"We do not regard sustainability a trend to follow. It is a far more fundamental and serious issue."03 February 2020
Mathias Lehner, head of BNA international spoke with the key note speaker Philip Tidd who is Managing Director and Principal of Gensler GmbH, and based in Munich, one of the newest offices in this globally operating architectural firm of more than 6,300 employees. “That may sound large, but Gensler is organized as a collection of around 200 small studios of between 15-30 people around the world, and we are still an independent, employee owned company” Philip says. In international rankings Gensler is one of the most sustainable architecture offices; but there are more reasons why BNA has Philip speak as key note at the MakeHappen! Inspiration Night.
Philip will speak about Gensler’s approach to sustainability. “As a firm originally founded in the US, but now a Global firm, I want to emphasize that we do not regard sustainability a trend to follow. It is a far more fundamental and serious issue, and we embrace the idea of the UN SDGs wholeheartedly our Gensler co-CEO Diane Hoskins announced Gensler’s Cities Climate Challenge at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York last September – but our CEO always says: We have to do better! As a very large firm, designing and building all around the world, we have the opportunity, or rather, the responsibility to set excellent examples for our industry. As an internationally working company, we really have the chance to make an impact.”
There are a couple of recent projects by Gensler in the Netherlands, but Philip will also show recent, award winning projects abroad. “One of our interests is saving energy and CO2 emissions by redeveloping existing structures – this is an issue high on the agenda of many international clients as the principals of sustainability and the circular economy become more widely understood and valued.
But it is not only the interest of the clients that are the reason for a focus on sustainability. Philip: “Our employees are very passionate about the environment. We have community impact leaders in each studio, in each office and we invest 18% of our profit each year to fund the Gensler Research Institute (GRI) – this gives all employees in the firm an opportunity to initiate research projects that interest them – needless to say, research topics into the Climate Crisis and our role as Architects in response to that, are on the increase.”
This also is a relevant factor when it comes to finding excellent staff: “Today, professionals expect their employer to align with their own ideas and values on sustainability. Many of our staff have a clear vision about sustainability – that includes architecture, but also personal mobility and even food. As a company, we want to attract – and keep these talents in our firm. An excellent reason to jointly focus on our sustainable profile even more!”
Learn more about Philips approach on sustainability goals and join us on February 6th!