Development planning support
Ramboll Environ’s ecologists provide commercially focussed expertise in ecological surveys, assessment and mitigation to support clients through the planning process. We work in a variety of habitat types, ranging from greenfield environments to urban brownfield land. Our experience extends across a range of development types and to working with a variety of clients, in both the private and public sectors. This includes work in the residential, industrial, utilities and energy sectors. We provide ecological advice at all stages of projects, from the early stages of site characterisation and project inception to ecological support and advice during the planning, post-planning, construction and monitoring stages.
We work with clients to achieve scientifically defensible, risk-based solutions that support responsible and sustainable businesses. Our internationally recognised experts are widely published in the science and engineering literature and have earned an outstanding reputation with businesses, regulatory agencies and the global scientific community.
Our integrated environmental, economic and engineering services balance environmental protection and societal needs. We bring to each engagement a deep understanding of the social, regulatory, ecosystem and stakeholder benefits achievable by preserving or restoring lands and waterways and managing natural resource assets in a financially, socially and legally responsible and transparent manner.
Ecological risk assessment
Ecological risk assessment is a valuable tool for shaping industry and regulatory environmental protection programmes. We conduct assessments to evaluate the relative benefits of remediation options at contaminated sites, screen new chemicals prior to commercial production, evaluate risks of agricultural and industrial chemicals, and characterise threats to protected species and habitats.
Our economists, ecotoxicologists, GIS specialists, risk assessors and statisticians are sensitive to balancing costs and technical challenges, and strive to maximise the use of historical data, apply appropriate data analysis and focus on the collection of essential information that contributes to the resolution of regulatory and public concerns. We support decision makers by asking “what if” questions regarding the consequences of different commercial and regulatory activities.
Ramboll Environ engineers, ecologists and risk assessment specialists have extensive expertise in planning, implementation and oversight of investigation, assessment, remediation and restoration of ports and waterways challenged by navigability concerns and contaminated sediments.
We develop scientifically defensible sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), sediment management goals and achievable remediation performance standards. We use both screening-level and detailed assessment techniques to evaluate chemical, biological and habitat conditions and to identify issues affecting different management options. We use a variety of investigation methods depending on waterway-specific conditions and the regulatory context, including sediment sampling and analysis, toxicity testing, benthic community and wildlife surveys, habitat suitability characterisation, fish sampling, amphibian egg mass surveying, avian nest monitoring, sediment transport modelling and historical research.
Our engineers and remediation specialists use pre-remedy (baseline) risk assessments and remedy alternative analyses to help clients identify opportunities to control site remediation costs, improve the likelihood of project success, and develop effective long-term monitoring plans to demonstrate environmental improvement. We have substantial expertise in the application of several sediment management practices and technologies, including dredging, in situ capping, solidification, stabilisation, thermal treatment, upland disposal and confined aquatic disposal.
Nature restoration, rivers and wetlands
The EU Water Framework Directive presents challenges and opportunities for municipalities and other authorities, and the related action plans open up exciting possibilities for solutions to meet the objectives of protecting and improving aquatic environments.
Our comprehensive experience with large restoration projects, combined with detailed knowledge of the hydrological and ecological functions and services provided by wetlands and waterways, positions us to assist clients in all technical areas related to streams, rivers and wetlands. We offer consultancy from the outset of a project through feasibility studies, detailed design, tendering and supervision of the construction work. We also provide maintenance and monitoring support to ensure long-term, sustainable success.
In developing solutions, we consider traditional management approaches, as well as natural or innovative technical solutions. We focus on creating optimal conservation and rehabilitation strategies that benefit nature, landowners and public use; preserve and protect or enhance native vegetation and wildlife and the continuity of rivers and streams; and protect, preserve and restore critical habitat and hydrological services. Our ecologists and wetland specialists provide engineering and ecological support to authorities, private landowners, developers and land planning agencies involved in the construction of fish and fauna passage in rivers, terrestrial wildlife corridors, water diversions and wetland features supporting aquatic and terrestrial habitat suitable for indigenous wildlife.
Ramboll Environ freshwater and marine ecologists, ecotoxicologists, water chemists and fisheries scientists provide public resource agencies and businesses with technical expertise important to environmental permitting and compliance, environmental impact assessment, and both land use and resource development planning.
We conduct baseline studies and spill/accident response studies to evaluate the impact of land and resource development projects and industrial accidents on ecosystem services and functions and both indigenous and protected or sensitive aquatic life. Our research facilities located in the US and Finland have considerable experience planning and conducting aquatic research supporting regulatory compliance requirements, environmental impact assessments and consumer and industrial product testing. We are often called upon to test the efficacy of state-of-the-science materials used in water treatment, oil spill response and site remediation.
Natural capital and ecosystem services valuation
Ramboll Environ provides world-class expertise in natural resource management, ecosystem service analysis, biodiversity and environmental restoration services to business and the regulatory community. We have pioneered innovative applications of valuing ecosystem services assessment to quantify the social, environmental and economic service impacts and benefits associated with human use of the environment.
Our approach is aligned with the environmental sustainability and the triple-bottom-line paradigm, described in the United Nations 2005 Millennium Assessment, and the Natural Capital Protocol. We have extensive experience adapting rehabilitation and protection strategies to national and international environmental requirements, including the EU Water Framework Directive and EU Habitats Directive (Natura 2000 plans). We provide rigorous scientific evaluations of environmental damage including civil sanctions such as voluntary Enforcement Undertakings.
We work closely with clients and their legal advisers to develop environmental assessment and defence strategies, including the use of Habitat Equivalency Analyses and related ecological assessment, fate and transport models, and chemical fingerprinting tools to quantify baseline resource services and support the appropriate and defensible valuation of remedial actions or financial compensation for harm to the environment.