Henderson Companies, the parent company of Henderson Engineers and Henderson Building Solutions, is the latest signatory of the MEP 2040 Challenge, a commitment among firms that provide MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) and other related design services to achieve net zero carbon on their projects by 2040. Henderson, which is behind renowned projects like SoFi Stadium, Walmart Supercenters nationwide, and the upcoming New Terminal at Kansas City International Airport, has taken this step as part of its long-term commitment to sustainability.
As per the MEP 2040 stipulations, Henderson will reduce operational and embodied carbon across MEP systems on all projects, targeting zero by 2040. Operational carbon includes greenhouse gas emissions resulting from using, operating, and maintaining buildings or projects throughout their functional lives. Embodied carbon includes greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing, transporting, installing, maintaining and disposing of building materials.
“Joining the MEP 2040 commitment aligns with our own climate goals and the climate pledges of many of our clients and partners,” said Brian Alessi, sustainability director for Henderson Engineers. “As professionals who leave a long-lasting impact on the environment through the buildings we design, it’s our duty to make sure our work not only does the least amount of harm possible but also regenerates the planetary systems we rely on to thrive. We fully understand that it isn’t enough to simply pledge that we’ll do the right thing. Actions speak louder than words and we’re actively taking steps to achieve our ambitious sustainability goals.”
Preceding its MEP 2040 commitment, Henderson officially announced its own 2040 Climate Pledge in April 2022: Henderson will be net zero carbon across our business by 2040. Since then, the company has taken a variety of initial steps toward achieving that objective, including:
- Prioritizing all-electric buildings, water conservation, and natural refrigerants on projects. These adjustments, when multiplied across hundreds of projects each year, add up to significant impacts;
- Amending office standards and criteria for new leases to include provisions for all-electric buildings and a host of other sustainability measures including the capability to more accurately measure and control energy and water consumption;
- Tracking greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy and water use across all 12 Henderson offices nationwide to uncover opportunities to reduce energy use, water use, and emissions;
- Quantifying carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with business travel and commuting and analyzing how to leverage remote working, video conferencing, and new office locations to reduce the number of miles traveled while maintaining quality client experience;
- Kickstarting composting programs at Henderson offices in Lenexa, Kansas, and Phoenix. The firm has already diverted 10,000 pounds of waste from landfills in less than six months; and
- Introducing five new ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) funds to Henderson’s 401(k) plan to provide opportunities for employees to directly invest dollars toward organizations that intentionally contribute to the health and well-being of people and the planet.
“Our official company vision is to build a better world, and the steps we’re taking toward sustainability and regeneration are central to accomplishing that,” said Alessi. “It’s been quite an eventful year at Henderson on the sustainability front, and we will continue to revisit and refine our policies and procedures on an ongoing basis to ensure we’re putting our best foot forward in bringing solutions to the climate crisis.”