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February 2022

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 feb 2022

Climate change and environmental issues are prompting landscape architects to consider carbon as an important aspect in their planning and designing. Landscape practitioners and experts came together at ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) 2021 to discuss various approaches and tools that can help in creating a positive impact on environment and reduce carbon footprint of building and construction projects. Pamela Conrad, founder of Climate Positive Design and principal at CMG Landscape Architecture, says, 'Approximately 75% of all emissions are from the urban built environment, with 40% from buildings and 35% from transportation and landscapes. We need to keep warming to 1.5°C. We can only add 300 gigatons of additional carbon to the atmosphere and need to work within this remaining carbon budget. We need to reduce emissions by 65% by 2030 and hit zero by 2040.' Climate Positive Design, ASLA, IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) and Architecture 2030 are collectively committed to attain these targets through the development of Climate Action Commitment and Architecture 2030's 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué. Climate Positive Design's Pathfinder App helps landscape architects find ways to reduce space for carbon-intensive hardscapes and increase carbon-sequestering trees, shrubs, and grasses. Chris Ng-Hardy of Sasaki says, 'We realized we need to consider carbon from the beginning, before the project even starts. Measuring embodied carbon is about 10-15 years behind the curve in terms of measuring operational carbon.' Team at Sasaki developed Carbon Conscience App to help with the preliminary planning decisions that determine a project's long-range carbon footprint. The research at Sasaki led to following conclusions for landscape architects - don't destroy ecosystems; add wetlands, prairies, and forests; minimize hardscapes and concrete; and reduce the use of plastics and metals. Deanna Lynn, landscape designer with Wild Land Workshop, says, 'Soil carbon sequestration is hard to study. But generally, the more life there is in ecosystems, the more carbon is stored in soils.' Underground there is a complex web, made up of tree roots, organic matter, microbes, earthworms, mycorrhizal fungi, and insects. In the book, 'The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate? Discoveries from A Secret World, the author Peter Wohlleben, describes one aspect of this underground world - mycorrhizal fungi - which form a subterranean 'world wood web' that enables trees to share carbon, nutrients, and information across their roots. Soils are complex adaptive systems, and while designing for carbon sequestrian the goal should be to support the self-organizing systems of soil life. Ms. Lynn says that more carbon can be stored naturally in ecosystems and soils if species diversity is increased and suggests that andscape architects can introduce more woody plants; warm season grasses; deciduous trees, which are denser; and nitrogen-fixing plants, which enable the productivity of the entire plant communities. She also advocates the use of native plants, which have deeper roots, are more productive and resilient and therefore will store more carbon over time. She suggests that while designing new forested landscapes it is important to mimick the arrangement of treas and plants that exists in surrounding ecosystem and also planting an understory of plants that tolerate leaf litter, as it helps build carbon in soil. Read on...

The Dirt: Designing with Carbon
Author: Jared Green


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 feb 2022

Investopedia defines co-branding as a 'marketing strategy that utilizes multiple brand names on a good or service as part of a strategic alliance...Each brand in such a strategic alliance contributes its own identity to create a melded brand with the help of unique logos, brand identifiers, and color schemes. The point of co-branding is to combine the market strength, brand awareness, positive associations, and cachet of two or more brands to compel consumers to pay a greater premium for them.' According to the Visual Objects survey of 501 US consumers conducted in May 2021 to determine which components of co-branding partnerships best appeal to audiences and yield successful products - 71% of consumers feel positive about co-branding partnerships, making partnership opportunities appeal to prospective brands; 61% of consumers avoid purchasing products with a negative brand reputation at least sometimes, emphasizing the importance of wisely selecting a co-branding partner; 43% of consumers would likely try a co-branded product from a company they already liked, making co-branding a solid opportunity to reengage returning consumers; 41% of consumers think a brand's values are essential for purchasing decisions, indicating that co-branding partners should spend time discussing values alignment. Essentials for co-branding success include - (1) Positive Brand Reputations: 2/3rd of consumers (61%) avoid purchasing products associated with a negative brand reputation at least some time. Jerry Han, CMO of PrizeRebel, says, 'Before we partner up with a company and offer rewards or discounts on their behalf, we make sure that the impact on the customers will be a positive one and would make them feel excited [to receive our services].' (2) Audience Alignment Between Brands: It is important to bring together customers of partners in co-branding efforts. Samuel Klein of Astor Chocolate says, 'A co-branding partnership should have shared goals for the type of people they want to reach. There needs to be an overlap in target audience size such that neither party is risking too much by choosing this particular business arrangement.' (3) Appeal To Loyal Customers: 43% of consumers would try a co-branded product from a company they already supported. John Li, co-founder of Fig Loans, says, 'Co-branding can help loyal customers venture out and try new products. If they already have trust and loyalty with you, they're more likely to trust your recommendations.' (4) Brand Values Agreement: 41% of consumers think that brand values and mission statements help inform purchasing decisions. Terri Rockovich, co-founder and CEO of Jinx, says, 'Value alignment should be at the core of a co-branding project since both brands will be inextricably linked. If you focus on just connecting a growing audience with a co-brand initiative, the partnership can feel inauthentic and strained for both a brand's current audience and their partner brand's audience. The best collaborations are those that truly bring value to both sides, elevating the values of the other and complementing each others' offerings with something unique that is created through the partnership.' Read on...

Visual Objects: 4 Essentials for Co-Branding Success
Author: Sydney Wess



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