So how are we starting to understand the carbon impact of our work at Double? The first thing we’ve had to do is measure, measure, measure! In the same way that every company measures its finances, everyone is slowly going to have to start measuring carbon in a similar way, and guess what? they’re linked. By far the easiest thing to measure in any company is travel. We travel quite a lot as a company and every time we do, it costs us money. Along with tracking this cost (that we’ve always done) we’ve set up a tool to track its carbon impact. When you submit an expense, you submit the travel type and distance and it works out the carbon alongside it. It’s taken a little practice but after a year it’s second nature and we have some measures (that word again) that we can use to set reduction targets.
But that’s the easy part. How about all those materials we’re using. This has been a different challenge, but resources like the ICE database have enabled us to measure our materials embodied carbon. Given that we already build everything we make virtually, we can take the volume of our materials and convert them into embodied carbon.
Of course this misses out a huge amount of other factors during the full lifecycle of a project, like locality of materials, recycled content, efficient use of materials, minimal processing and waste. That’s why we’ve developed key principles we stick to and are currently in the process of being able to measure and score our projects energy, water, pollution and wellbeing (more on this soon).
As we look to restarting our industry, now is the time to create built environments that are the stepping stones to a sustainable future we all need to make happen.