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Environmental Policy

We contribute to industry-wide efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in building design in areas where we have expertise, and by working with trusted partners who share our values.

Our Environmental Statement

We make lasting contributions to our environment and our communities by:

  • Promoting and applying creative means to reduce carbon in our projects
  • Committing to achieve carbon-neutral business operations
  • Influencing policies and practices for sustainability and resilience in our industry and communities


Our Environmental Policy

Thornton Tomasetti aspires to be one of the most sustainable firms in the global AEC industry in the way that we design our projects and operate our business. We were the first primarily structural engineering firm to join the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Commitment and are an early adopter of the Architecture 2030 Challenge, which envisions all new buildings and renovations as carbon-neutral by 2030. We are a long-time sponsor of the Carbon Leadership Forum and a recognized advocate for embodied carbon reduction.

We contribute to industry-wide efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in building design in areas where we have expertise, such as sustainability consulting and structural engineering, and – as members of diverse design teams – by working with trusted partners who share our values. Our senior leaders have been recognized for their commitment to sustainability and have received Corporate Social Responsibility awards from New York’s City & State Reports. Thornton Tomasetti is consistently ranked among the top 20 of the “Top Green Building Design Firms” annually recognized by Engineering News Record.

As a firm that “practices what we preach”, we strive to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of our operations. Toward our goal of achieving carbon-neutral business operations by 2030, we set short-and medium-term targets for reducing carbon emissions from office operations with the assistance of our local green champions and Corporate Responsibility Department.

Our Practices and Projects

We provide sustainability consulting services, including building analytics and green project certification, to assist our clients in implementing building designs that reduce environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of the building. In addition, our net zero and net positive practice goal inspires our sustainability consultants to align early with building owners and design teams to establish the path forward for projects targeting net-zero energy and net-zero water.

In line with the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) 2019 commitment to an ambitious climate agenda, in five years, we have set a target for the number of Sustainability Practice projects seeking carbon neutrality to increase by 50%. Following the Countdown on Carbon mandate from the AIA Large Firms Roundtable on how firms can take an active role in climate action, our approach includes:

  1. We signed onto the AIA 2030 Commitment in 2011, and we are a reporting member. We co-initiated the Structural Engineers (SE) 2050 Challenge and are an inaugural signatory of the SE 2050 Commitment.
  2. Our strategic plan for corporate responsibility across the firm includes several climate action goals, including demonstrating positive environmental and social impact across all practices and leading the industry in the reduction of embodied carbon in structures.
  3. Our sustainability practice works with other Thornton Tomasetti experts in facades, building renewal, and other areas to advocate and design for building reuse.
  4. We conduct life cycle assessment to include embodied carbon as a key factor for materials selection and include embodied carbon performance based targets in our specifications for structural materials.
  5. We support carbon education within our firm and networks, such as through our embodied carbon community of practice.

Corporate Responsibility – Our Sustainable Operations

Thornton Tomasetti’s strategic investment in corporate responsibility is unique among engineering firms. Since 2012, we have maintained a Corporate Responsibility department staffed by a corporate responsibility officer and team, who work to achieve the enduring organization vision of the firm’s core ideology by working to achieve the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

We have a policy to “practice what we preach.” Our Sustainability Practice consults with clients on LEED and other green building certifications, and, internally, all Thornton Tomasetti new office fit-outs or major office renovations must endeavor to meet our sustainability best practices policy for our offices. We have achieved LEED Gold or Platinum certification for eleven of our office projects, and half of our employees are working in these offices.

Our goal is to achieve climate neutral business operations by the year 2030, through energy use reductions first and carbon offsets only in those areas where reductions are not possible. Thornton Tomasetti measures each office location’s electricity consumption and heating fuel use, waste emissions, and travel emissions from commuting and business travel. Every two years, the firm conducts an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and compare the most recent carbon footprint data to the baseline to assess progress toward our climate neutrality goal.

Employee volunteers across the world – in all but our smallest offices – serve as local corporate responsibility advocates called “Green Champions.” Green Champions help us meet local energy-conservation and efficiency goals, reduce our waste footprint and achieve other environmental objectives. Our policy is to support this labor through the local office budgets and to assist green champions with a program manager and corporate grants.

Offices are instructed to meet the firm’s environmental standards through a best practices tool. This tool, “TTTRAX,” tracks and measures each office’s progress towards sustainable business operations and environmental management targets. All of our offices must meet the requirements, when possible within cultural and budgetary constraints, in different environmental categories listed in TTTRAX, which include Energy, Waste, Water and Purchasing. The standards within these categories include such items as replace all incandescent lighting with the most efficient lighting; eliminate bottled water; purchase only 100% post-consumer recycled paper; and engage in a local composting program.

Peter DiMaggio, Joint Chief Executive Officer, Thornton Tomasetti Inc. May 26, 2021.