In 2019 we became a carbon neutral company. As we look ahead to a new decade, it is more important than ever to set the precedents, and act now as a collective, for the future of our planet.
We have always had an awareness and passion at Lighting Design Studio for environmental issues, and we have looked for ways to give back. We were heartened to see the ‘Architects Declare’ movement, founded by 17 RIBA Stirling prize winning architectural practises. Among others, Foster and Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects made a stand in 2019, declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency. To date 832 architectural practices have signed up. Structural, civil, and building services engineering firms followed suit with their own declarations. They pledged to work with a more positive impact on the world around us.
Astoundingly, buildings and construction account for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, with the lighting industry responsible for around 6%. Despite great advances in the lighting industry with efficient LEDs and smart control systems, a change in standards and behaviour urgently needs to be implemented in order to protect our planet and its biodiversity.
We work with a great company called C-Level, who, in the year 2000 originated the terms ‘Carbon Footprint’ and ‘Carbon Balanced”. We work with them to calculate and offset our carbon footprint, by contributing to carefully chosen holistic carbon offsetting projects. These projects are enormously beneficial to ecosystems and communities, and are verified under the global Plan Vivo Standard.
You can find out more about one of their many amazing projects from this short film from C-Level. Hadza in the Yaeda Valley, is a highly innovative project, and has won the Equator Award this year run by the UN. It works with Hunter Gatherers in Tanzania and focuses on indigenous forest conservation.
We believe that we have a collective responsibility within the industry to do more to protect our planet. As a company, we know that we can do more. We are looking to ensure that all of our lighting schemes are carbon neutral and balanced for a minimum of 10 years. We will continue to strive to improve our practices with this at the forefront going into 2020.