Our approach to low carbon in our practice
Everyone at Integral has a keen interest in sustainable design and we are continually striving to minimise our environmental impact. We hold ISO 14001 for our environmental management systems and are actively reducing our own internal carbon footprint through the measures set in our environmental standard objectives and our Carbon Reduction Plan.
We monitor the practice’s carbon footprint annually, including our travel and office operational carbon, and continually seek new opportunities that will allow us to reduce this year on year. We are also encouraged to analyse our own personal carbon footprints for a greater understanding of how we all contribute to total global emissions and to provide context for what we do.
Collectively we aim to minimise our travel emissions, using public transport or cycling wherever possible, and private cars as a last resort. All staff benefit from the Cycle Scheme and alongside this, can claim a generous mileage rate to encourage use.
A big part of reducing our environmental impact is using technology to improve and streamline our processes, something our in-house technology group monitors. Technology has recently allowed for more flexible remote working, helping us to travel less, and has sped up our transition to producing hand calculations and sketches electronically, significantly reducing the volume of printed information we process. Additionally, we process electronic information as the preferred format over printing for our invoicing, filing, archiving, agendas, and minutes, as we endeavour to minimise our paper usage.
Our office supplies of stationery, food and drink, and cleaning products are sourced locally, organically, and responsibly. We recycle wherever possible and aim to achieve zero single-use plastic in our workplace by 2022.
Once we have reduced our operational carbon to a minimum, we annually offset the balance to net zero through investing in a carbon reduction project selected from the Carbon Footprint portfolio. Each year we collectively choose which project to support, many of which go beyond simply combatting climate change and benefit the local communities by providing employment, health improvements, biodiversity, reforestation, and broad social benefits.