Earth Day 2023
With it being Earth Day 2023 tomorrow, Feilden+Mawson have been thinking about our role as a sustainable practice, focusing on how we operate with the environment in mind, as well as how we can improve our efforts to build a more sustainable future. We take our efforts very seriously and have a number of accreditations that display our intent. We are ISO14001:2015 certified, an international standard on sustainability. We are also members of the Green Register, AECB, and have Passivhaus designers in our team. We also use the RIBA Plan of Work as amended by the Green Overlay. Our EMS Working Group monitors environmental developments, advising Staff on current and future best practice, ensuring compliance with environmental legislation, and other regulations relevant to our activities.
As a Practice, we are aiming towards a goal of net zero carbon, with our strategy aimed at both our internal operations, and project-related carbon. As part of this, we have signed up to the RIBA 2030 Climate-Challenge and have become members of Architects Declare UK. As designers, it is vital that we establish design solutions that will ensure a sustainable future for the built environment. We liaise closely with consultants to explore energy-saving solutions, working towards reducing all projects’ impact on the environment. With historic buildings, our founding partners have encouraged the philosophy of innovative reuse. As a result, many of our heritage projects target and achieve BREEAM accreditation, which has become the new benchmark for all our work.
Our internal operations are also aiming towards net zero carbon. Each office completes a carbon footprint tracker and monitors changes, setting our targets accordingly. Consequently, we have successes in several areas.
Our paper use has been dramatically reduced due to our flexible working policy, lowering the amount of time in the office. Printing ink, paper, and all associated waste have decreased, with recycling increasing.
Again, aided by our flexible working policy, we have reduced our business travel, prioritising virtual meetings. This not only reduces our emissions but saves time too. Where meetings have to be in person, walking, cycling, and public transport are preferred.
With the UK Government’s move away from fossil fuels in favour of low-carbon electric heating, we have been following suit, and our London and Cambridge offices are already electric only. Reducing the heating demand and installing energy efficient heating systems in our new Norwich office will provide the benchmark for our energy use ahead. The works have been ongoing, and we are excited to share news of the finished project very soon!