Sustainability, Resilience, and Climate Action

Sustainability, Resilience, and Climate Action Resources for AIA Components 

If you want to understand where AIA stands on sustainability, resilience, or climate action issues:

If you want to add sustainability resources to your newsletters (or communications) 

  • Visit regularly. 
  • Follow Blueprint for Better. AIA’s multi-year campaign is a call to action. As the largest design organization in the world, AIA is asking architects, design professionals, civic leaders, and the public in every community to join our efforts. Learn more: AIA Blueprint for Better  

    If you want to improve your own operational sustainability and resilience: 

    • Climate Action Business Playbook (2022): This document offers accessible recommendations and best practices for everyone wanting to meaningfully integrate climate action and sustainable design into their practice.  
    • Architect’s Guide to Business Continuity (2021) - Components are expected to maintain a business continuity plan. Components can use this guide’s step-by-step process and accompanying worksheets to assess and reduce risks associated with disruption. 
    • Creating a Sustainability Action Plan that Works! (2021) - Designed for signatories of the 2030 Commitment, component leaders can use this guide to build their own internal sustainability action plans. Pages 35-37 and 49-50 may be particularly relevant. 
    • ROI: Designing for reduced embodied carbon (2022) - Components can use these talking points to discuss with members the benefits of reducing embodied carbon as architects design for sustainable solutions. 

    If you want to incorporate the Framework for Design Excellence into your awards programs: 

    • Honors & Awards: Integrating the Framework for Design Excellence (2021) - In 2019, the AIA adopted the Framework for Design Excellence as the set of guidelines and requirements to assess project performance. Explore the baseline of technical requirements that have been identified for projects across different AIA National awards programs.   

    If you want to provide climate, sustainability, or resilience education:  

    • Leverage our AIAU certificate series in your in-person or virtual programming.  

    Our AIAU team can support component-sponsored group viewing of the courses of the following certificate programs:  

                    • AIA Materials Series 
                      • Component-led series of five 4-hour workshops providing intermediate knowledge-building in the rationale and decision-making processes for healthier, more environmentally friendly materials. Email to get started! 
                    • AIA 2030 Commitment: Program Essentials Webinar 
                      • Our 60-minute introductory course is approved for 1 LU|HSW and covers the basics of our 2030 Commitment program. Our ready-to-go presentation is always led by experienced program staff, but flexible enough to accommodate your specific needs. Email to get started! 
                    • AIA Framework for Design Excellence Webinar 
                      • Email to coordinate an educational session about the Framework for Design Excellence.  

                  If you want to build partnerships to position AIA and architects in climate conversations 

                  • Leverage one of AIA’s existing collaborations! These national partnerships pave the way for local collaboration around shared goals. 
                    • Resilience Building Coalition – co-developed by AIA in 2014, the Resilience Building Coalition brings together 50+ building industry organizations who have signed-on to the Building Industry Statement on Resilience; each committing to investment in research, education, advocacy, response efforts, and comprehensive planning for more resilient communities.  
                    • Joint Call to Action for Healthier Communities – Since 2017, AIA has coordinated with seven built environment and health organizations to promote healthier communities using a four-point framework. More recently, we added 10 discussion guides that highlight examples of cross-sector collaboration across the country. 
                    • US Council of Mayors - New policies approved by the United States Conference of Mayors put the built environment front and center. In threeresolutionsapproved at its annual conference in September 2021, the nation’s mayors formalized new commitments to pursue climate and equity priorities, while recognizing the value of partnering with architects. 

                  If you want to find more ways to support your community through engagement:

                  • Grow your State Disaster Program. Support the program by increasing your trained volunteers roster, advocating for Good Samaritan Legislation, building relationships with government officials, and developing a Disaster Assistance MOU. See the Disaster Assistance page for more information.  
                  • Apply for a Communities by Design (CxD) Design Assistance Team. Components and community leaders can apply for CxD Design Assistance Teams. Through a series of community tours, public workshops, and design studios, our team works with communities to create an action plan with phased, implementable recommendations for the future.  

                        If you want to connect your members with others 

                        • Join an AIA Knowledge Community! These public groups enable members to connect with others who share their passions and commitment. They are open to AIA members and non-members. With twenty-one groups exploring topics including sustainability, emerging technologies, and managing a firm, there is an AIA Knowledge Community for every member. These four KCs are particularly active on sustainability, resilience, and climate action issues: 
                          • Support a local COTE® group in your own component. There are several COTE® and related sustainability groups across the country. These groups are often leaders in moving the needle on climate action within the AIA community. Explore the COTE® Chapter Guide for tips on starting—or reinvigorating—your local chapter.  
                          • Grow your 2030 Commitment participation in your community 
                            • 2030 Commitment Directory – Use this directory on to check the count of active signatories in your state.    
                            • Program brochure on Brandfolder – Download this booklet and work with your local printer to print the quantities needed.    
                            • Share our promotional videos in your marketing and communications.  
                          • Request to join a private Basecamp group. These private groups support AIA members organizing around key programs: resilience, COTE®, and the 2030 Commitment.  

                          If you want to connect with the AIA Sustainability & Resilience programs:

                            Need help? 

                            Kathleen Lane, AIA
                            Managing Director, Sustainability & Resilience

                            Lisa Ferretto
                            Sr. Director, Sustainable Practice & Knowledge

                            Melissa Morancy
                            Director, Sustainable Knowledge & Engagement

                            Paola Capo
                            Manager, Disaster and Community Assistance

                            Luz Toro, Assoc. AIA
                            Manager, Resilience & Climate Adaptation

                            Eana Bacchiocchi
                            Specialist, Sustainability & Resilience