Read Michelle Sánchez’s article on Sustainability based on the Triple Bottom Line.

17 July 2023

Michelle Sánchez, Sustainability Lead, RSHP, presents her call to action for all architects and designers to start adding biodiversity targets in projects. Recently published in Dezeen, read Michelle’s article that discusses the true meaning of Sustainability based on the Triple Bottom Line.

"It's time to rethink what we are doing as an industry and realise that by focusing so much on carbon reduction we are neglecting other areas where our industry causes much harm. We need to tackle climate change and sustainability from all fronts. We need to design in a holistic way that considers the Sustainability Triple Bottom Line and every impact related to it."

Architects must start placing greater emphasis on protecting biodiversity in their projects. It's time to make peace with nature. Architects should add strong biodiversity mitigation principles to their projects no matter the scale and constraints.

Since the 2015 Paris Agreement, some organisations in the construction industry have advocated deploying all our efforts into implementing guidance, targets, and calculation tools to allow us to achieve net zero by 2050.

No doubt there is much to do in terms of carbon reduction in the industry, but by focusing all our energies and resources down that road we are forgetting two major things.

First, sustainability as a concept goes beyond environmental impact. Sustainability was defined back in 1987 by the UN as the balance of the environmental, economic, and social impact of any project – this is the Sustainability Triple Bottom Line. We are forgetting that sustainability engages with a far greater range of issues than carbon emissions alone.

Secondly, our industry has a much wider negative impact beyond the 38 per cent contribution to carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. Now that we have a way forward to reducing operational and embodied carbon, we need to look at sustainability as a whole and see other areas where our industry is causing harm.

Read the full article on Dezeen.