The Key to Ambitious Sustainability Goals: HOK and Its Progress Going Carbon-Neutral

Global firm HOK has long been a leader in advocating sustainable practices from its 23 offices spanning three continents. Not only was it one of the first of 400+ firms to date to sign on to the AIA 2030 Commitment — calling for new projects to be carbon neutral by 2030 — HOK is on track to meet 2030 targets ahead of the deadline. It’s a huge step for sustainable efforts coming from such an influential firm, but one that also represents a major challenge to an organization with 1,700 employees and hundreds of open projects. Spearheading that challenge is Director of Sustainable Design, Anica Landreneau, who walked us through her efforts to meet the firm’s ambitious goals, while keeping clients happy and increasing efficiency at HOK.

Maintaining a Culture of Sustainability

In her 10 years working on sustainable design for HOK, Landreneau has already made major advancements toward the firm meeting the 2030 Commitment early. In 2016, HOK managed an impressive firm-wide average of 55% fossil fuel reductions compared to the 42% average from all reporting 2030 signatories. Those reductions span nearly 90 million square feet across the globe and include all project types. “We don’t leave anything out because it’s difficult or inconvenient,” says Landreneau, but HOK’s large portfolio has certainly offered plenty of difficult and inconvenient challenges, including a-typical buildings, differing practices between countries, and getting disciplined data reporting across the firm.

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