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12 Signposts to sustainability

At Mott MacDonald, we use a 12-point system to embed sustainability for the long term.

Graphic representation of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable development goals.
Putting the UN SDGs at the heart of what we do
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Putting the UN SDGs at the heart of what we do Through abiding by the UN Sustainable development goals, we have been able to refine sustainability throughout all aspects that we come in contact with on a day-to-day basis.

1: Client engagement

Together with our clients, we make lasting change to the areas in which we operate. It is only in partnership that we can drive innovation and sustainable solutions. In all that we do, we seek out opportunities for enhancing the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the communities our work touches.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

17 – Partnership for the goals

2: Climate resilience

In the face of accelerating human-induced climate change, infrastructure must make a conscious effort to become more resilient to shocks and stresses in the system. Our experts are helping clients around the world address some of the planet's most pressing issues. There is a clear climate resilience dividend for public and private sectors – fully climate resilient businesses not only deal with climate events, they rebound to gain a better position than their poorly adapted, less resilient competitors.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

2 – Zero hunger, 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 13 – Climate action, 15 – Life on land

3: Materials and waste

Reducing the quantity of materials and the amount of waste produced can help minimise the impact our projects have on natural resources. Our team of waste and resource management professionals work with clients to provide sustainable solutions in projects. Through the responsible treatment and disposal of items, which cannot be reused or recycled, impacts to the environment are minimised, as well as value, energy and materials being recovered for future beneficial use.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

8 – Decent work and economic growth, 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 12 – Responsible consumption and production, 15 – Life on land

4: Energy

Reducing the amount of energy used during construction and during the lifetime of assets can have considerable environmental and cost benefits as well as a significantly-reduced carbon footprint. The expansion of renewable energy is crucial in action being taken towards mitigating climate change. Our energy team and our sustainability experts demonstrate how sustainable energy solutions can have positive impacts to communities all over the world.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

3 – Good health and well-being, 7 – Affordable and clean energy, 11 – Sustainable cities and communities, 13 – Climate action.

5: Water

Water and access to water sources is essential to life on earth. The connected nature of global water systems requires us to think beyond the infrastructure and engineering solutions that we provide and think about the impact that our work has on communities. Our multidisciplinary team operates across all sectors of the water industry, for all types of clients, globally.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

2- Zero Hunger, 3 – Good health and well-being, 6 – Clean water and sanitation, 14 – Life below water

6: Carbon

In the attempt to shift towards a zero-carbon world, the role of consultants and carbon management experts will become increasingly important. We have a team working globally to assess, design and manage the carbon intensity of projects in all of our sectors. Our carbon modeller, the Carbon Portal, allows us to deliver significant carbon and cost savings through better design. It allows us to minimise resource use, reduce energy demand of infrastructure and innovate to provide better, more sustainable solutions for clients and the communities in which we work.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

3 – Good health and wellbeing, 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 11 – Sustainable cities and communities, 13 – Climate action.

7: Whole life assessment and decommissioning

Infrastructure and those working in the sector are increasingly being asked to challenge the way in which they design things. Commitment to a more sustainable future will ensure we think beyond our own timeframes, considering the whole life of assets and what happens to infrastructure at the end of its life. Our buildings team has created a sustainability toolkit to demonstrate the positive impact that designing for reconstruction, decommissioning and including whole life assessments can have.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 11- Sustainable cities and communities, 12 – Responsible consumption and production, 17 – Partnerships for the goals

8: Procurement

Ensuring we procure sustainably means working in partnerships with companies, individuals and communities across the world. It provides us with the opportunity to provide decent work to local communities and ensure that we work in an ethical and fair manner. Our procurement policy has sustainability enshrined into it, meaning that throughout any procurement procedure the environmental, economic and social impact is considered.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

8 – Decent work and economic growth, 12 – Responsible consumption and production, 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions, 17 – Partnerships for the goals

9: Emerging technologies

The rise and application of emerging technologies is fundamentally changing the way in which we, our clients and our supply chain conduct their business. We use exciting new technologies to connect to colleagues and get ideas and best practice from across the group, to deliver new and innovative solutions to your clients. Our digital infrastructure team can provide technological communications solutions for our clients’ needs.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure

10: Economic and social performance

The social impact of infrastructure projects is increasingly becoming a fundamental part of investment decisions. Inequality is growing across the developed and developing world, so we must consider the way in which we engage with clients, and manage how our projects can have a profound impact on the social and economic outcomes.

We work in communities all over the world to ensure we manage the outcomes of our project in a way that is sensitive to local populations. Our social development team is also working in communities globally to reduce poverty, inequality and injustice by empowering women, men and children to fully participate in society.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

1 – No poverty, 5 – Gender equality, 8 – Decent work and economic growth, 10 – Reduced inequalities

11: Engagement with the community

Our projects have a direct impact on communities. Engaging with those communities at every stage of a project means we go from deliverers of infrastructure projects to a company that helps communities develop through infrastructure. We work in direct partnership with the local community to deliver the solutions they seek. Considering the needs of a community is vital across all projects – it informs the decisions we make and helps drive socially inclusive outcomes for all.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

8 – Decent work and economic growth, 10 – Reduced inequalities, 11 – Sustainable cities and communities, 17 – Partnerships for the goals

12: Value

We create real value with sustainability by going above and beyond for our clients and the communities affected by our projects. This can be economic, carbon reduction or social value. We’re proud to contribute to projects which raise living standards and increase prosperity across mature and emerging economies. We make a positive impact to people in communities worldwide, inspiring and challenging clients to drive socially inclusive outcomes and ultimately contribute to the sustainable development goals.

Corresponding UN sustainable development goals:

17 – Partnerships for the goals

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