Better Together: Enhancing partnerships and sustainability commitments

  • April 20, 2021
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  • Alissa Lawler

The team at Wenck kicked off 2021 with exciting news of our company’s evolution – we joined forces with global design and engineering firm Stantec. This represents a positive step in a long-term relationship between two companies that have collaborated on several projects over the years. The acquisition adds depth and breadth to Stantec’s environmental services team, especially in the U.S. Midwest. And it creates great opportunity for our employees and clients as we join a global company network.

In addition to improved opportunities for our people and projects, this alignment helps propel our team’s commitment to environmental sustainability as we join a global firm dedicated to showing leadership in this space.

In February, Stantec pledged to carbon neutrality by 2022 as a first step in achieving net-zero operations by 2030 across its entire global footprint. The move is part of the company’s continued commitment to industry-leading sustainable practices worldwide.

In doing so, Stantec continues to demonstrate leadership in aligning itself to the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement―to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Specifically, Stantec has committed to set science-based emissions reduction targets, for all three scopes, in line with 1.5°C emissions scenarios. Furthermore, Stantec has committed to a long-term target to reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2030 in line with the criteria and recommendations of the Science Based Targets initiative. Meeting this target is anticipated to rely on a combination of traditional and innovative pathways that connect directly to Stantec’s client work and technical expertise.

Besides addressing Stantec’s operational carbon impact, net-zero also represents a significant business opportunity for engineering and design firms, which have the unique ability to lead in defining innovative solutions for the market. Stantec’s Innovation Office will fund employee-driven research and business solutions that will not only serve as a strategic resource in reducing Stantec’s carbon emissions, but also those of its clients.

“Stantec’s net zero pledge demonstrates the organization’s commitment to improving quality of life in the communities we serve, including doing our part to protect communities from the worst impacts of climate change. Every day we focus on helping our clients achieve their sustainability goals and build resilience through innovative solutions. We believe in working just as diligently to reduce our own impact. During a time when we are all thinking about what the future will look like, especially with Earth Month underway, Stantec’s net zero pledge is evidence of the role businesses can play in making a positive impact on the future health of our environment,” said Alissa Lawler, Stantec Senior Associate and Sustainable Growth Coalition Steering Committee Member.

In addition to Stantec’s carbon emission targets, our teams are supporting clients on widely recognized sustainable projects in a variety of locales:

  • Brussels – Stantec is currently managing the European Union’s largest external aid consultancy contract for sustainable energy.
  • Ethiopia – Stantec recently designed the 254 MW Genale Dawa III Hydropower project to provide a vital renewable energy source for the region.
  • Kentucky – Stantec designed and built an extension to Kentucky’s Hatchery Creek, successfully restoring a wildlife ecosystem where fluctuating water levels had once destroyed important trout habitat and spawning areas.
  • Minnesota – In Minneapolis, the team with Wenck, now part of Stantec, assisted the Metropolitan Airports Commission in developing a plan to incorporate green stormwater infrastructure into MAC construction projects.
  • New York City – Stantec has been selected to lead design for the Battery Coastal Resilience Project, spanning one third of a mile of waterfront along the 25-acre Battery Park.
  • Maryland – In the sphere of Bioenergy, Stantec is the lead designer of the Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility in Maryland. The innovative facility closes a nutrient loop converting solids traditionally landfilled to create heat and power, clean gas for municipal use, and nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Stantec’s carbon commitment is the most recent in a series of company milestones related to sustainability. The company was named the fifth most sustainable company in the world and first in North America by Corporate Knights in 2021. Companies in the Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations ranking represent the top one percent of companies in the world on sustainability performance.

This distinction is coupled with CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) awarding Stantec its technical classification of A- for the third year in a row, making Stantec the only engineering and design firm in the industry to earn an A- rating for the last three consecutive years.

Stantec is also a member of the Sustainable Growth Coalition convened by Environmental Initiative. Participating in this partnership has provided an invaluable opportunity for us to exchange ideas with other leading businesses and organizations who share our commitment to sustainability and advancing the circular economy.

Sustainability is built into our purpose, our promise, and our values. We support and measure our collective impact against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Stantec is actively tracking how our work supports the intent and metrics/indicators of the SDGs, which serve as the UN’s blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. To learn more about sustainability at Stantec, visit: www.stantec.com/sustainability.