Breathe are carbon neutral
Breathe Architecture are certified carbon neutral
Director of Sustainability, Bonnie Herring speaks with the Australian Institute of Architects about the practical choices architects can make for a net zero carbon future.
Going carbon neutral is just so easy to implement. Sometimes with environmental urgency, people become overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. But if you run a business, this is really one of the simplest things you can do. We just want everyone to know that going carbon neutral isn’t hard and it makes a huge impact.
The goal of the Paris Agreement is to reach net zero emissions by 2050. We understand that the Australian Institute of Architects are trying to get all architects ready for net zero emission buildings by 2030 and that makes sense. There’s a long tail on buildings so between 2030 and 2050, as an industry, that gives us a chance of hitting our net zero target within the timeline. It’s empowering that we already know what needs to happen to reach that position. We will need to see all architects go carbon neutral, we will need to say no to specifying gas and we will need to rally our suppliers to be part of the solution.
If you simplify it, there are essentially two parts to a net zero building. The first and easy part is operational management. If you can make sure the building uses only electric power and convince your client to use 100% green energy then the building is net zero emissions – it’s that straightforward.
The harder part is the embodied carbon. However, if you employ the right consultant and are thoughtful about how you specify materials it can also quite easily be done. This is where our suppliers are so important – as an industry, we need to let them know that we need climate active certified materials and products. We really want to see our suppliers commit to offsetting embodied carbon so that architects can specify a carbon neutral roof, or concrete, or tapware.
We went carbon neutral to send a clear message to our clients that we’re committed and that we will do all that we can to operate sustainably. If we want them to build net zero carbon buildings then we shouldn’t have any carbon associated with our business. When we’re tackling big issues, we have to work together as an industry. If everyone makes the first step of going carbon neutral, it will have greater impact and create influence.