Our sustainable roadmap sets out our commitment to achieving carbon savings, and describes our holistic approach to sustainability. We engage with government bodies, professional and learned institutions, and our clients in order to understand fully their respective sustainability targets. This helps us to determine how to provide support, a key ingredient in the development of the roadmap.
The roadmap has an impact on all aspects of our business — on our engineering and consultancy work, the operation of our offices and on our related commitment to social responsibility concerning the people who work for us and the wider community. Set out below are summaries of some of the main features of the roadmap.
Exceeding client expectations
A principle starting point for the roadmap is a thorough understanding of our client's expectations and targets in relation to sustainability. We are in the fortunate position of having long-standing relationships with the majority of our clients and we promote open dialogue and the sharing of knowledge, thinking and strategies with them. We can advise on the impact of all aspects of a property portfolio and the social impact of business operations.
Creating sustainable communities
We actively promote sustainable practice in the built environment and are engaged in extensive research into low and zero carbon energy technologies. We draw on the full breadth of our multi-disciplinary capabilities and have a clear understanding of the core factors involved in the creation of sustainable communities — social, governmental, economic and physical.
Reducing embodied carbon
Embodied carbon figures represent the carbon output of all aspects of the process of construction. Through the application of lean design, the use of renewable and recycled materials and through ongoing research into sustainable construction techniques, we have achieved embodied carbon savings of 6,000t CO2 in the UK in the last five years. This achievement wasn't prompted by regulation but by our belief in sustainable design.
Moving towards zero carbon
The reduction of operational carbon output in buildings is a key goal: in the UK, buildings currently emit 40% of all carbon emissions and the government target is for all new buildings to emit zero carbon by 2019. Our engineers and consultants look to maximise passive design opportunities and building performance, and promote the incorporation of appropriate low and zero carbon technologies as well as operational monitoring.
By promoting innovative thinking and knowledge sharing, and investing in R&D, training and advanced technology tools, Ramboll can focus on optimising design solutions to minimise demand on natural resources and control waste. We call this lean engineering. It's about operating in a holistic way to make the most of the opportunities available in a project and the inherent properties of materials.
Natural resources management
Scientific rigour underpins our understanding of probability, risk and the means to optimise the potential of a project in relation to its natural environment. Masterplans and new buildings can both incorporate habitat preservation and creation in an integrated way. Even high density and city developments can contribute to habitat generation.
Low and zero carbon energy
We see it as our job to contribute to the minimisation of the reliance on fossil fuels. Our expertise in renewable and low carbon energy generation is widely recognised and we are committed to ensuring that all parts of our business are equally well informed on the application of appropriate technologies. We continue to invest in R&D and the raising of awareness.
Running sustainable operating environments
Sustainability runs through the heart of our business, including our working environments. Through our Sustainability Task Group we set company-wide objectives and disseminate knowledge. Sustainability Champions cascade new initiatives throughout the business, resulting in a 10% reduction in CO2 emissions in the past 18 months. Features of our UK operations approach include a 100% renewable electricity supply, a comprehensive recycling programme and active support for cyclists.