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Co-CEO of world’s leading architecture firm, Gensler, says it is on a net zero journey with the GCCA, and “highly dependent on each other.”

Written by:
Leanne Guerrero

- Diane Hoskins, co- Chief Executive Officer of Gensler, was speaking at event at CO28, organised by the Global Cement and Concrete Association.

- Event was looking at the business case for sustainability in the built environment.

- Gensler works in more than 100 countries across the globe. The GCCA is the cement and concrete industry’s leading industry body.

The co-CEO of Gensler, Diane Hoskins, has told delegates at COP28 in Dubai, that the company is a net zero partner with the Global Cement and Concrete Industry and “highly dependent on each other.” She was speaking at an event about the business case for sustainability in the built environment, chaired by the GCCA at COP28.

Concrete is the second most used substance on earth after water, vital for much of our modern infrastructure. The GCCA represents 80% of global production outside of China. In 2021 it became the first ‘heavy’ industry to set out a clear pathway to decarbonisation, through the launch of its 2050 Net Zero Roadmap. Two years on, the work carried out by the industry so far, is set out in the GCCA’s Cement Industry Net Zero Progress Report, which was launched on 2nd December, 2023.

Gensler co-CEO Diane Hoskins told the packed out “Concrete Future” pavilion at COP28 that with operation and embodied carbon accounting for about 40% of annual CO2 emissions, “frankly the world won’t achieve its climate reduction goals if the emissions from the construction sector are not reduced.”

“As the largest architecture firm in the world, we’re part of this conversation with the concrete industry. It’s not just designers and architects – there is public outcry for decarbonisation. Carbon regulation and disclosure will accelerate the need for construction material suppliers to quickly move.”

“From the architecture and design side, it’s about green buildings and how to we create buildings that look very similar to the buildings we have today, but are made of different materials, low carbon concrete, are net zero in their operations… and features that are important for healthy buildings.”

Speaking at the same event, Thomas Guillot, the GCCA’s Chief Executive, added: “On the net zero journey, collaboration is essential, and we are happy to have people from outside the industry and from the value chain because this discussion is essential to us. We need to understand how to activate, articulate, walk the walk on the journey, with experts who look on us from outside, like our partners – how we push the net zero journey together.”

The GCCA is hosting a pavilion at COP28 in Dubai, which is being used to help inform delegates about the net zero work taking place in the industry, as well as lobbing for the need for governments and industry to work together. Gensler, which is sponsoring the GCCA’s pavilion, is the world’s leading architecture firm, with 52 offices and working in 100 countries. By 2030, all of Gensler’s projects will strive to be net zero carbon.

About the GCCA: The GCCA and its members account for 80% of global cement production capacity outside of China, as well as a growing number of Chinese manufacturers. Member companies have committed to reducing and ultimately eliminating CO2 emissions in concrete, which currently account for around 7% globally, through implementation of the GCCA’s Concrete Future 2050 Net Zero Roadmap – the first heavy industry to set out such a detailed plan.  

About Gensler: Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 53 locations and more than 6,000 professionals networked across the Americas, Europe, Greater China, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. Founded in 1965, the firm works globally across more than 33 practice areas spanning the work, lifestyle, community, and health sectors. We are guided by our mission to create a better world through the power of design, and the source of our strength is our people. By leveraging our diversity of ideas, our research and innovation, our shared values, and our One-Firm Firm culture, we are working seamlessly as a borderless firm in 140 countries and making the greatest impact on our communities as we continue to tackle the world’s challenges. 

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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