Reporting Boundary: Leicester Office operations (Waterfront House, 2a Smith Way, Grove Park, Enderby – LE19 1SX)
Emission sources: Electricity, electricity T&D losses, travel, water, waste, paper
Reporting Period: 1 June 2019 -31 May 2020
*comparison based on normalised data
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 8 SDG’s.
Stephen George & Partners, one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, placed in the ‘Top 100 practices by the Architects’ Journal, has achieved certification to Planet Mark.
This is Stephen George & Partners’ second year of business carbon footprint reporting and certification to The Planet Mark. It first calculated the carbon footprint of its Leicester Office for the year ending May 2019 and set a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually.
Stephen George & Partners’ total carbon footprint in the year ending May 2020 was 59.9 tCO2e, an impressive decrease of 39.4% from the year ending 2019. The relative carbon footprint was 1.2 tCO2e per employee, a decrease of 31.8% compared to last year.
Acting on climate change has never been more important. With global targets in 2030 becoming more pressing, businesses of all types must begin to robustly evaluate how they conduct business. Whether it is to appeal to the modern consumer or to provide benefit for the planet, we all must act to manage and reduce our environmental impacts.
“These are extraordinary results from Stephen George & Partners. Given the longstanding commitment to sustainable principles at the Leicester office, I must commend the team in their tireless efforts to continually improve. Across the board, measures have been put in place to reduce the practice’s impact on the planet, and the payoff is clear to see. This should serve as a clear call to action for all in the industry – positive change is always possible.”
At Stephen George & Partners we have had social responsibility and sustainable principles in place for four years. Aligned with the United Nations Development goals, our work with school children, in conjunction with The Heaven Company, and reducing our carbon footprint are incredibly important to us. Social Value, as one of our core values for the organisation, influences how we operate day to day as a business and where we can enhance our clients offering to local areas. The Planet Mark has not only given us a way to demonstrate our improvements, but to provide many ideas and introduce us to likeminded businesses who are looking to make a difference.”
Stephen George & Partners has a passion for sustainability that embeds itself in all the company does. From incorporating innovative design solutions such solar panels, solar water heating and natural shading to its Leicester office, to providing education courses for schoolchildren on sustainable and forward thinking architectural principles, the practice’s holistic approach to sustainability has encouraged an encompassing approach in the way it conducts business.
Architectural practices have an important role to play in creating a sustainable future. The built environment contributes to around 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions, so architectural practices must adopt low-carbon, sustainable design principles if the country is to meet its national targets. Clients are also becoming increasingly aware of the need to take action, demanding their supply chain is able to deliver sustainable products and demonstrate their own sustainable credentials.
In addition to measuring its carbon footprint, SGP have been measuring the social value contribution of the business.
Some of the impactful ways SGP have reduced its carbon emissions is through initiatives in its own building; from transferring to green electricity to cutting the use of electricity wherever possible.
In addition to this, in 2018 SGP designed and built its own award-winning office, which incorporates many sustainable initiatives including solar panels, PIRs and electric vehicle charging points.
SGP hold a training day conference, twice a year, which involves all employees throughout the business. These events are where strategic sustainability approaches, programs and initiatives are announced. In between the bi-annual conferences, there is a monthly breakfast meeting and biweekly Partners briefings, also involving the whole organisation, where staff are encouraged to provide feedback, ideas and ask any questions.
SGP’s ambition is to engage 20% of the organisation into varying schemes, at which level it will have the traction to establish momentum and build upon the initiatives via word of mouth and demonstrable results.
SGP has a distinct section on the website that highlights what it is doing about social responsibility. In 2020, the organisation received positive feedback for their campaign to design a house which was for children stuck at home during the pandemic. This tied in with the work they are doing in education, particularly with The Heaven Company, teaching children about environmental issues.
The reach of SGP’s communications varies with each initiative. Their thought leadership pieces have had the greatest exposure, due to the social media platforms they are posted on. Other initiatives, such as litter picking, have a smaller reach, but a significant impact on the local community.
Externally, the business is focusing on information that can be easily shared with others. In 2012 it won the RIBA President’s Medal for its Building Materials Handbook; which is freely available online. Within its Social Responsibility Policy, the organisation is presenting thought leadership pieces across social media, along with educational programmes across the country. In addition to this SGP are working with clients to embed sustainable solutions within their projects wherever possible.
As part of the Planet Mark certification, Stephen George & Partners has committed to making a year-on-year reduction.