Introduction

Howells are a leading architectural firm in the UK who are driven by doing the right thing. As a company who set high standards for themselves, they wanted to establish where they are with their carbon footprint and look to minimise their environmental impact moving forward. They partnered with Eight Versa to help them figure out what their starting point was and how they can create an ambitious sustainable pathway to decarbonise. To demonstrate the credibility and robustness of this plan, Howells aimed to certify their carbon footprint with Natural Carbon Solutions.

Establishing a Strong Starting Point

Eight Versa began with taking the organisation through the process of completing their first baseline carbon footprint in 2022. This involved weekly calls with key stakeholders including those from their finance and procurement teams to identify primary data collection sources and methods. This was an invaluable part of the process as we could collaborate closely with them to ensure the quality of the data remained high. It also meant that we could develop and agree where certain estimates and assumptions need to be made if the primary data was not available. We were able to guarantee accuracy and reliability of their baseline footprint by ensuring the data was calculated in line with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and ISO 14064 standards.

Once Howells’s carbon footprint assessment was completed, Natural Carbon Solutions (NCS), the official certification partner of Eight Versa, conducted an independent verification of the results. It was important to Howells to demonstrate how they aligned with industry best practices and internationally recognised standards and so wanted to achieve credible third-party certification. As a result, Howells successfully obtained Carbon Measured certification from NCS, which further confirmed the accuracy and reliability of their assessment.

Architecture - Eight Versa

Following NCS’s third-party verification of the results, we uploaded the results onto our digital platform, Horizon, so that they could monitor their carbon footprint each year from now on.

A Feasible Reduction Pathway

After our initial carbon footprint assessment in 2022, we developed a carbon reduction strategy report for the organisation. Within this strategy document, we identified key emission hotspots across the organisation which were addressed through targeted reduction measures. Through our regular catch ups we were able to discuss the feasibility of our recommendations and work collaboratively on developing a meaningful and effective carbon reduction strategy.

The reduction recommendations were quantified to highlight the realistic emissions savings that could be achieved. This resulted in setting their Net Zero target to 2040 as we built a clearer picture on what was achievable. Helping Howells see how they can realise their ambitious goals was a critical turning point for their sustainability strategy. This was set in line with with industry-leading standards such as the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) Corporate Net Zero Standard and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).