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Responsible Environmental Footprints

Responsible Environmental Footprints

Aurecon

Aurecon's Global CEO, Giam Swiegers, and Sydney Office Manager, Charles Milazzo, received a Carbon Emissions Statement

“Environmental care needs to combine a sound quantitative approach with a passion to effect change. You need the numbers to see where you can do better. But you need teams who are willing to think and act in a different way to make a real difference to our planet. That’s what it’s about, after all. At Aurecon, we have that spirit.”

- Sonja de Klerk, Head of Quality, Environment & Sustainability

We strive to manage our environmental footprints in a responsible way.  We use an environmental management system which is certified to ISO 14001 across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. We support the precautionary approach as envisaged by Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. We have no knowledge of any monetary fines or non-monetary sanctions against Aurecon during FY16 for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations.

Irrespective of our certification status, we understand the undertakings made in our Environmental Policy are global commitments. We look beyond compliance to minimising our greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water consumption and our waste and to take everyone at Aurecon along on this journey.

For most of our offices, we calculate the carbon footprint on a regular basis and communicate the results in the form of quarterly emission statements. To have sound and accurate carbon emission data, we have our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions externally verified annually by an independent provider according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol; with a high level review on our business travel related to Scope 3 emissions. We are currently developing real-time reporting systems for some of our larger offices and expect these to start going live during 2017.

But how do we make Aurecon’s impact really big? The answer lies in our projects. This is where we can take our knowledge and skills to scale. As engineers and advisors, we can re-imagine the way things work. We can find better design solutions which will save our clients and our planet significant effluents and emissions. We can listen to project stakeholders and find solutions which maximise social value beyond the immediate technical solution. That’s why during our Financial Year 2016 we committed to feed environmental and social considerations into the planning of every project in our Aurecon Methodology. There is always a better way. We want to find it with our clients and stakeholders.

Greenhouse gas emissions

We are passionate about reducing our current greenhouse gas emissions. We agreed on improvement plans for emissions with our offices, particularly those which did not achieve a reduction in their emissions in FY16.

Direct Emissions (Scope 1)

These emissions relate to activities owned or controlled by Aurecon such as fuel combustion for cooking and heating, refrigerant leakage from air conditioning usage and fleet vehicles. 

A large number of Aurecon’s Scope 1 emissions relate to the operation of Aurecon’s pool vehicles.  It is our policy to give preference to small, fuel efficient vehicles.  Some of our locations proactively pursued replacing existing fleets with hybrid vehicles and reducing the overall fleet of pool vehicles during FY16. 

Aurecon Direct Emissions (Scope 1)

While an increase in Scope 1 emissions was noted in South Africa and attributed to projects with specific pool vehicle needs, overall Aurecon achieved a significant reduction in Scope 1 emissions.

We also offset some of our emissions through the planting of trees and the purchase of carbon credits, for example, in support of a solar geyser project in the township of Kuyasa/Khayelitsha, South Africa.

Credible Carbon
L40 Sydney Meeting
February 2016
Offset: 120 tons 

Credible Carbon
RSA Board Meeting
March 2016
Offset: 4 tons

Credible Carbon, Sydney meeting, February 2016  Credible Carbon, RSA Board Meeting, March 2016 

Click on images to view larger certificates

Direct Emissions (Scope 2)

Scope 2 emissions are associated with our consumption of purchased electricity.  The electricity we purchase from the main grid is subject to different emission factors due to the fact that our offices are located in different geographies.  Emission factors depend on the way grid electricity is generated, for example coal-fired power stations versus renewable energy sources.  The same amount of electricity usage in kWh can thus result in different amounts of CO2e emissions, which is outside Aurecon’s control.

In order to minimise our consumption of electricity, many of our operations are based in buildings with high environmental performance, such as buildings rated under relevant national and international green star rating frameworks.  We track the actual electricity consumption on an ongoing basis, with real-time displays being developed for several pilot locations.

Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions for the locations listed in the tables below were externally verified by GCX using the operational control approach with a limited level of assurance.

In conformance with ISO 14064-3 (2006) the verification process included as assessment of:

  • The quantification methodologies used
  • The emission factors applied
  • The completeness and integrity of the activity data used
  • The accuracy and consistency of the GHG calculations

Refrigerant gas usage under Scope 1 was excluded.

Scope 1 and 2 Direct emissions and
purchased electricity in ANZ
        
Scope 1 and 2 Direct emissions and
purchased electricity in Africa 
ANZ Scope 1 and 2 Direct emissions and purchased electricity   Africa Scope 1 and 2 Direct emissions and purchased electricity

Click on images to enlarge

Scope 1 and 2 Direct emissions and purchased electricity in the Middle East

Scope 1 and 2 Direct emissions and purchased electricity Middle East

Emissions along the value chain (Scope 3) Air Travel

These are emissions which occur along an organisations supply and distribution chain, e.g. business travel. At Aurecon, we measure the emissions caused through our use of rental vehicles, air travel as well as paper usage.

Our air travel footprint reflects our geographic diversity. However, this is managed through default economy class bookings which have a much lower emission factor than flights in higher classes.  Higher class flights are generally only booked in special circumstances when the health and safety of staff would otherwise be compromised.  We encourage staff to refrain from air travel as far as reasonably practical and make use of our video/teleconferencing and digital communication tools instead.

Emissions alng the value chain (Scope 3) Air Travel

War on waste

Sometimes our civilisation is called the “throw-away society”. At Aurecon, we are conscious of the waste we generate and think of innovative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste.

  • Some of our offices have negotiated with waste management companies to be paid for recyclable waste. These revenues are used exclusively for environmental and social initiatives such as carbon offsets, planting of food gardens, providing start-up capital to emerging micro-enterprises and sponsoring environmental events such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards Launch. One man’s waste is another man’s treasure.

    Take a look at the recycling facility that recently opened at our Tshwane office (video courtesy ITWeb)


  • So what do we throw away? Some of our offices got “down and dirty” auditing their waste and calling out the amount of waste which ended up in the wrong bins. Do we really need disposable coffee cups for our morning fix now that Aurecon has beautiful Keep Cups? We think not – and we are on it to make a difference.

  • Just imagine a life without a waste bin at your desk?  We did. In some of our offices, waste bins were discontinued … and re-used as pots to create Aurecon herb gardens. We will think twice about throwing our waste into the correct bin. And we will think three times if we need to generate the waste to start with.

Precious water

Some of our geographies experienced near-catastrophic draught conditions during FY16. If the tap runs dry, you recognise how depended we all are on clean, potable water. We try to make every drop count.

The nature of Aurecon’s business is such that most of our water comes from utility providers and, in some instances, from rainwater harvesting. Accurate reporting on water consumption is challenging in some of our offices due to the fact that certain buildings are leased and therefore we don’t pay water bills directly. Water is, however, measured within our offices wherever possible.

Water saving initiatives have been implemented in many of Aurecon’s facilities. Some of these initiatives include:

Water saving initiatives implemented in many of Aurecon’s facilities

Our Eco Warriors

One planet. That’s all we have. Therefore we create a vibrant spirit of environmental care amongst our staff.

For United Nations World Environment Day 2016, we encouraged staff to leave the car in the garage and “Join the Race to Make the World a Better Place”.  Walking, running and cycling, our teams across the globe accumulated 22 341 022 steps as measured by relevant fitness apps. That is the equivalent of 17 024 kilometres – a distance greater than walking across Australia from East to West and across Africa from North to South. Driven in a medium sized vehicle, this distance would have created 3.2 tonnes of CO2e.

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