About

Toward Net-Zero-Emission Operations

ASLA is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through program areas and day-to-day operations. 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 continually strives to achieve a net-zero-emission conference. The convention centers, hotels, and event venues in the cities selected and our supplier partners must demonstrate progress toward improving their operational efficiency and reducing their environmental impact.

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).

Publishing

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.

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 

Advocacy

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 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.

ASLA has signed on to the 2030 Commitment, a campaign led by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), to achieve carbon neutral buildings by 2030.

Best Practices 

The ASLA Professional and Student Awards programs highlight sustainable design and planning best practices. Judging criteria requires that jurors consider sustainability when making awards decisions.

Designing Our Future: Sustainable Landscapes is an online exhibition made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which features case studies that explain what landscape architects do and the importance of sustainable design.

Education

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. 

Communications

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.

Contact

ASLA General Inquiries:
info@asla.org  

ASLA Center Event
Space Inquiries: 
Kelli Bland
kbland@asla.org

PR Inquiries:
communications@asla.org  

Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion
Lisa Jennings
Manager, Career Discovery
and Diversity
ljennings@asla.org 

Donations to the ASLA Fund: 
DonateToday@asla.org  

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