Reporting Boundary: London & Birmingham
Emission sources: Electricity,T&D losses,
natural gas, homeworking energy, waste,
business travel, paper use
Reporting Period: 01 Jan 2020 – 31 Dec 2020
We engage our employees and wider stakeholders to unlock their talent and knowledge to drive year on year progress in sustainability.
We recognise that transparent communication is essential for transformational change and we quantifiably contribute to 9 SDG’s.
Chetwoods Architects, an award-winning architectural practise with offices in London and Birmingham, has achieved Planet Mark certification.
This is Chetwoods Architects’ second year of business carbon footprint reporting and Planet Mark certification. Since certifying to Planet Mark, the company has set a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually.
Chetwoods Architects’ total carbon footprint in the year ending 31 December 2020 was 62.3 tCO2e, a reduction of 39.5% compared to the previous year. Chetwoods Architects’ total carbon per employee in the year ending 2020 was 1.3 tCO2e, a reduction of 51.4%.
Chetwoods has saved the same amount of carbon as preventing 100,000 car miles from being driven.
“The Chetwoods team are environmentalists at their core. Having shared their sustainability expertise with their clients, and with the wider industry, it is no surprise to see the incredible results when Chetwoods focuses on its own operational emissions. I’m proud to work with such a future-focused practice and help them on their sustainability journey.”
“We at Chetwoods are very conscious of the impact we have on the Planet as a practice. We have made a lot of positive changes over the years however in 2019 we decided to track our actions through a recognised third party. We have been Planet Mark certified since 2019. As part of the certification we measure our carbon emissions and demonstrate that we are reducing our impact by 5% per year at an absolute minimum. We have since taken this a step further and become a Climate Positive Company, mitigating all the carbon spent since we first measured our impact.”
Philippa added ” We hope that, in showing that we respond to climate science as a practice, we communicate our ambitions to do the same in the design of buildings. We recognise that the construction industry is responsible for 40% of carbon emissions. We like to think that we consider sustainability holistically with our 3 business values; Studio, Thrive and Works. The Thrive team have developed 7 design drivers to help to keep our buildings on track In 2020 we successfully delivered the first building verified as Net Zero Carbon for construction (whole life embodied carbon) in line with the UKGBC framework definition. We are grateful to the existing clients that share our ambitions however we are also aware that elsewhere there is a significant gap in awareness. We hope that in telling our story we can increase awareness and work with more clients who share our vision.
Not only do we design and deliver buildings but, through Thrive, we also advise on sustainable development strategies. This extends from consultancy on the circular fit out of a food retail unit to ESG development strategy for an International logistics developer.”
Chetwood’s Thrive Programme specialises in ethical, environmental and healthy design. It has led the field in this now-popular arena for many years, using scientific research and bespoke measurement techniques to help people and organisations live and work in ways that are beneficial to their health and are harmonious with the planet. Recently, Chetwoods has designed commercial properties with strong sustainable credentials, having worked with partners such as Gazeley to help envision its ‘Route to Net Zero’ sustainability roadmap. On Earth Day 2021, Chetwoods also announced it became a Climate Positive Company.
The buildings we live and work in must change if we are to achieve our carbon targets. From emissions on construction sites to the way a building operates, holistic approaches to sustainable construction must be taken by everyone involved in sustainable building. Accurate measurement of emissions and engagement of the entire chain of stakeholders is vital to success.
Through Planet Mark certification, Chetwoods have found that data collation for ISO 14001 is much simpler and more rigorous. The business has also made alterations to its expenses system to capture all the travel emissions that contribute to its carbon footprint.
Chetwoods have several initiatives and programmes set up to encourage engagement across the entire business. Some of these include:
– Sharing the latest thinking through internal talks and presentations at a weekly ‘Tea and Toast’ session
– Promoting a zero waste office, ensuring any unavoidable waste is disposed of by team members responsibly
– Procurement is selected in accordance with energy efficiency and/or in accordance with the Circular Economy selection hierarchy: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot
– Encouraging team members to opt for alternate modes of transport including walking, cycling or pubic transport
– Chetwoods is part of the Architects Declare movement
– Sharing methodologies through written materials and talks to peers, students and the wider public
Chetwoods staff have been receptive to its sustainability programme and to Thrive, where the organisation look for sustainability innovation. Several staff members have demonstrated keen interest in being Thrive Champions as a result of their work to advocate for sustainability.
Chetwoods advocated through early conversations with prospective clients about solutions that can be incorporated into their buildings to reduce their impact on the planet. If these conversations do not happen at an early stage, cost neutral solutions will be missed.
In these conversations, Chetwoods explains its ethos and how sustainability is intrinsic to the business. Chetwoods also offers clients an early project appraisal using Thrive design drivers including carbon control, water, resources, health and wellbeing, resilience, biodiversity, cost and value.
This appraisal identifies local and national policy, and highlights relevant RIBA 2030 Challenge targets.
As part of the Planet Mark certification, Chetwoods has committed to making a year-on-year reduction.