Anne Taylor Carros
Lord Aeck Sargent
July 31, 2007
Lord, Aeck & Sargent Partners With Carbonfund.org to Eliminate Firm’s Carbon Footprint
Green architecture firm supports renewable energy and reforestation projects to achieve carbon-neutral operations
ATLANTA, Ga., July 31, 2007 – Lord, Aeck & Sargent announced that it has become a carbonneutral firm by partnering with the Carbonfund.org Foundation – a non-profit organization that fights global warming – to offset the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for which it is directly responsible.
By retiring carbon offsets through Carbonfund.org, as well as taking other actions to conserve energy and “green” its operations, the architecture firm’s offices in Atlanta; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, are working together to reduce their collective carbon footprint and slow the hazardous effects of global warming.
“For more than a decade we have been creating sustainable, energy-efficient buildings for our clients,” said Tony Aeck, FAIA, Lord, Aeck & Sargent managing principal. “These facilities reduce the negative impact of building construction and operation on the environment.
Now, we are taking another important step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through our partnership with Carbonfund.org. We are excited about this new company initiative and encourage all businesses to consider the global benefits of carbon offset programs.” “We are pleased to partner with a forward-looking architecture firm like Lord, Aeck & Sargent,” said Steve Offutt, Carbonfund.org’s chief operating officer. “Not only are they reducing and offsetting their own footprint, but they are working with their clients to create more sustainable buildings, too. That really exemplifies our motto: Reduce what you can; offset what you can’t.”
Lord, Aeck & Sargent collaborated with Carbonfund.org to estimate the firm’s current annual carbon footprint of approximately 744 metric tons of CO2. To offset these CO2 emissions, Lord, Aeck & Sargent then funded carbon offsets through two carbon-reducing strategies: renewable energy (i.e., wind, solar, geothermal and biomass) and reforestation. “We chose to acquire renewable energy credits in order to directly offset the energy use by our firm’s three offices,” said Jim Nicolow, AIA, LEED AP, a senior associate who leads Lord, Aeck & Sargent’s Sustainability Initiative. “And in order to sequester the CO2 emissions associated with our air and car travel, we’re supporting global reforestation projects.” Nicolow noted that in addition to renewable energy and reforestation, the third commonly accepted means of reducing global warming is through energy efficiency. “We contribute directly to energy efficiency in our practice through the design of high-performance, energyefficient buildings.”
Nicolow said that Lord, Aeck & Sargent’s partnership with Carbonfund.org follows the firm’s early 2007 adoption of The 2030 Challenge, an initiative that calls on the global building sector to adhere to a series of fossil fuel reduction standards for new buildings, with the ultimate goal being the design of carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030.
Firm’s Sustainability Initiative acts on how employees practice and live
Members of Lord, Aeck & Sargent’s Sustainability Initiative are tasked with evaluating the firm’s environmental impacts and identifying strategic opportunities, goals and performance benchmarks. The Sustainability Initiative comprises two task forces: the “How We Practice” task force, which focuses on how the firm designs buildings, seeking opportunities and strategies to further the routine integration of eco-effective design in all of the firm’s projects; and the “How We Live” task force, which seeks opportunities and strategies for improving the environmental performance of the firm’s operations and three workplaces.
The recommendation for Lord, Aeck & Sargent to become a carbon-neutral organization came from the “How We Live” task force, which focuses on areas such as the office environment, employee benefits, staff training and day-to-day operations. Since the task force’s inception, the firm has been “greening” its supplies and equipment, committing to purchase only “green” office supplies and Energy Star office equipment, for example. In addition, to reduce travel, the firm has increased its use of videoconferencing to offset physical meetings, and has committed to greening its workplaces as it continues to grow and renovate. Other efforts include an expanded recycling program, a switch to compact fluorescent task lighting and participation in the Earth Share payroll contribution program.
“Now that we’ve established a baseline carbon footprint for the firm, our next goal is to identify strategies to successfully reduce the amount we need to offset each year,” Nicolow said.
About Lord, Aeck & Sargent
Lord, Aeck & Sargent is an award-winning architectural firm serving clients in scientific, academic, historic preservation, arts, cultural and multi-family housing and mixed-use markets. The firm’s core values are responsive design, technological expertise and exceptional service. In 2003, The Construction Specifications Institute awarded Lord, Aeck & Sargent its Environmental Sensitivity Award for showing exceptional devotion to the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials, and for striving to create functional, sensitive and healthy buildings for clients. In 2007, Lord, Aeck & Sargent was one of the first architecture firms to adopt The 2030 Challenge, an initiative whose ultimate goal is the design of carbon-neutral buildings, or buildings that use no fossil-fuel greenhouse gas-emitting energy to operate, by the year 2030. Lord, Aeck & Sargent has offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta; and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more information, visit the firm at www.lordaecksargent.com.
About the Carbonfund.org Foundation
Carbonfund.org is North America’s leading carbon reduction and offset organization with offices in the Washington, DC area and San Francisco. Carbonfund.org educates the public about the dangers of climate change and makes it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce their climate impact. Carbonfund.org is reducing the threat of climate change by promoting cost-effective carbon reductions and supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects globally that reduce and offset carbon dioxide emissions. Carbonfund.org works with over 150 corporate and non-profit partners including Dell, Orbitz, Lancôme, Yakima, National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense and Working Assets. Learn more at: www.Carbonfund.org.
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