Zero Emissions by 2040

To accomplish the ASLA Climate Action Plan, ASLA National has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2024 and achieving zero emissions by 2040. Here are some ways we practice what we preach:

Business Operations | ASLA Headquarters Operations | Promoting Sustainable Design, Construction, and Operations

Business operations

Conference on Landscape Architecture

ASLA has commissioned Honeycomb Strategies to conduct a baseline audit of greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and waste generated at the ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Francisco, California. Audit results will be released in first quarter 2023.

To date, ASLA has selected convention centers, hotels, and event venues in Conference host cities and supplier partners that demonstrate progress toward improving energy, water, and waste efficiency and reducing environmental impacts.

A few examples of how ASLA and our conference and supplier partners are making a difference:

  • During registration, attendees and exhibitors have the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets for their travel.
  • ASLA provides a mobile conference app, which enables a reduction in print materials.
  • Items are printed on 100 percent recycled paper and use agri-based inks made from non-toxic soy and vegetable oils.
  • Session handouts are electronically distributed.
  • ASLA's general contractor is a Platinum partner of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC).
  • EXPO materials are donated to Habitat to Humanity, instead of shipped back, avoiding significant freight emissions.


Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM) meets magazine industry standards for low-carbon-emission publishing and is printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper.

In 2008, LAM began co-mailing with other publications to reduce shipping-related greenhouse gas emissions. And since 2009, LAM has been offered digitally through Zinio. ASLA encourages its members to migrate from print to digital versions to cut down shipping-related emissions.

ASLA Headquarters Operations

The ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture, the headquarters of the American Society of Landscape Architects in Washington, D.C, is a showcase for how to apply the highest standards of sustainable architectural and landscape design to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions while improving occupant health and well-being.
In 2023, ASLA commissioned Honeycomb Strategies to conduct a baseline audit of headquarters-related greenhouse emissions, water use, and waste generated.

100% Renewable Energy

The Center is entirely powered by locally-sourced wind power.  
LEED Platinum Certification

The 12,600-square-foot headquarters was built in 1995 and completely renovated in 2016 to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The renovation focused on maximizing energy efficiency, storing carbon in sustainable wood materials and native trees and plants, and improving human health and well-being. ASLA is also striving to achieve WELL Silver certification by improving indoor air quality, lighting, nourishment, and promoting active lifestyles.

ASLA Green Roof

The Center's green roof, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, includes a unique sedum floor covered with a mesh grate that enables visitors to walk over much of the green roof surface. Some key benefits of the roof:

  • Captures all stormwater: Any roof run-off is channeled to a 700-gallon cistern and used to irrigate the ground-level outdoor patio space, which is filled with native plants and features a green wall.
  • Reduces the local urban heat island effect: the roof is as much as 59 F cooler than the conventional black roofs on neighboring buildings.
  • Reduces building energy use: The roof's trees, plants, and engineered soils cool the center during the summer and providing insulation in the winter.
  • Sequestering carbon: The roof captures and stores carbon in its trees, plants, and soils.

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Incentives for Low-Emission Commutes

Since 2005, ASLA has been named a Best Workplace for Commuters. ASLA provides financial incentivizes to employees to walk, bike, or ride Metro to work, which reduces transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. ASLA also removed one of its parking spaces in order to make way for multiple bicycle parking spaces.  

Promoting Sustainable Design, Construction, and Operations

SITES Rating System 

ASLA co-founded and co-developed* the Sustainable Sites Initiative® (SITES®), the nation’s first voluntary rating system for sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings. Now owned and administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), SITES is propelling more sustainable planning and resilient design, construction, and maintenance of landscapes. SITES has been adopted by the U.S. General Services Administration and the state of Rhode Island for all capital projects.

*ASLA, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the U.S. Botanic Garden 

Climate Advocacy

In 2021, ASLA joined with Architecture 2030 to call for the landscape architecture, planning, architecture, development, and construction professions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their projects and operations by 50-65 percent by 2030 and achieve zero emissions by 2040.

ASLA also ratified the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ Climate Action Commitment, which calls for limiting planetary warming to 1.5°C (2.7 °F). The commitment is supported by 70,000 landscape architects in 77 countries, the largest coalition of landscape architecture professionals ever assembled to advance climate action.

In 2020, ASLA and its members formed a Climate Action Committee, which has guided climate action priorities and laid the groundwork for the Climate Action Plan.

In 2018, ASLA and its 15,000 members became one of 63 cultural organizations to sign the We Are Still In Declaration, demonstrating the depth of landscape architects' commitment to climate action. Some 3,800 leaders representing 70 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and 65 percent of the population have signed the declaration, committing to the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement and America’s contribution to it.  

Working with federal and state policy makers and agencies, ASLA Government Affairs increases awareness of the profession and advocates for policies that use landscape architecture to design more sustainable communities.

Landscape architects lead the way in planning and designing low-carbon multi-modal transportation corridors, which include bike lanes and paths, sidewalks, and access to public transportation. As a Steering Committee member of the National Complete Streets Coalition, ASLA advocates for a federal Complete Streets policy.

As a member of the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition, ASLA highlights how the building industry is working with federal agencies to use landscape to increase building energy efficiency.

Best Practices 

ASLA has commissioned 70 case studies on climate-smart and sustainable design:

Designing Our Future: Sustainable Landscapes offers 40 case studies that demonstrate how landscape architects are leaders in sustainable landscape design. Sustainable planning and design, which preserves, develops, and enhances natural resource for future generations, is the basis of any climate solution.

ASLA Climate Action Plan: Case Studies
offers 30 case studies that demonstrate how landscape architects help communities become more resilient to sea level rise, flooding, extreme heat, and wildfires.


At the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, attendees learn about cutting-edge sustainable landscape planning and design practices and earn professional development hours (PDH), which are required to maintain licensure. More than 70 percent of courses are focused on sustainable planning, design, construction, and maintenance practices.

Through the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB), an autonomous ASLA committee, ASLA promotes climate action and sustainable planning and design as key parts of landscape architecture education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) offers a range of live and distant education courses in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. More than 40 percent of LA CES approved courses are focused on sustainable planning, design, construction, and maintenance education. 


Through ASLA's social media accounts, website, and publications, ASLA connects design professionals, academia, and policy makers to up-to-date news on climate change, sustainable landscape design, water management through green infrastructure, sustainable transportation, and sustainable urban development trends in the U.S. and worldwide.

An interview series is an ongoing dialogue on sustainable landscape design among leading and up-and-coming designers, academics, and policy makers.  
World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM) highlights the inherent environmental values in landscape architecture each April.  


ASLA General Inquiries:

ASLA Center Event
Space Inquiries: 
Kelli Bland

PR Inquiries:

Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion
Lisa Jennings
Manager, Career Discovery
and Diversity

Donations to the ASLA Fund: