As a member of the UN Global Compact, whose purpose is to promote responsible business practices, PLH Arkitekter has just submitted its annual status report. The report shows how green solutions and social considerations are common both internally in the studio and in PLH Arkitekter's projects, illustrated by 2021’s fiscal accounts, where 33 percent of total income stems from projects that either have or are expected to receive sustainability certifications.
“As one of Denmark's leading, independent architectural firms, PLH Arkitekter is very much aware that we have a tremendous responsibility, as our work and architecture literally shapes the future. Therefore, from the first lines are drawn to the finished building is inaugurated, a broad and inclusive approach to sustainability and social awareness characterizes everything we do. Our aim is to improve quality of life through design, and our approach is that great design can leave a big aesthetic impression but a small carbon imprint,” says Søren Mølbak, CEO of PLH Arkitekter.
In addition to several buildings that are DGNB or BREEAM certified, PLH Arkitekter is one of the design studios with the largest projects registered for the Voluntary Sustainability Class, where limits are set on how much CO2 new buildings may emit. The learnings from the Voluntary Sustainability Class will ultimately help shape future legislation, and registered projects include Nykredit and AP Pension's coming headquarters.
PLH Arkitekter takes responsibility – both externally and internally
PLH Arkitekter’s report to the UN shows that the studio's position on sustainability and social responsibility is not only expressed externally but also internally.
Employees from 20 different countries daily show up in the Copenhagen office, and despite a large increase in the number of staff, there is still a close to even distribution between genders with 45 percent female and 55 percent male. Moreover, the latest workplace assessment shows that 100 percent of the respondents would recommend working at PLH Arkitekter.
Finally, as one of the studio's own climate initiatives, 66 percent of employees have chosen to switch to a vegetarian lunch scheme.
PLH Arkitekter contributes to improved reporting to the UN
In line with PLH Arkitekter's ongoing commitment to the sustainability agenda, this year, the studio has applied for and been approved by the UN as a so-called Early Adopter. Consequently, PLH Arkitekter is helping to test the upcoming reporting system, which will enter into force for all members in 2023.
“The comprehensive 'Communication on Progress' report that every Global Compact participant publishes once a year plays an important role in tracking and raising awareness of the principles and sustainability goals worldwide. Therefore, we are proud to be among the first participants in the Global Compact's Early Adopters Program, testing the new system and contributing with our experiences ahead of the launch of the new and improved reporting platform next year,” says Søren Mølbak.
The new reporting system consists of a comprehensive questionnaire and checklist as well as a declaration of affiliation from the managers of the registered companies. In addition, PLH Arkitekter has chosen to prepare the supplementary "PLH Sustainability Commitment Report 2022". The report elaborates on results and initiatives in the field of sustainability.
- The UN Global Compact was introduced in 1999 and is a set of guidelines for corporate social responsibility.
- Registered companies must produce an annual report which provides an account of the work with social responsibility and the promotion of sustainability in a socalled Communication on Progress.
- Of PLH Arkitekters' 2021 turnover, which is just over DKK 105 million, approx. DKK 35 million originates from projects that have or are expected to receive sustainability certifications.
- PLH Arkitekter's latest workplace assessment (APV) from 2022 shows that when respondents are asked, "Would you recommend PLH Arkitekter as an employer to friends and acquaintances", 52.8 percent answer that they strongly agree, 36.8 percent agree, while 10.4 percent answer that they partially agree.