Stephen George & Partners was founded in 1970 and is one of the UK’s leading architectural practices with offices in London, Leicester, Leeds, Birmingham and Solihull. In 2009 Stephen George International was formed and they currently have offices in Bulgaria and Oman. Stephen George are placed in the ‘Top 100’ practices by the Architects’ Journal and have been listed as one of the ‘Best Small Companies to work for’ by The Sunday Times.
This is Stephen George & Partners’ first year of business carbon footprint reporting and certification to The Planet Mark. It first calculated the carbon footprint of its Leicester Office for the reporting year ending 31 May 2019 and set a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually. This year’s footprint includes emissions from purchased electricity, fuel used by the fleet, waste, business travel and printing paper for its Leicester head office.
Nick Austin, Practice Director at SGP, explains: “Through our work with The Heaven Company, we utilised the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for our work in education, and realised how they could become a framework for our corporate social responsibility ambitions going forward. We’ve been working through ISO 14001 to improve our carbon reduction infrastructure and reporting, but we wanted something that would have a wider approach, looking at both sustainability and social value and how our actions impact on communities locally and worldwide.”
The Planet Mark takes a more holistic view of sustainability, focusing on education and providing materials, speakers and working groups to connect and enthuse people, encouraging individual actions and responsibility and the creation of a people-driven sustainability programme.
Nick concludes: “I attended the Built Environment Networking’s Framework Conference in October and was excited at how high sustainability and social values were on the agenda, and how The Planet Mark would be recognised as a credible programme to deliver these. Social responsibility is an important part of SGP as a business and we see The Planet Mark as a dynamic support in encouraging staff, clients and others to actively think about how they minimise any negative impacts of their actions and positively put back into the community.”
Commenting on their achievement Steve Malkin CEO & Founder of The Planet Mark said; “We are thrilled that Stephen George + Partners has achieved its first year’s certification to The Planet Mark and in doing so, committed to operating in such a way to reduce their carbon emissions. Architects are in a unique position in that as they embed a culture of sustainable consciousness, they add meaning to owners, end users of a building and the built environment in general. The earth’s resources are experiencing an insatiable demand for building materials and sustainable design is one way we can severely reduce our environmental impact, while at the same time creating enough housing for a growing population. The company’s commitment to reducing its carbon emissions in its operations and minimising its environmental impacts is to be commended. We are delighted to award them The Planet Mark for the first time.”