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EFCG 2022 CEO Conference Highlight Series: ESG: Carbon Emissions in AEC Firms

EFCG Conference Highlight Series:

ESG: Carbon Emissions in AEC firms

As ESG becomes a key component of AEC firms' forward-looking strategy, seven out of ten firms report an increase in ESG-related client requests and six out of ten firms publish an ESG report or plan to start one. In accordance with these trends, the vast majority of firms identify energy, environmental impact and carbon reduction as their top environmental priorities. However, only two of ten firms have a carbon reduction strategy with a specific year to reach carbon neutrality. When AEC firms aim to match their environmental priorities and related client requests with specific goals and actions, measuring and quantifying carbon emissions emerges as a stumbling block for many - but it doesn't have to be that way.

EFCG benchmarks carbon emissions (MtCO2e) per employee for those AEC firms who report their annual emissions. Certain key findings emerge:

  • Median emissions per employee at 2.55 MtCO2e are quite low for AEC firms as compared to other industries, making a carbon neutral or net-zero strategy an attainable goal.

  • Scope 1 & 2 emissions, essentially emissions from sources owned or controlled by the AEC firm, show a small variance across firms - a logical consequence of the highly comparable nature of operations of professional services organizations and their key sources of controlled emissions.

  • Where we see the largest variance in AEC firms' carbon footprint is in Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 addresses the emissions across the value chain of an AEC firm, and as such can vary a lot depending on the business model of each AEC firm.

EFCG provides quantitative benchmarking and ESG advisory to help firms set and reach their ESG goals, including carbon. As client requests on the ESG profile of their AEC service providers shift from qualitative, optional questionnaires to quantitative, third party-verified components of their RFP process, AEC firms cannot afford not to have an ESG strategy with a clear and robust carbon assessment process and an attainable carbon reduction strategy.

For more information, contact Andreas at

Questions about on-demand access and conference registration?

Email Dimitri at


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