Andrew Whalley, Grimshaw Chairman, laid out an ambitious approach to the firm’s environmental strategy in his opening keynote at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam this week. His lecture, titled ‘Zero,’ outlined Grimshaw’s commitment to an ambitious start of the new decade in which all of Grimshaw’s international operations and studios will operate on a net zero carbon basis, and all of its design work will be net zero carbon ready within the decade. In order to accomplish these far-reaching goals, Grimshaw has appointed a Global Practice Leader of Sustainability, Dr. Paul Toyne.
The appointment of Dr. Toyne represents Grimshaw’s desire to be a leader among leaders, working together to achieve ambitious goals and drive positive change. Collaborating across sectors including science, technology, policy and innovation ensures Grimshaw will build the capacity and skills needed to fully understand the challenges humanity faces in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Dr. Toyne will oversee Grimshaw’s transition to operational carbon neutrality as well as advise and lead on best practices for each studio. Examples of operational objectives include offsetting business travel and energy use associated with each studio, as well as setting reduction targets for the future.
“We recognise the issues of climate change are too large, too significant and too urgent and require immediate, dedicated leadership. Paul’s appointment is a decisive step to address the challenge at every level and every location of our practice across the globe, ” said Andrew Whalley, Chairman at Grimshaw.
Along with these objectives Grimshaw has signed up to the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment challenging businesses, organisations, cities, states and regions to reach net zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2050. Grimshaw recognises that there are several existing commitments to which organisations can sign-up to demonstrate action, however this commitment provides a market accepted means for assuring this is achieved. Because of Grimshaw’s accelerated actions, the practice will meet the target for carbon neutral operations by the end of 2020, ten years ahead of schedule. Based on recent calculations, the practice anticipates offsetting approximately 3000 tonnes of carbon for the fiscal year 2020.
“By setting these ambitious targets we are making a statement of how important the issue of the climate emergency really is, and our commitment to collaborate with others to urgently improve the situation.”
Dr. Paul Toyne, Practice Leader of Sustainability
Grimshaw’s mission has always been to deliver lasting, meaningful design that brings value and joy to clients and users. With each project Grimshaw delivers there is an innate respect of the fragility of the planet and its depleting resources. Building on this history, the practice’s future global aspiration is to design net zero carbon ready buildings and infrastructure by 2025 and to deliver socially and environmentally regenerative buildings by 2030. Dr. Toyne’s oversight, rigor and expertise ensures that Grimshaw meets this goal.