News 10.02.2022

Gillespies supports the Landscape Institute's Embodied Carbon Advisory Group

Kara Heald, Principal Landscape Architect at our Leeds office, has been taking part in the Landscape Institute’s Embodied Carbon Advisory Group since 2021. The LI has gathered a group of leading landscape, industry, and sustainability professionals to support the Institute’s policy and technical teams in their work on understanding and calculating embodied carbon in Landscape Architecture projects.

The group will assist the LI in developing a new policy and resources to guide Landscape Architecture practitioners to sequester more carbon than they emit through their projects, with the aim of working towards climate-positive design.

As the effects of climate change become more widespread, improving the situation will demand a fundamental shift in how we approach our society's needs without breaching the earth's ecological boundaries. Landscapes, cities, infrastructure and buildings must be planned as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system in balance with the natural world. In essence, we must give back more than we take. With approximately 75 per cent of all emissions produced from the urban built environment, landscape architects must work with clients to radically reduce carbon emissions on their projects, considering carbon from the beginning, before the project even starts and measuring its impact throughout the life of the project.

Kara Heald commented: Following the LI’s publication of its Climate and Biodiversity Action Plan in 2020, Gillespies recognised the objective that ‘developing and/or signposting practitioners towards tools to measure the carbon impacts of different design decisions at a landscape scale’ was a highly important one. While as landscape architects Gillespies have always sought to deliver environmental benefit within our design, since 2021 we have been considering the specific measurement of carbon impacts of our work, testing the Pathfinder carbon calculation tool, and are providing a practitioner’s point of view to the Embodied Carbon Advisory Group.

You can read Kara Heald's review of the Pathfinder Carbon Calculator on pages 65 and 66 of the COP 26 special edition of the LI Journal.