At Arcadis, we recognize that we’ve got a significant role to play in improving sustainability in the built environment. So, we’re putting sustainability at the center of everything we do.
Of course, implementing this demands an ongoing strategic and structural transformation. Having hired a Global Sustainability Officer Alexis Haass to lead the charge, we want to be known as an organization that leads from the front – that backs up words with action.
Pre-COVID we were already working towards significantly reducing our need to travel – by far our biggest carbon-generating activity – and the pandemic helped to accelerate that. We’ve also spent years redesigning our workplaces to minimize our carbon footprint.
Bringing sustainability to life: how Arcadis approaches work for maximum (or minimum) impact
We now ask ourselves, for example, how we might be able to automate the bridge or building design process to ensure we minimize the carbon footprint of materials and construction. We offer our client a calculation on the embodied carbon of several different options, explaining the economic versus sustainability impacts so that they can make an educated choice. It’s up to the client as to which way they want to go, but it’s becoming increasingly easy to sell the most sustainable option.
One project we’re working on that’s particularly interesting from a sustainability perspective is ‘mobility as a service’. We are involved with developing an app that will allow a commuter to identify the least impactful way to get from A to B. They plug in their destination, then the tool compares and ranks the available routes and transport options from carbon impact sense.
Again, the choice between economy, sustainability and efficiency will be theirs – we just hope to arm people with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Accepting responsibility and sharing knowledge
At the end of the day, every individual and organization has a role to play in creating a sustainable world. We’ll each attack the problem in our own way. For me, that’s aiming to reach new heights of sustainability in large-scale mobility projects. Whatever our career path, if we are open to sharing what we’ve learned and how we’ve approached innovative, ground-breaking solutions, I’ve got real hope for the future.