Skip to content

Sustainability commitment

Design has a critical role to play in addressing the climate crisis

With huge power to bring about change, designers also have a huge responsibility to help save our planet and we understand the importance of leading by example.

As the UK’s national strategic advisor for design, the Design Council wants to galvanise the 1.97 million strong design community across the UK to commit to a sustainable, climate-first future.

Our commitment   

We understand the importance of leading by example and this page sets out our own journey in achieving net zero* by 2050 through the reduction of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions.  

In 2021, we started a partnership with the London-based carbon action platform Xtonnes.

As part of their audit, we are starting to: 

  • Monitor and reduce the emissions from our core operations and real estate presence.  
  • Monitor and reduce our digital emissions footprint 
  • Monitor and reduce emissions related to business travel 
  • Minimise waste and prevent pollution 
  • Minimise the impact of the events we design and organise (our Design for Planet Festival and meetups) 

Our mission as the National Strategic Advisor covers part of our Scope 3 emissions, ie our wider influence with partners, funders, designers and citizens, as well as where we create value up and down our supply chain.  

We will develop evaluation methods that will help us measure, monitor and reduce these.

Working with our supply chain   

We are also committed to partnering with and contracting organisations that share our values, and using our expertise and influence to drive positive environmental impact across our programme delivery, research activities, and advice to the UK government.  

To reduce Scope 3 emissions in our supply chain, we pledge to:   

  • Encourage and support, whenever possible, the sustainable use of local resources and local expertise  
  • Ask all our current and future suppliers for their environmental policies and for evidence of implementation of such policies, and indicate that such performance will be used as criteria for supplier selection  
  • Comply with all relevant legislation, regulations and applicable codes of practice 

* We adopt the net zero definition used by the IPCC and the UN’s Race to Zero campaign: When anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period.