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KPF Commits to Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half by 2030 with the Goal of Achieving Net-Zero Operations

KPF has recently joined the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), committing to companywide emissions reduction targets that are aligned with the United Nations’ climate goals as established by the Paris Agreement.

KPF has committed to pursuing science-based greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets across all its offices and operations worldwide. The firm will reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions, those produced directly and derived from the energy the firm uses, by over 50% by 2030 compared to a baseline year of 2019. By the same year, the firm is committed to slashing emissions from all business travel by over 27%. Additionally, to leverage its leadership in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries and catalyze faster climate action, the firm is committing to work with suppliers and partners that have also committed to science-based reduction targets. By 2028, at least 60% of KPF’s scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions from goods and services) will come from firms and suppliers with similar climate commitments, enabling better alignment on climate action and more accurate data collection.

KPF has registered these commitments with the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a partnership between CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) that drives ambitious climate action among companies and institutions globally. The gold standard for measuring greenhouse gas emissions in the private sector, science-based targets offer a clearly defined and evidence-based pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with what climate scientists say is necessary to meet the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement and forestall the worst impacts of global warming.

Since 2019, KPF has been engaged in a process of quantifying and assessing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2023, this process culminated in a comprehensive inventory of the firm’s emissions, including those created directly (scope 1), those that derive from consumed energy (scope 2), as well as indirect emissions from purchased goods and services, travel, and waste (scope 3). Working with SBTi, KPF will validate its commitment targets, report firm-wide emissions annually, and track progress toward both near-term targets and the firm’s larger goal of achieving net-zero operations.

“As a global firm of architects and designers working on projects of a significant scale in cities around the world, KPF has a unique opportunity to be a leader in sustainability,” said James von Klemperer, KPF President and Design Principal. “Setting our greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets through the Science Based Targets initiative demonstrates how seriously we take the climate crisis. This is an exciting milestone for the firm as we continue to do all we can to reduce our impact, both in the buildings we design and in our operations as a firm.”

“KPF works tirelessly to improve the world through our projects, which, given their large scale, have a long-term impact in tons of carbon reduced that well exceeds that of our operations as a design firm,” said Carlos Cerezo Davila, KPF Sustainable Design Director. “That said, we firmly believe that it is our responsibility as a world-class architecture firm to lead by example in our operations as well. By setting our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative, we are taking an exciting step that comes as the result of many years of internal work to quantify our greenhouse gas emissions and put a policy plan in place for reducing them with the eventual goal of becoming a net-zero carbon company that designs net-zero carbon buildings.”

KPF has put its commitment to sustainable design into practice in projects that span typology, geography, climate, and scale. The firm’s new Guangzhou, China, campus for the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is a 50-building, all-electric living laboratory that features extensive water conservation and resilience measures and will help the university achieve net-zero by 2060. North Bund (Lot 91), in Shanghai, China, will be the world’s tallest all-electric skyscraper, pointing the way to more sustainable tall buildings. The Channelside development, in Boston, combines residences, workplaces, and state-of-the-art research buildings in a sustainable and resilient development along Boston Harbor. On a different scale, new residence halls for Bard College comprise the firm’s first project to target passive house certification. The firm’s extensive adaptive reuse portfolio, meanwhile, demonstrates a commitment to a strategic approach to materiality that limits embodied carbon emissions while improving building performance.

Read the full press release here.