Chow:Hill CSR 2021 - 2022

This is our 13th year reporting on our business activities through a Company Social Responsibility (CSR) framework. Because we are aiming for Toitū Certification ‘Net Carbon Zero’ we will be implementing a new set of reporting in future.


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With the formal restructure of our governance and management model completed, Board committees are working well in their respective portfolio areas, and we are benefiting as a broader range of senior staff involve themselves in the day-to-day management of the business. This extends to our Christchurch Studio where after several years of a project-based activity we now look to cementing our long-term presence in the city and this is providing opportunities for staff leadership and growth there.

It proved again a challenging year to gather budgeted revenue with competition for staff and projects at the forefront of our concerns. We were fortunate to have long-term client relationships and diverse sector presence and these both contributed to exceeding revenue expectations. A new flexible working policy has meant we can meet the needs of our team’s diverse personal circumstances and continue to deliver good project outcomes. It is demanding but we recognise that our ways of working needed to shift and provide that choice and opportunity.

This reporting period marks the 13th year of reporting on our environmental performance and reflects our commitment to playing our part in combating climate change. Climate change response is one of the four strategic goals we are pursuing in our next three year programme – by being more targeted in selected areas we believe we will be more effective in our response. Focus areas include software integration and training in analysing embodied carbon and lifecycle assessment in our designs; developments in biophilic design; and increased engagement with clients in briefing best practice sustainable design.

A significant and exciting initiative for our business is a move from internal to third party external validation of our environmental performance through a partnership with Toitū and from that a focused reduction in carbon emissions and in annual offsetting of the balance of these via a certified reforestation scheme.  From mid-2023, the year of our first audit and subsequent report, we will publish the latter on this website and this will supersede the reporting regime we have followed to-date.  Information previously reported in relation to report boundary, social impacts, community engagement and so forth will be threaded through our main website content. We believe this will continue to offer our stakeholders a transparent and valuable view into our contribution as an ethical and responsible business.

As we transition to our new reporting methodology we note, lastly, that our total CO2 emissions for the year across our studios decreased from 72.36 tonnes to 61.30 tonnes from the 2020-2021 year.

We look forward to talking and working with our stakeholders in a shared commitment to resilient and thriving communities, healthy ecosystems and a liveable planet.

Maurice Kiely

Director, Sustainability

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