With_Architecture Studio certified as carbon neutral
With_Architecture Studio has broken new ground for the architecture profession by becoming the first practice in Australia to be certified carbon neutral after a three year process.
The certification occurs under the National Carbon Offset Standard, which is a rigorous and transparent framework supported by international standards, tailored to an Australian context.
The overarching Carbon Neutral Program certifies organisations, products and services as carbon neutral against the Standard. To be carbon neutral, an organisation must measure emissions, reduce these where possible, offset remaining emissions and report on their carbon neutrality.
With_Architecure Studio Director Geoff Warn said the practice’s team viewed the certification as very important to the evolution of their design and development work for a range of sectors.
“The principles and experience we have acquired during our own certification process have direct relevance to our work for clients and will be deployed in our approach to conceptual and detailed project design.”
“We already had an excellent track record in achieving clients’ sustainability goals through our work and this certification clearly demonstrates that our team knows exactly what they are talking about when we discuss reducing carbon emissions through innovative and forward-thinking design. When we talk to clients about sustainability issues our team has the credibility to carry the conversation forward,” Geoff said.
With_Architecture began to monitor its resource consumption in 2014, tracking improvements and aiming to become Carbon Neutral in 2017.
With_Architecture began the certification process by measuring its carbon consumption and putting carbon reduction initiatives in place, including recycling and printing policies.
Phased out IT equipment was donated to a Rotary Club initiative supporting the Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penn, with all other e-waste being recycled with Tech Collect. Energy consumption was reduced by 9 per cent from FY15 to FY16 and paper consumption by 18 per cent.
The practice is continuing to make improvements and saw a 19 per cent reduction in electricity consumption during 16/17 compared to 14/15 alone.
Funds from an offset programme support the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor – a multi-species native reforestation project in Southwest Australia. The reforestation programme removes 1.257 million tonnes of carbon in a region where over 90 per cent of the woodland has been cleared.
The Yarra Yarra reforestation is focused on rejuvenating degraded, semi-arid agricultural land that no longer supports viable farming practices, with the goal of restoring the project landscape to its natural condition of vegetation.
This project also removes existing carbon from the atmosphere to recreate a healthy and functioning landscape, restored after decades of habitat loss and degradation. This is a legacy project that strives to ensure the land is continually nurtured and improved.
Visit carbonneutral.com.au for more information on this project.