The narrative on sustainability has been rightly focussed on action, as the stark realities of the IPCC report lays bare the devastating consequences of inaction. As a sustainable society consultant, with a strategy to be ‘The Partner for Sustainable Change’, a key focus is to offer clients alternatives on how to improve the sustainability of their projects, looking at decarbonisation, urban resilience, circular resource management and biodiversity enhancement.
Embedding this practice takes a transformational approach, as it challenges traditional practices, business models and processes that have been in play for a very long time. But change we must. Some of the ways we are transforming our operation is through setting ambitious commitments, for example, we will halve the embodied carbon emissions from new build projects and are embedding climate considerations into all design and advisory commissions over £12,500 with immediate effect. A good example of the impact of these commitments is our work on 2 Finsbury Avenue for British Land, which is expected to start on site this year. Ramboll has delivered a low embodied carbon structure of 750kgCO2/m2 for a high-rise development, combined with exemplary health & wellbeing. Working with industry-leading developers, willing to push the boundaries way beyond the minimum backstops of planning policy and national legislation, is a significant catalyst in transforming the industry towards a more sustainable future.
Furthermore, to walk the talk, Ramboll has had its own emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Ramboll Group has also signed ‘Business Ambition for 1.5˚C, a global campaign led by the SBTi in partnership with the UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business coalition, joining a number of leading companies worldwide that are committed to keeping global warming to 1.5°C and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Whilst our professional carbon footprint associated with our design and advisory services is significant, we also recognise the need to support our employees in making low carbon lifestyle choices. Our employee led network of climate champions run monthly campaigns focussing on different ways we can reduce our carbon impact. They share insights on food waste, travel and holidays and changes in the home, helping employees make informed decisions on their own carbon impact. Ramboll is privileged to have a team that is dedicated to making a genuine difference. Since we launched this initiative in May 2021, our colleagues have collectively saved more than 40,000 tonnes of potential carbon.
Investment has been critical to the transformation, an extensive training programme has been underway since 2020 to upskill all our staff and to deliver a ‘sustainability first’, from which clients directly benefit. Ramboll’s ‘Sustainability Learning University’ incorporates six fundamental e‑learning modules about different central aspects of sustainability, and has been co-created by experts across departments and geographies, together with our in-house e‑learning expert team Incept Sustainability.
Sustainability has always been a crucial element of our brand, now it really cuts right to the core and takes centre stage in everything we do.