Join us

The Designers Accord is the global coalition of designers, educators, and business leaders working together to create positive environmental and social impact.
Adopters of the Designers Accord commit to five guidelines that provide collective and individual ways to take action. Becoming a member of the Designers Accord provides access to a community of peers that shares methodologies, resources, and experiences around environmental and social issues in design.

Philosophy

The unifying philosophy of the Designers Accord is open source. We advocate inverting the traditional model of competition, and encourage sharing best practices so we can innovate more efficiently and quickly.
  • We ask all adopters to engage in conversation about social and environmental impact with every client and customer, and integrate sustainable alternatives in their work.
  • We will create a real-world and online network to enable conversation about opportunities and challenges in creating sustainable products, services, and businesses.
The Designers Accord has a purposefully low barrier to entry and two distinctive characteristics:
  • Adopters must have an honest drive to address the guidelines, not necessarily a record of having achieved multiple sustainability metrics already.
  • Adopters must be willing to share experiences, best practices, and methodologies so that others can learn from and build on their knowledge.
The Designers Accord is a no-fee organization. We are supported by grants and tax-free donations.

Involvement

The goal of the Designers Accord is to create positive impact. There are three ways to join: Adopter An organized group within the creative community (design firms, corporations, educational institutions) working through the 5 guidelines. Supporter An individual (artists, freelance designers, students) making the guidelines relevant to his or her personal practice. Like adopters, we expect supporters to evangelize the movement within their communities. Endorser An organization (AIGA, IDSA, CUMULUS, IDZ) adding awareness to the cause, and providing infrastructure for education and outreach programs.

Instructions for Adopting the Designers Accord

The barrier to entry for adopting the Designers Accord is deliberately low. However, we know that it is important that this call to action is more than a manifesto. We do ask adopters to demonstrate their adherence to the guidelines by: actively participating in the community conversation; sharing work and perspectives; hosting/attending events; contributing time and energy to the various initiatives around sustainability, etc. If you are a design firm adopter, please create (or update) your free profile on the Core77/BusinessWeek Design Firm Directory, and request to adopt on your profile page. A message will be send to the Designers Accord to review, and within 3 days, we will confirm your adoption. (Design firm listing is free.) For corporate and educational institution adopters If you are a corporate or educational institution adopter, please email join@designersaccord.org declaring your intention to adopt. The email should include:
  • Statement of intention
  • Name of institution / company
  • Description of offering / work
  • Location
  • Website URL
  • Size of institution (company, or faculty, students, staff)
  • Contact name and email
The Designers Accord reviews this statement and responds to the request. For individuals If you are a supporter, please email join@designersaccord.org declaring your intention to support the Designers Accord. Please list your name, email address, and location. All adopters, supporters, and endorsers follow a basic code of conduct: Do no harm; Communicate and collaborate; Keep learning, keep teaching; Instigate meaningful change; Make theory action

Guidelines

Guidelines for the three types of adopters are roughly the same, but tuned to the industry orientation.

Guidelines for Design Firm Adopters

  1. Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.
  2. Initiate a dialogue about environmental and social impact and sustainable alternatives with each and every client. Rework client contracts to favor environmentally and socially responsible design and work processes. Provide strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design.
  3. Undertake a program to educate your teams about sustainability and sustainable design.
  4. Consider your ethical footprint. Understand the environmental impact of your firm, and work to measure, manage, and reduce it on an annual basis.
  5. Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.

View the list of design firm adopters on the Core77/BusinessWeek Design Firm Directory

Guidelines for Corporate Adopters

  1. Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.
  2. Provide strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design of products and services, and pledge to help customers reduce their negative impact.
  3. Undertake a program to educate your teams about sustainability and sustainable design.
  4. Consider your ethical footprint. Understand the environmental impact of your organization, and work to measure, manage, and reduce it on an annual basis.
  5. Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.

View the list of the Corporate Adopters

Guidelines for Educational Institution Adopters

  1. Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.
  2. Initiate a dialogue about environmental and social impact and sustainable alternatives with every student and colleague in your educational program. Rework curricula and assignments to emphasize environmentally and socially responsible design and work processes. Provide course content, lectures, and assignments that focus on strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design.
  3. Undertake a program to educate your colleagues about sustainability and sustainable design, and plan the integration of these concepts into course curricula.
  4. Consider your ethical footprint. Understand the environmental impact of your institution, and work to measure, manage, and reduce it on an annual basis.
  5. Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.

View the list of Educational Adopters