Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)

This submission reflects this organization's contribution to the climate effort, representative of their current actions and commitments as well as the ways in which they intend to step up and collaborate with others.

Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)'s Climate Action Contribution

About Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)'s Climate Efforts

“Protect the environment and discourage damage to our natural resources” is a key tenet of APLD’s standards of practice and the underlying goal of sustainable landscape design. The intent of this policy is to encourage APLD members to promote environmental sustainability to their clients, to incorporate it in their designs, and to adopt sustainable practices in their business operations.

- APLD supports environmental stewardship including the conservation of energy and water, preservation of soils, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of native species, support of biodiversity, management of invasive plant species, reduction of waste, and increased use of recycled and/or repurposed materials.

- APLD believes environmental stewardship should include landscape design, selection of materials, installation, and maintenance operations as well as office operations. APLD will include sustainability as a major consideration in the selection of tour gardens and speakers at conferences, in certification criteria, and as part of the landscape design awards criteria.

- APLD endorses SITES™ (The Sustainable Sites Initiative™)—a set of voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable landscape design, construction and maintenance practices.

- In jurisdictions where sustainable design, installation and/or maintenance practices are mandated, APLD encourages its members to not only abide by these regulations, but to provide leadership in how these requirements can be promoted to fellow colleagues, clients and other project stakeholders. In areas where regulations exclude our members from this area of practice, members should advocate for their right to practice.

APLD's Sustainability Committee continues to seek ways to promote sustainability in landscape design and all facets of the horticultural industry.

Climate Action Commitments

Current Climate Actions Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Is Taking:


Commit to Becoming an Environmentally Responsible Cultural Institution

In adopting a leadership role as an environmentally responsible cultural institution, and institution would commit to pursuing some or all of the following:

  • Measure and make public its environmental impacts; set goals for continuous improvement; and evaluate progress and effectiveness.
  • Develop a plan and timeframe for becoming climate neutral, and eventually climate positive.
  • Demonstrate leadership by exceeding existing environmental codes, regulations, and professional standards as appropriate, e.g. setting energy efficiency goals that would be higher than what existing regulations require.
  • Review investments and set a timeframe for investing in a socially responsible portfolio that excludes fossil fuel companies.
  • Identify risks resulting from climate change, and take steps to anticipate and mitigate risks and damage for itself and, in collaboration, on behalf of the community.

New Climate Actions Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Commits To Take:


Commit to Reducing Materials Consumption and Waste

Institutions can significantly reduce the impact of materials use through life-cycle planning, choosing low-impact materials, and developing convenient, clear, waste-management approaches. Begin by conducting materials or waste audits for regular activities such as exhibit construction, special events, office operations, food service areas, and gift shops. Then, by piloting new practices in specific departments or single events or time periods, you can develop tools and procedures that significantly reduce waste through simple practices. Associated with this commitment, institutions could:

  • Commit to Zero Waste (90% diversion from landfil)
    • Recommended Targets:
      • Divert 60/75/85% institutional waste from landfil by 2020/2025/2030
      • Reach zero waste to landfill by 2030
      • Set construction waste diversion targets by project
  • Commit to Eliminating Single-Use Consumer Plastics
    • Recommended Targets:
      • Eliminate single use water bottles on site by 2020
      • Institute a plastic bag ban on site by 2020
      • Eliminate single use beverage bottles on site by 2022

Commit to Community Education and Communication

Commit to offering education opportunities that are designed for staff, adults, and children, and feature information on clean energy, stewardship, individual/household climate actions, climate advocacy, and any other applicable subjects. The importance of building environmental literacy in changing habits and perceptions is profound, and organizations and institutions trusted to convene the community are among the most impactful educators.


Commit to Reduce Climate Impacts of Packaging and Reducing Waste

There are many ways to reduce the climate impact of packaging including reducing materials (i.e., “source reduction”); replacing virgin materials with post-consumer recycled content; replacing traditional plastics made from fossil fuels with biopolymers; re-designing packaging to be more compact and therefore efficient for transport and storage; using biodegradable packing materials; and recycling at end of the packaging’s life to name just a few practices.

Organization details

APLD is a professional membership association whose mission is to advance the profession of landscape design and to promote our members are qualified and dedicated professionals.
Cultural Institution