Power in numbers: IMEG offices rally behind firm’s sustainability plan (Podcasts included)

IMEG’s refreshed corporate Sustainability Plan is examined in a series of episodes on the firm’s podcast, The Future Built Smarter. Key aspects of the initiative are discussed in the first episode by Adam McMillen, director of sustainability, and Taylor Gawthorp-Cruse, senior sustainability and energy consultant.

Designed to integrate environmentally friendly practices at the firm’s offices, the updated plan builds upon the original version, released in 2018, and promotes conserving energy and water, lowering carbon emissions, and reducing waste. The 2024 version includes new mandated initiatives (such as tracking office energy usage and purchasing Energy Star-rated appliances) as well as optional initiatives (such as volunteering for a nature clean-up and providing in-office composting) that allow each location to take actions best-suited for their office, whether corporate owned or rented.

While the firm’s largest positive impact on the environment rests within its ability to reduce the carbon footprint of its clients’ projects, it also can now make a sizeable impact through the operations and actions at its own offices, which now number 90-plus across the U.S. “Now our carbon number has become a big number, and if we have a sustainable mindset where we work every day, then that scales, too,” says McMillen. “If you only have three offices, it is still worth it to think about it, but it has become more important for us now for sure.”

Implementing an internal sustainability plan is a large undertaking, and organizations seeking to do so should start by identifying office champions who can lead the effort at each office location. The podcast series also features three of IMEG’s office champions—Jessica Lee in Chicago, Anchila Monks in Portland, OR, and Olivia Paxson in St. Louis.

“My biggest piece of advice is to harness the power of passionate people in your firm,” says Gawthorp-Cruse. “You’d be surprised by the drive of people who want to make a positive impact and bring new ideas to the table that maybe they don’t get to express in their day-to-day work. Our sustainable office champions are amazing, and I think there’s nothing a group of passionate people can’t accomplish.”

Listen to the podcasts:

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