Our Inaugural Sustainability Impact Report

April 2024 / By Mark Taylor

MG2 is proud to share our inaugural Sustainability Impact Report for 2023. This annual report will measure our progress year-over-year towards meeting the AIA 2030 Commitment to reach towards carbon neutrality by 2030. Taking this step helps us reach our goal of transparency and accountability to our clients, our industry, and the communities where we live and work. This report demonstrates our progress in design and project work and also calculates our corporate carbon emissions.  

While sustainability has long been part of the MG2 ethos, we formalized our position in 2020 by joining the AIA 2030 Commitment and publishing our first Sustainability Action Plan. With this 2023 Sustainability Impact Report, we’ve taken the opportunity to refine our plan and take advantage of new tools and processes. As part of that plan, we have established four goals as a firm:

Goal 1:

Operating Energy

With a focus on building performance, we aim to reduce the amount of energy needed to operate buildings. In new construction, this involves building heating and cooling, lighting, plug loads, etc. For retail tenant improvements (TI), we primarily focus on the lighting power density which calculates the light output per square foot. 

Goal 2:

Embodied Carbon

This goal represents all the building materials required for new construction or retail TI. Each material has an associated Global Warming Potential (GWP) number which considers the material’s extraction from the earth, manufacturing process, transportation to the building site, and building construction, called “cradle to gate.” We calculate the material quantities in the building (typically from a Revit model) and apply a GWP number to those quantities to determine the metric tons of CO2 a building uses. Reducing this number requires higher efficiencies in our designs and our materials.

Goal 3:

Material Sourcing

Many material manufacturers provide Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for their products. This goal emphasizes the importance of collecting EPDs when we procure or specify materials. In addition to the AIA 2030 Commitment, we are proud signatories of the AIA Materials Pledge. Our job as designers is to bring a deeper awareness of the material makeup and offer our clients “good, better, and best” choices when selecting materials.

Goal 4:

Water Conservation

Water is one of our most precious resources. We calculate and track water usage for irrigation as well as indoor water use. No matter where you live, water is becoming a scarce resource, and as designers we are responsible for implementing innovative solutions. 

You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and as a firm we always challenge ourselves to do better. We are constantly tracking data for the above goals during each design phase of a project, from Concept Development through Construction Documentation. Each design team is responsible for collecting and evaluating data during the design process and looking for ways to improve efficiencies.

MG2 invites you to check out our 2023 Sustainability Impact Report and check back each year to see our progress. Enter your name and contact information below to gain access, then click on the report to read full-screen.

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