a great opportunity for us to reduce our operational carbon, and which enable us to make a calculable and tangible difference in areas that have typically poor sustainability performance. These include sectors like aviation, where we are proactively aiming to set a benchmark in terms of sustainability in design and construction. 

“We’ve already made real progress in reducing our carbon footprint over the past few years and believe we’ll achieve – if not exceed – our new targets. This is a genuine priority for us; we have a responsibility to get this right for ourselves and for our clients, and all those impacted by our work.”


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