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For MSA, ESG encapsulates ‘how’ we go about operating our organisation and delivering our projects in tandem with the design team, clients and other stakeholders. This includes:

  • Taking a customer-first approach, building deep relationships with our clients and local communities in which we deliver our projects.
  • Measuring, managing and improving our environmental and social impact.
  • Significant investment in our staff’s professional development through presentations, courses and study trips to improve skills and understandings.
  • Demonstrating targeted innovation, digital connectivity and thought leadership to drive change, within and beyond our organisation.
  • Growing a MSA team that is truly reflective of the diversity of where we live and work.

The principles outlined on this page aim to demonstrate how MSA strives to work ethically and to place human rights, the environment, and wellness at the core of our business. In addition, these principles ensure that not only are commercial requirements met, but also that MSA understands our clients’ core business requirements.

The aspiration and intention of our ESG Strategy responds to the multiple complex challenges faced, and the shifts that are starting to happen, or need to happen, to address these challenges and changes. They include the urgent need for decarbonisation and climate adaptation; growing inequality and the need to improve the general quality of life; changing occupier’s requirements and trends and consumer expectations and demands; and skills and labour shortages.

Principles that encompass environmental, social and corporate governance play a critical role in how industries such as the built environment develop and champion resilience in the future. This is pivotal in the direction of growth for the business. The principles outlined here are fully embedded in the company’s decision-making processes, operations and delivery to drive transparent and purposeful business with integrity.


In working with the major industrial developers, the practice has had experience of a number of low energy and energy efficient technologies, such as solar and wind power, combined heat and power (CHP), grey water recycling and biomass. Michael Sparks Associates has been involved in the Sustainable Industries Park (SIPS) in East London, acting for Segro and the Greater London Authority, and also for First Renewable at the Kettering Energy Park which forms a hub for a decentralised energy network, utilising on-site energy generation through a range of different sustainable media, to serve an eastern extension to the town of Kettering.



MSA is committed to undertake annual carbon auditing in order to reduce our footprint. We measure our emissions and understand what our operation’s carbon impact are. This measurement includes operational carbon (minimum scope 1 and 2) as per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and where we can – providing for Scope 3 is included as well. From calculating the amount of paper / electricity and energy we use to how we travel to and from sites and then targeting how we can reduce this figure year on year through a carbon management plan which details concrete steps to reduce emissions and dependence on offsets over time. Each year we are accredited by Planet Mark TM to achieve the coveted Planet Mark status.

Resource Consumption

Our administrative teams actively liaise with all energy suppliers. This liaison is really important to the accuracy of data – and where possible to procure all energy through green tariffs. This data also informs our carbon emissions inventory reporting.

Waste Management & Recycling

A primary part of our corporate environmental strategy is sustainable waste management and we therefore recognize our responsibilities to recycle materials wherever possible. We aim to minimise waste and dispose of all waste through safe and responsible methods. Our offices are serviced by an Environment Agency-certified removals company, which accommodates the recycling of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and tins. We work closely with our supplier companies to rely on their print toner cartridge recycling schemes for small- and large-scale printers. We engage with the community through the use of local library services for used batteries and small electronics recycling schemes.


Through co-ordinating route planning and delivery schedules we seek to reduce fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions. We encourage our employees to use the company vehicles for carpooling to job sites. We encourage the use of public transport to and from job sites and our premises. We sponsor the ‘On Yer Bike’ scheme to make cycling to and from work more accessible for our employees, and regularly participate in charity walking challenges.


The company makes training sessions available to our employees through our CPD programme, regarding in-office policies for recycling, and industry standards for lowering emissions and carbon footprinting in the construction process. We continue to raise an environmental awareness within the company, and our policies are implemented through this staff training. We are also proud to volunteer our time to discuss and present our work with local schools, engage to provide work experience with young budding architects and support and mentor young graduates to become professional RIBA, ARB Architects.



MSA is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of all our employees and raising the profile of mental health and wellbeing within the workplace. Fostering employee wellbeing is a responsibility that we recognise as being beneficial both for our team and our organisation, and we aim to promote good health and wellbeing in order to create a positive working environment where our employees and our business can thrive. We have a number of existing wellbeing initiatives in place, developed over time through becoming more informed about wellbeing as a business and our response to employee feedback.

Diverse Team & Inclusive Culture

We are proud to be a diverse team from across the globe from China to Brazil and Bulgaria to South Africa. We believe that diversity of perspective and experience enables more effective discussion and better decision making. We strive to create an inclusive working environment where all employees are treated equally with dignity and respect and encouraged in their professional development; something that we expect all team members to engage with and be responsible for.

Physical and Mental Health

We ensure the mental wellbeing of all our staff through our health and safety and practice policies, and encourage others to recognise changes in colleagues and to create an environment that enables employees to talk openly about the subject as well as be more aware about their own resilience. We offer a number of opt-in schemes for employees to benefit from, including medical and dental insurance, pension, and childcare vouchers. A healthy and active lifestyle is encouraged through our own On-Yer-Bike cycle loan scheme, regular in-house physical activity competitions and relaxation sessions aimed at benefitting the mind and body.

Team building and bonding beyond the office and the pub

We have a varied and attractive social calendar that takes advantage of the cultural offerings in our area. Our Social Committee look to arrange interesting and approachable events for the whole team to get involved with, including exhibition visits, alternative cinema, and creative classes, and encourage design beyond architecture through our Christmas Artwork design competition. We also organise regular in-house sit down lunches to down tools and socialise over good food.

The Wider Community

The wellbeing of our wider community is as important as our own. We are a foundation member of the property industry charity LandAid and take part in regular fundraising events. We always seek to support other charitable endeavours and collect regular donations for our local foodbank.

Health & Safety

We recognise our Health and Safety duties, both as an employer and as a business; Health & Safety is a fundamental consideration for all architects and designers. There is both a legal and professional responsibility to ensure understanding and application of health and safety principles at all times. The health and safety of our employees is of paramount importance and Michael Sparks Associates are committed to the principles of operating within a culture of effective Health & Safety Management. We adhere to a policy of maintaining an effective Health & Safety Policy, guidance and Risk Management System thus ensuring a safe working environment for all staff.

Modern Slavery

Michael Sparks Associates operates a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery. We are committed to ensuring that our own business operations are, and will remain to be, human trafficking and slavery-free. Michael Sparks Associates does not support or deal with any business throughout our supply chains knowingly involved in slavery or human trafficking. We expect the same high standards from all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners.



MSA are a group of professionals and at all times act within that professionalism at least within the structure of the Architects Registration Board’s Code of Conduct. This can be summarised as being honest and competent, acting with integrity, promoting services honestly and responsibly and managing the business competently. MSA ensures that all potential or actual conflicts of interest will be formally disclosed, and support will be provided to all employees to ensure that conflicts of interest are avoided where possible.

Business Ethics

MSA conducts their business in a responsible, transparent and ethical manner. We believe that any success is rooted in achieving trust and confidence not only with our staff but instilled in all stakeholders. We strive to be an equal and inclusive employer. We persist to be free of discrimination, abuse or harassment and provide support for all individuals. We want to create a supportive and open environment for all employees to develop.

Anti-Corruption & Bribery

It is our policy to conduct all of our business in an honest and ethical manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships wherever we operate and implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery.