LDA Design on climate

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
Rachel Carson, marine biologist, author and conservationist

We launched our climate statement a year ago, and since then we have put climate front and centre in our role as place-makers and advocates of a zero-carbon future.

We have been helped by a growing understanding in the UK of the value of landscape – in shaping sustainable new settlements, regeneration and clean growth, in supporting food and energy security, in planning for water resources and flood protection, in helping nature to recover and in responding to the health and wellbeing crises.

Climate is front of mind for each of our clients for all their projects, and together we are developing ever greater rigour in tackling the issue – as, for example, when we work with developers to make net zero placemaking central to how they bring forward sites.

We are conscious of how much there still is to learn, and we are open to partnerships which can help us to better understand how decarbonisation coupled with social equity will catalyse change.

The research we led for the RTPI on net zero transport has shown how to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in surface transport emissions by 2030. Now we are investigating for them how design codes for development can best achieve net zero targets and nature recovery.

Strengthening ecosystem resilience has been a thread throughout the year, from our guidance for Natural Resource Wales through to creating a blueprint for Peabody on how natural systems can change lives for the better in Thamesmead, London.

The astonishing boom in renewables is a beacon of hope for shifting economies to a low carbon footing. We have helped Hornsea Three and Larks Green Solar Farm to gain consent. Hornsea Three will be the UK’s largest offshore windfarm, and Larks Green Solar Farm will take full advantage of tracking and bifacial technology.

The climate emergency is key to the Charter we adopted on our move to employee ownership this autumn, and we have updated our climate statement in line with our bolder ambitions. Our Charter provides the framework for our business decisions to be measured against.

We are founding signatories to Landscape Architects Declare. This year, we have created a team of LDA climate champions to support knowledge share across our studios, and we have quantified our carbon footprint in preparation for a net-zero strategy and revised our CSER policy. We also made the decision to switch to the leading ethical bank, Triodos, which works in partnership with its clients to realise its commitment to sustainability, people and nature.


LDA Design’s climate statement

Landscape is key to managing today’s crises in climate and ecology.

As landscape architects, masterplanners, planners, environmental planners and EIA coordinators, we take a holistic approach which recognises the close links between climate, biodiversity and ecosystem decline, health and wellbeing, and social and economic inequality.

The need for concerted, collective action and new thinking has never been greater. We will be bold in championing new practices that transform policy and lead to more climate conscious design, sharing our learning with our clients, co-consultants, partners and suppliers.

We are determined to identify all the climate opportunities in every project, mitigating climate breakdown by reducing carbon emissions; strengthening resilience through adaptation; enhancing biodiversity and conserving natural resources; and enabling healthier, more active and more equal communities.

As employee owners, we are investing in research and collaborating with others to identify the most important moves to make in our areas of expertise, and applying this learning to our work.

We are committed to our own operations being carbon neutral by 2025 and having quantified our carbon footprint, we are developing our net zero strategy.

We will campaign for change alongside the professions we belong to, accelerating the arrival of the circular economy, encouraging behavioural change, and making climate central to those planning and development processes which are currently unsustainable.

Photo: Corey Young 

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