This year, Earth Hour focuses on enhancing awareness of biodiversity loss and climate change. In acknowledgement of the global event on 26 March, global trusted infrastructure consulting firm AECOM celebrates the fact that it is leading by example thanks to its Sustainable Legacies strategy, which represents a lasting commitment to environment, social and governance (ESG) principles.
“As a trusted partner to our clients, our commitment to ESG is not only core to what we do, but it also plays a large role in leading our industry towards a more sustainable and equitable future,” says Elisabeth Nortje, Assistant Director – Environment, Africa. AECOM’s Sustainable Legacies strategy for achieving ambitious ESG objectives integrates four key pillars to embed sustainable development and resilience across the company’s work, improve social outcomes for communities, achieve net-zero carbon emissions and enhance governance.
ESG considerations are particularly important due to the long-term nature of infrastructure investments. Success today is much more than delivering on time and on budget, as it is also about responding to clients’ needs and embedding considerations of social equity, economic justice, environmental sustainability and resilience into any work undertaken to achieve the best outcomes for communities and the planet.
Over 1 500 of AECOM’s clients and 800 cities globally have already set net-zero targets, while others are looking at strengthening the resiliency of communities to adapt to climate change, or rethinking master planning to advance community equity and economic prosperity. Another focus is advancing projects, initiatives, and policies that uplift people and communities. This might be improved health outcomes for a community as a result of clean water infrastructure or reduced air pollution due to transport electrification.
The AECOM environmental team in Africa consists of a group of dedicated environmental scientists, social scientists and climate-change advisors. The team provides services to both internal and external clients, addressing the need for environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) to meet international funder requirements; waste, water and air emissions licences; compliance monitoring and auditing; sustainability and climate change assessments; and stakeholder engagement, integrated environmental planning and environmental advisory services throughout South Africa, Africa and the Middle East.
“Our commitment to sustainable development and the environment is a thread that runs through our work from planning to decommissioning,” stresses Nortje. “Our involvement is basically a total end-to-end approach which allows us to partner with our clients to build legacies for generations to come.”
AECOM was ranked #3 in Engineering News Record’s (ENR’s) 2021 Top 200 Environmental Firms, the seventh year in a row it has placed in the top three of the global rankings.
For more information about Earth Hour, visit: https://www.earthhour.org/.
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