O+A Pledge

O+A has been exploring ways to do and be better – to look at the firm and think how we can effectively address social equity, sustainability, racial prejudice and climate change. We want to acknowledge that this is a living document that we may see fit to modify tomorrow or next year. We incorporated specific actionable goals that we can hold ourselves accountable to. Our hope is that this pledge inspires us to show up as our best selves and for anyone reading it to be inspired to do the same. This pledge has no copyright, and we welcome cooperative plagiarism!

We understand the recent turmoil in today’s world is only a taste of what’s to come and that no industry can continue business as usual.  Our moral obligation to future generations is to see that the design industry fundamentally changes. We regard that obligation as a gift of purpose, our chance to be part of an adventure worthy of history’s greatest. When have designers ever had a more meaningful scope of work?

Therefore, we are committed to see this pledge through with enthusiasm and creativity, no matter where it takes us on our design journey.

We pledge to embrace our constraints as opportunities.

We understand there is a lot we don’t know about the climate crisis — “we” in the local sense of our firm and in the global sense of our society. One thing we do know is that neither “we” has time to get up to speed. This crisis is upon us now and we must tackle it as a company and as a culture urgently.

Therefore, we will continue to educate ourselves, acknowledging that we cannot know everything but determined to take meaningful action to the best of our abilities.

We pledge to devote at a minimum the equivalent of one full time employee to this effort.

We understand that we, as a firm, are coming to this awareness late in the game. Many other organizations are already empowered, informed and moving the needle. That said, we hope our example will offer encouragement to others who haven’t yet joined the fight.

Therefore, in solidarity, we will join the following existing pledges:

We pledge to join US Architects Declare, AIA Materials Pledge, The Designer’s Pledge.

We understand that measuring success in this area is difficult but strongly believe that accountability can be a positive force of propulsion.

Therefore we commit to incorporating metrics into our design process so that we may measure both the environmental and social impact of our efforts.

We pledge to start with one project this year and by 2025 to be evaluating every project at O+A for its climate impact.

We understand that the world is on a precipice – it isn’t just our planet that is overheating; it’s also our society.  Climate justice and social justice are intertwined.

Therefore, we commit to fighting for equity and inclusion wherever our influence might reach, with the goal of making own firm an example.

We pledge transparency with regard to racial, ethnic and gender diversity at O+A. We will focus recruiting outreach to attract a diverse talent pool and we commit to supporting awareness of careers in design.

We understand the scale of the task ahead but will not be intimidated by it nor immobilized by fear. We will not be thwarted by thinking our firm is too small to have an impact. We recognize in the size of the challenge an infinity of paths forward.

Therefore, we plan to document our journey and share what we learn as we go.

We pledge to be open source with our resources, tools and annual progress.

We understand the importance of bringing others along. We come to this movement as explorers and inventors, realizing what we learn will have a greater impact if we partner with governments, media, NGOs and other activists to share the knowledge and shape the programs.

Therefore we will support our staff in lobbying policy makers to take action around issues of climate and social justice.

We pledge as a firm to join other businesses and groups that are lobbying for change and to provide paid time for our employees to participate in such efforts.