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April 20, 2023
HED Signs MEP 2040 Commitment and Previews its Renewed 5-year Sustainability Action Plan 
In honor of Earth Day, our firm strengthens our commitment to sustainable design, architecture and engineering best practices - announcing our commitment as a signatory to The Carbon Leadership Forum's MEP 2040 Challenge in conjunction with previewing the goals of its updated 2023 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP).

HED is an American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Commitment reporting firm, a signatory of the 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué and the AEC Sustainable Leaders Group Build Back Greener letter campaign to President Biden. We are committed to these programs and supporters of these causes because we believe it aligns with our firm's values and dedication to supporting clients with climate-resilient design.

The MEP 2040 Challenge calls on building designers and system engineers to advocate for and achieve net zero carbon in their projects: operational carbon by 2030 and embodied carbon by 2040. By signing the challenge, our organization has agreed to reduce operational and embodied carbon across all projects, track and share data, and become active participants in industry-wide efforts to decarbonize building systems.

"Signing the MEP 2040 Commitment is a natural fit for who we are as an organization," says David Klug, PE, HBPD, LFA, Mechanical Discipline Leader at HED and author of HED's MEP 2040 Commitment Plan. "The AIA 2030 Commitment and MEP 2040 Commitments are complimentary programs – signing both is a statement about our dedication to the kind of wholistic, integrated design we have always strived for. We are dedicated to owning our piece of reducing the carbon impact our industry has on the planet, which is currently responsible for 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions." 

The 2023 Sustainability Action Plan, drafted in conjunction with our strategic plan, is a forward-facing strategic roadmap for reducing the global greenhouse gas emissions (oft shorthanded to "carbon") of buildings designed by HED. Updated every five years, this plan was crafted by National Sustainable Design Leader Daniel Jaconetti, AIA, LEED AP, who stepped into the role in 2021 and was recently appointed to AIA national's COTE (Committee on the Environment) Leadership Group.

"As an integrated practice, engineers have always been essential to delivering that measurable impact and their skills are crucial to the lifetime sustainability and resilience of a project," says Jaconetti.  "One of the key goals of this plan is to make every team member accountable for their role in the sustainability of their projects. We're learning from every opportunity and going beyond setting new goals to creating accountability measures." 

Our definition of design excellence centers thoughtful decision-making that creates measurable, real world positive impact. Sustainability is inseparable from "the triple bottom line" - or the social, economic, and environmental impacts of a project – which are all inextricably linked.  

The thesis of the updated Sustainability Action Plan outlines tangible challenges to each discipline and is intended to demystify each practitioner's role in decarbonization. This shifts the paradigm from baby-steps to bold moves such as "Net Zero Everything" with deliverables outlined over a timeline of five years.
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