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2020 Progress Report: Our Good Work

May 09, 2021

Each year, we track several indicators that show progress toward our goals for socially responsible and sustainable projects. The trends revealed by this data show us where we need to stay the course and where we need to make changes.


Engineering News-Record's annual Top 100 Green Buildings Design Firms ranking is based on the year’s design or construction revenue from projects that have been registered or certified by a third-party organization that sets standards for measuring the environmental impact of buildings.


Average embodied carbon per square foot represents the global warming potential of the structural framing materials used in our major projects. In 2019, we introduced our Beacon tool to quantify the CO2emissions from structural elements and now use it for our annual assessment.


Our CO2 reduction metric tracks the impact of sustainability improvements – like energy-efficiency measures and other strategies for reducing operating energy – that result from our sustainability consulting work. This total is the sum of individual project savings derived from energy modeling. Our annual increases in total CO2 reduction are driven by clients seeking higher sustainability targets combined with a larger number of projects.


We calculate cost savings from our sustainability consulting services using energy savings (above) and an average fuel-unit price, so rising energy savings yield greater cost savings for our clients year after year.


This chart includes all our sustainability consulting projects that are registered or certified by a green-building program, such as LEED or Living Building Challenge. Each cumulative total includes all projects from previous years (note that this chart does not include projects for which we didn’t provide sustainability consulting services). Since the launch of our Sustainability practice eight years ago, we've averaged 41 registrations and certifications a year.


Our R&D spending includes staffing and other support for CORE studio, our virtual incubator of ideas, as well as semiannual innovation tournaments, which identify promising ideas from employees across the firm. These ideas then receive funding and support for further development. Since 2013, we've invested $9.2 million, with increases every year. Why? To help achieve our long-term goal of being the global driver of change and innovation in our industry.