The State of our Sustainability

This inaugural report presents our progress to date and maps our plans for improvement, both within the firm and throughout our global projects.

World climate experts and leaders in business, government, and the climate community are converging in New York City this week for the 14th annual Climate Week. Its mission resonates deeply with us at Perkins Eastman: “To drive climate action. Fast.” As a fitting nod to to this international event and the attention it brings to this urgent issue, Perkins Eastman is releasing its inaugural State of Sustainability report, which presents our progress to date, establishes ambitious goals to go further, and provides a road map for delivering transformative sustainable design across our firm.

A snapshot of our findings and pledges are highlighted below.

End Greenwashing

We’re making commitments to our clients, collaborators, colleagues, and communities: “We can no longer tolerate ‘greenwashing’—the practice of providing misinformation around environmental value—in any form, neither in our industry nor in the product and manufacturing industry, whether it’s intentional or not. Moving forward, we commit to putting an end to this behavior. We don’t greenwash. PERIOD.

Reduce Annual Predicted Energy Use Intensity

As signatories of the AIA 2030 Commitment, in which we’ve pledged to design toward carbon neutral by the year 2030, we are currently reaching a 48% average predicted energy use intensity (pEUI) reduction across the firm. That’s not good enough, neither as an industry, nor as an organization striving to be a leader in sustainable design. This report outlines our plans toward improvement, with annual updates to report transparently on our progress.

Reach for High-Performance Design

Many of our projects completed in the past year have reached ambitious sustainability goals, including two public schools in Washington, DC, that are pursuing Net Zero Energy. We also have a growing portfolio of projects pursuing recognition for LEED Platinum, WELL, and Fitwel certifications, and Passive House designations.

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John Lewis Elementary School in Washington, DC, is the first public school in the world targeted to be Net Zero Energy, LEED, and WELL-certified. Copyright Joseph Romeo/Courtesy Perkins Eastman

Reward Excellence

We have instituted an internal awards program that recognizes performance and sustainability within all of our work.

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The Net Zero Energy Tutt Library renovation and expansion by Pfeiffer—A Perkins Eastman Studio reduced the campus’ annual energy costs by nearly $83,000, which reinforces the point that when carefully and thoughtfully designed, Net Zero Energy in renovation projects is attainable.
Copyright Steve Lerum/Courtesy Pfeiffer—A Perkins Eastman Studio

Prioritize Healthy Materials

We established a Materials Action Plan in 2021 to set goals for sustainability in materials education and selection, aligning with the AIA Architecture & Design Materials Pledge.

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The materials used for the LEED Gold v4-certified James M. McKelvey, Sr. Hall at Washington University in St. Louis were screened against multiple variables, including LEED v4 requirements, Red List chemicals, healthcare-level standards outlined in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, and the WELL Building Standard. Copyright Joseph Romeo/
Courtesy Perkins Eastman

Perkins Eastman Report Card

We’re publishing information about our own operations’ footprint, tracking information around our energy consumption, waste, traveling and commuting, and purchasing and supply habits.

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Our Chicago studio, located in the historic Rookery Building, is the first project in the State of Illinois, and the fourth in the country to receive WELL v2 Pilot Platinum certification.
Photography Andrew Rugge/Copyright Perkins Eastman

Promote Education

Meeting our lofty goals requires that we stay educated about ever-evolving research and recommendations.

JUST Recognition

We’re sharing how our pursuit of the JUST label—a nutrition label for socially just and equitable organizations—is shaping the firm’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We are inspired by Climate Week NYC’s ambition to push fast action at all levels to address climate change. As the world’s attention increasingly focuses on this critical issue, we’re proud to share our own State of Sustainability to demonstrate our pledge to work as quickly as we can within the building industry.

To read our State of Sustainability report, click here.