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HOK’s Social Responsibility Arm Enters Second Decade with Expanded Vision

HOK Impact seeks to inspire industry with sustainable and inclusive actions that strengthen communities.

In 2011, HOK formalized its long-standing commitment to service with the creation of HOK Impact. The corporate social responsibility program has since inspired employees to volunteer thousands of hours and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for causes that transform and improve communities. Now, as it enters its second decade, HOK Impact is hoping to champion a new commitment to giving across architecture, engineering and construction.

By collaborating across the firm’s 23 global offices, HOK Impact will extend the firm’s commitment to social responsibility, environmental stewardship, equity and inclusion. HOK Impact will accomplish this goal by:

  1. Broadening our partnerships and relationships with minority and/or women-owned practices with a common goal of community support and empowerment.
  2. Expanding HOK’s mentoring program to reach more aspiring architects, engineers and designers from underrepresented communities, including our long-standing partnership with the ACE Mentor Program.
  3. Committing to volunteer service and pro-bono design projects that strengthen underserved neighborhoods and improve the environment.
  4. Leveraging industry connections to make a greater impact in our charitable giving.

“One of HOK’s core values always has been our commitment to the people and places where we work and live,” said Bill Hellmuth, chairman and CEO. “HOK Impact facilitates that pledge to our communities.”

Recent HOK Impact initiatives reflect the firm’s enhanced vision of social responsibility. Designers in our L.A. studio have partnered with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to create guidelines to improve the design of shelters that support the homeless, survivors of domestic abuse and other trauma. (The Association of Interior Designers recently awarded HOK a grant to further study the efficacy of the guidelines.)

HOK’s Toronto studio provided pro-bono design services to improve the living standards of a local women’s shelter and, in collaboration with industry partners, raised over CAD$450,000 to further support the cause. In Kansas City, HOK provided pro-bono design for a proposed aquaponics farm that would provide a sustainable source of fish and vegetables for people living in an urban food desert. In London, our team donated hundreds of hours to designing an award-winning center for disadvantaged youth. And, during the 2019-2020 academic year, more than 40 designers across nine HOK offices volunteered with the ACE Mentor Program of America.

HOK Impact works in tandem with HOK’s Diversity Advisory Council to extend the firm’s commitment to equity and inclusion into communities and across the AEC industry.

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