Reducing emissions through innovative design: Diane Hoskins, Co-CEO, Gensler

Author:
Ilario D'Amato
11 October 2017

Diane Hoskins, Co-CEO, Gensler

NEW YORK: Tackling climate change while improving the built environment is “an amazing opportunity from a business standpoint,” says Diane Hoskins, Co-CEO, Gensler, in a Climate TV interview filmed at Climate Week NYC in September.

Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm, focuses on green design and construction, and has topped the leader-board of the top 100 green building design firms for the last two years. The firm has also committed to the “2030 challenge” – the American Institute of Architecture’s goal that every project is designed to reach net-zero for energy and water consumption by 2030.

“At Gensler, we’ve really committed to counting and measuring our CO2 impact every year,” says Diane Hoskins, “and we’re launching our ‘Impact by Design’ report in conjunction with Climate Week NYC.

“We’re thrilled that our design work has saved 11 million megatons of CO2 from the environment, and we are looking forward to increasing that impact year over year to reach the 2030 goals.”

The report underlines how the building sector is the largest energy consumption sector in the world, accounting for 35% of the global consumption – and nearly 48% in the US – followed by industry at 31% and 30% for transportation.

Gensler’s work on designing more energy efficient buildings saves the equivalent of 3.2 years’ worth of carbon emissions from an average coal power plant – the same as taking 2.34 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year. That’s also enough power to provide 1.6 million homes with electricity for one year or the equivalent carbon sequestration from 10 million acres of US forest.

“We can do this, we can make an impact on this challenge of CO2,” says Diane Hoskins in the Climate TV interview. “Just like we saw in the 1930s with the Dust Bowl, we were able to find new ways of farming – and now the US is the largest producer of food in the world.”

The firm works with communities to improve well-being and protect the environment through its selection of materials, enhancing water supply and reducing energy demand. “As we see in our markets, when we all get on board there’s enormous potential for business,” says Diane Hoskins.

At Climate Week NYC, Gensler’s Co-CEO also spoke on the “Building sector as a driver of innovation, jobs and prosperity” panel at the ‘Building Ambition to 2050’ event, underlining the incredible responsibility and opportunity of the building industry in reducing emissions.

“Climate Week NYC is so important this year because it’s really starting to address some of the key building blocks of how we begin to attack the issue of CO2,” she concluded. “And I’m really excited for our firm to be part of this conversation: as building industry, we’re an important part of that strategy.”

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