Environmental Social Governance

At Jo Cowen Architects, we consider ourselves Stewards for design that is rooted in ESG: Environmental, Social, Governance. Our ESG framework is designed around a set of principles that apply across all aspects of the practice’s business. It is further tailored to reflect that we are housing architects, working for and with developers and investors to bring forward buildings that the public will use and live in.

We consider ESG is intrinsic to our approach when designing new schemes, measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of what we do as a business. Architects have the unique ability to positively impact beyond our own operations, but within the buildings, developments, and places we create, considering them all in terms of the future.


We strive to use carbon mitigation, pollution prevention and environmental best practice in all we do, whether at work, in our developments or in our daily activities. We have an internal environmental strategy and management plan which drives our teams and measures their successes as well as where we can improve.

We recognise that our buildings and developments, the result of our designs, will have the most significant environmental impact and so our policies cover both our operations and our project design. We are further committed to exercising our professional skills in such a way as to minimise environmental impact and are committed to working with our clients, guiding, and designing with sustainability and environmental protection in mind.

We work with our teams and our clients to undertake a sustainability assessment for every project such as BREEAM, LEED, SKA and/or WELL. And we are pushing the boundaries in terms of new technologies that could further achieve environmental benefit. We strive to attain the highest achievable accreditation for any assessment method selected.

We are not just looking at designing for Net-Zero Carbon in build and delivery, but also in terms of long-term use. Managing ventilation, overheating, daylighting, our design seeks to make it easy for people to use our buildings more sustainably.

We understand that good design can only be sustainable design. We are a passionate member of Architects Declare,


At Jo Cowen Architects, our Social Policies are focussed on Ethical behaviour, Equal opportunity, promoting diversity, Health, Wellbeing and safety and Quality Management of our projects. We are ISO 9001 registered.

Our people and our clients are our most important assets. We have nurtured a team of competent and credible individuals to drive growth and deliver sustainable developments for our clients as well at the people who use our buildings. We strive to be an employer of choice and create a workplace environment that promotes diversity, equality, development, trust, and teamwork. We are an equal opportunities employer, and we ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, marital status, or race.

But we go further than this. We believe that to generate and promote diversity within the architectural profession, we need to do more for those communities in London where access to architectural training at university is limited through socio-economic disadvantage.

We have therefore launched our mentoring programme alongside our local academies, bringing youth into the practice, integrated with our team of mentors. We are also promoting and bringing in architects under our apprenticeships programme, straight from school, avoiding the costs of 7 years of architectural education. This is how we feel we can best promote social cohesion and diversity in the profession for the long term.

Jo Cowen Architects are also one of the founding shareholders of Semble and Action funder. This is a platform where ‘small community groups set up by passionate people can have a BIG impact. Too often incredible grassroots projects are under-funded, under-resourced and overlooked. Semble and Action Funder are here to change that by providing a way for our clients and our business to invest in grass roots community groups. Now more than ever, businesses want to be a force for good in their local communities. Semble creates campaigns that connect purpose-driven businesses with our network of community projects so that they can work together to grow their impact. From funding projects to building movements and harnessing the power of volunteers, every one of the campaigns we create supports community action.’

www. Semble.org and www.actionfunder.org for more details.


Our Governing Board is comprised of 6 directors, a strategic advisor and 2 associate directors as well as our Practice manager. The Board meets at least once per month. Supporting the Board is our Associate Led Steering Committee who directly leading day to day projects and working with the more junior architects and members of the team.  The Firm benefits from the perspectives of the Board members and management team who collectively possess the relevant industry knowledge and capabilities relevant to the growth and governance of the business.

The Board takes the lead in driving responsible business practices, enhancing performance targets, and improving the design/manage/measure processes relating to ESG impact on our operations and projects. The practices approach to ESG practices and approach are evaluated to ensure continued progress and development.

Jo Cowen Architects are ISO 9001 accredited and audited for our quality management processes and soon to be ISO 14001 for our environmental processes.



To discuss or find out more about how we can work together, please get in touch.

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