Sustainable Design Firm Launches Initiative to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2030

Nov. 20, 2007

Chicago - Perkins+Will, a global leader in sustainable architecture and design, recently announced its support of the 2030 Challenge-a call to immediately move toward designing buildings that have reduced emissions profiles by 50 percent and to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2030. In support of that commitment, the firm launched its Sustainable Design Initiative's (SDI) strategic plan, a practical roadmap to guide the firm in meeting the goals of the 2030 Challenge. 

"We are at a point today where the environment and climate issues have become an immediate priority for all societies," explains Phil Harrison, Perkins+Will CEO. "Progressive corporations and businesses, all levels of government, academic and healthcare institutions are focused on these concerns and on what actions can be taken to reduce their negative impact on our environment. Within this context, it is imperative that we, as a firm, address these same issues."

"We are challenging ourselves to go beyond the LEED® Green Building Rating System. This plan illustrates how to successfully participate in business on a global scale while being environmentally restorative at the same time," says Peter Busby, managing director of Perkins+Will and strategic advisor of the Sustainable Design Initiative. "The results we will garner over the next three years will have a dramatic impact on our businesses, communities, climate and ecosystem." 

The strategies established in the SDI plan will enable Perkins+Will to meet its goal, announced internally earlier this year, of reaching carbon neutrality by 2030 (part of the 2030 Challenge), using more renewable energy, further reducing green house gas emissions, recovering more water and utilizing additional non-toxic building materials. (For more information on the 2030 Challenge visit

"Perkins+Will has a 70-year history of progressive action in regards to sustainability," adds Busby. "While adopting the 2030 Challenge is a bold step, it will accomplish only a portion of the necessary transformation. The Strategic Design Initiative will help our firm continue to design projects that conserve and protect our natural resources while gaining valuable insight on how the people who live, work, learn and play in our buildings are affected by sustainable design and operations. Along the way, we will share this transformation and information with our industry, clients and policy makers."

The newly released plan sets standards that are unmatched by any other design firm. Strategies include:

  • Adopting the 2030 Challenge, which will immediately reduce CO2 emissions of the firm's projects by 50 percent and be carbon neutral by 2030 
  • Reducing the use of potable water in projects
  • Eliminating hazardous materials by committing to using healthy, non-toxic, environmentally-preferable materials
  • Supporting social responsibility by pledging one percent of the firm's time toward pro bono efforts towards green design projects (more than 20,000 hours per year of effort)
  • Requiring all new firm offices to be built to LEED Gold standards, and existing offices to incorporate sustainable strategies to lessen the depletive effect on the environment
  • Purposefully aligning itself with partners and vendors that share the firms sustainable goals 

The plan is the second strategic initiative focusing on sustainable practices for Perkins+Will. The first SDI directive, adopted in 2004, established the firm's Green Team, a group of 35 design professionals and researchers led by Busby. The green team was charged with advancing sustainable practices and operational initiatives throughout the firm.

The new plan builds upon the success of the first three years, setting forth a more aggressive design and operating paradigm for 2007-2010.

For a complete copy of the Perkins+Will Broader Goals: Sustainable Design Initiative 2007-2010, visit 

About Perkins+Will
Established in 1935, Perkins+Will ( is an integrated design firm serving clients from offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Hartford, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Research Triangle Park, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C.  With the highest number of LEED Accredited Professionals of any design firm in the world, Perkins+Will is recognized as the preeminent sustainable design firm in the country. The firm practices architecture, interior design, branded environments and planning + strategies with clients in corporate + commercial + civic, healthcare, higher education, K-12 education, and science + technology markets. Perkins+Will routinely ranks among the world's top design firms and has received hundreds of awards, including the prestigious "Firm of the Year Award" from both the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the American Institute of Architects.

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