Practical Strategies for Reducing the Climate Impacts of Landscape Architecture Offices

ASLA releases comprehensive, freely-available guide to decarbonizing business operations

ExpoIrvine Nature Center Stream & Wetland Restoration / © William Wilhelm Photography LLC, courtesy of Biohabitats, Inc.

ASLA and the ASLA Fund have released a comprehensive, freely-available guide: Towards Zero Emission Business Operations: A Landscape Architect’s Guide to Reducing the Climate Impacts of Offices.
The guide is designed to help landscape architecture firms of all sizes navigate the transition to zero emission offices more easily.

It outlines more than 110 strategies landscape architecture firms can implement to reduce their business and project greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50-65% by 2030 and achieve zero emissions by 2040.

The guide provides best practice strategies relevant for firms that rent or own their offices. It offers firms ways to:

  • Measure their carbon footprint
  • Develop a climate action plan to reduce emissions
  • Take actions to reduce Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions

The ASLA Climate Action Committee produced Towards Zero Emission Business Operations to support landscape architecture firms in achieving the goals of the ASLA Climate Action Plan.

The guide is authored by landscape architect Ronnie Siegel, ASLA, founder, Swire Siegel, Landscape Architects and ASLA Climate Action Committee Member, who interviewed 19 landscape architecture, architecture, and sustainability consulting companies to develop the resource.

“Towards Zero Emission Business Operations is a must-read for any landscape architecture firm serious about decarbonizing their businesses. These smart strategies can help firms not only reduce their emissions but also save money and increase the health and well-being of their employees,” said ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen.

“Decarbonization, electrification, and the transition to renewable energy create new opportunities for landscape architecture firms. By measuring emissions, making a plan, and taking action, any firm can get on a path to zero emissions,” said Ronnie Siegel, ASLA.

The guide builds on the ASLA Climate Action Plan and the Climate Action Field Guide for ASLA Members, which chart a pathway for landscape architects to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions in their projects and operations and increase carbon sequestration by 2040.

In 2022, the Climate Action Plan was developed by a high-profile Task Force of five landscape architects chaired by Pamela Conrad, ASLA, founder of Climate Positive Design, and a 17-member Advisory Group. It outlines a bold vision for 2040 and 71 actions to be taken by 2025.

Our Vision for 2040:

All landscape architecture projects will simultaneously:

  • Achieve zero embodied and operational emissions and increase carbon sequestration
  • Provide significant economic benefits in the form of measurable ecosystem services, health co-benefits, sequestration, and green jobs
  • Address climate injustices, empower communities, and increase equitable distribution of climate investments
  • Restore ecosystems and increase and protect biodiversity

To make progress on the Climate Action Plan, ASLA and the ASLA Fund also recently released Collaborating with Industry Partners on Climate Action and Biodiversity: A Guide to Conversations Among Landscape Architects, Vendors, and Product Manufacturers.
The ASLA Climate Action Committee and Corporate Member Committee curated more than 70 questions landscape architects can ask vendors and product manufacturers to advance climate and biodiversity goals. 


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