As a business, it is increasingly important that we investigate ways of reducing our carbon footprint, both in our day to day working practices and in the buildings that we design, through innovation, collaboration and encouragement.

Our Aims

MLA aspire to be a driving force in sustainable commercial design. We can do this by pro-actively re-focussing our values, promoting a green cultural shift both from a business perspective and architecturally that responds to the ever-evolving aspirations of clients and ambitious Government legislation. Many of our goals have been inspired by the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge, an industry wide set of targets that will help Architects meet net zero (or better) whole life carbon for new and retrofitted buildings by 2030, a challenge we aspire to meet.

To help meet these objectives, we have set up the MLA Green Group, a multidisciplinary group with expertise in consultancy, interiors, architecture and technical design. The Green Group has been working on developing the practice’s sustainability road map which looks to review our design approach to sustainability. They are also tackling how we can take a more environmentally friendly approach to running the practice.

Our Approach

We are focusing on a few key areas to help meet our aims and deliver a more sustainable approach to architecture and design.

Educating  staff across all disciplines will enable us to provide informed and considered advice to clients, educate our partners, learn from other consultants and, hopefully, inspire other practices (as we have been inspired by others). It will also mean that, moving forward, we will be more accountable for the impact of our work.

Through the creation of design guides, documentation and assessment tools, we are developing our collective knowledge, giving us the confidence to advise our clients appropriately and resulting in more sustainable design choices.

Awareness Campaigns, both internally and externally, will provoke thought and exploration of the impact of our choices.  Engagement and conversations with our clients are key to help us understand not only our clients sustainability aspirations but what barriers they encounter in delivering more environmentally considered buildings and how we can help navigate them.

Strategic partnerships with key industry-leading consultants and suppliers will ensure that we stay up to date with the latest green technologies and products, whilst also supporting their continued development.

MLA’s responsibilities do not end only with our clients but we have a strong corporate social responsibility to ensure our daily activities and business management have a positive impact in meeting Scotland carbon emission targets. Alliances with local environmental groups and charities can help us offset our carbon footprint.

To this end, we are delighted to be supporting Trees For Life with the establishment of a corporate Grove. Trees For Life is an organisation that, like MLA, is fuelled by passion and energy, and their vision to rewild the Highlands strikes a chord with MLA where many of us are keen on outdoor sports and activities and enjoying nature. In addition to reducing our environmental impact with the planting of trees, we hope that our future generations will be able to enjoy a revitalised Scottish landscape. We look forward to seeing our grove and the Trees for life project continue to grow.

With the re-balancing of our values, we are working to integrate sustainability into our business and processes, from design concept to delivery. It is early days, but we will soon start to see some positive outcomes from this new approach.