A new matrix operating model was officially introduced across Ramboll in 2018. The structure allows us to strengthen collaboration between markets and geographies, improves the utilisation of resources across markets, and aims to help grow and develop our Spearhead services. Central to our ‘Winning Together’ strategy, Spearheads enable us to better utilise our global expertise while promoting collaboration across different markets and geographies.

And by focusing on them, we aim to increase awareness of some of the key services we offer to our clients. In 2018, we introduce several new Spearhead services, including High-Rise Buildings, Major Crossings, Smart Mobility, Offshore Wind and Waste-to-Energy, all of which have shown impressive growth.

Business integrity

Integrity is at the core of Ramboll’s business, and acting honestly, decently and responsibly as we engage with employees, clients and business partners is enshrined in our values.

We respect international agreements and the conventions and rules of the countries where we work, both in letter and spirit. As independent consultants, we abide by our professional opinion, regardless of external pressures. And we ensure alignment with our values in our choice of business partners and the services we provide.

Our behaviour and transactions follow good corporate governance based on our Global Commitment and Code of Conduct.

Global Compliance Programme

Ramboll’s Group Compliance Function oversees the implementation of our Global Compliance Programme, covering anti-corruption and anti-bribery, international sanctions and data privacy. The Programme ensures and promotes a corporate culture of ethics and compliance, and we apply guidance from the UKBA and FCPA as well as international standards such as ISO 37001 (anti-bribery), ISO 19600 (compliance) and OECD guidelines on anti-corruption.

To secure continuous improvements and maturing of our Global Compliance Programme, a 2020 Compliance Roadmap has been developed, outlining the key activities towards 2020 that will enable us to reach our strategic target of best-industry practice within anti-corruption.

Some of our strategic focus areas include increasing our focus on onboarding training for employees and managers, and implementing additional automated anti-corruption controls and monitoring in our project management and procurement processes.

Anti-corruption and bribery

Targets 2020

We aim to have best industry practice within anti-corruption by 2020.

We comply with anti-corruption laws, including the UK Bribery Act (UKBA), the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and local laws in every country where we operate. Ramboll has zero-tolerance to corruption and bribery in all forms, as outlined in our Group Policy, Procedure and Guideline on Anti-Corruption, and reinforced by the implementation of anti-corruption processes and controls throughout the organisation. Compliance with the Anti-Corruption Policy strengthens Ramboll’s reputational, legal and financial standing, and protects not only Ramboll, but also our employees from potential civil and criminal penalties resulting from prosecution for corruption offences.

Where Ramboll operates in countries ranked as likely to have significant risks of corruption, we identify high-risk projects through embedded controls in our project management tools, and carry out compliance risk assessments case by case.

Third party risk management

During 2018, we have been implementing our Business Associate Code (BAC), which is an enhancement of our previous Supplier Code of Conduct. All our suppliers are asked to commit to the requirements in the BAC, which was enhanced to implement process requirements aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This was the first step in the process of improving our global third-party compliance due diligence processes and tools, which is a continuous focus area in 2019.

Ramboll presence in relation to Corruption Perception Index

Anti-corruption map

Source: Transparency International CPI (2018)

Anti-corruption training

Compliance concerns

In 2018, there were 82 reported ethics and compliance concerns, including whistleblowers. This is an increase from the number reported in 2017 (63), which we believe is due to better awareness of our ‘Speak Up’ mechanisms achieved through various training activities conducted during 2018, as well as a natural result of our maturing ethics and compliance activities.

Out of the 82 reported concerns, eight have been assessed as significant, resulting in various mitigating actions and sanctions. However, none have been assessed to represent a significant financial or reputational risk to the business.

We encourage our employees and stakeholders to speak up, as we believe that this is an invaluable source of information enabling Ramboll to learn from past events, and to ensure continuous improvements of our ethics and compliance activities.

Compliance concerns and whistleblowers

IN 2018:

  • All our operations have been assessed for risks related to corruption as part of the Business Risk Assessment
  • We replaced Supplier Code of Conduct with an enhanced Business Associate Code
  • We trained new employees in anti-corruption and anti-bribery policy

IN 2019 WE WILL:

  • Continue to improve our third-party compliance due diligence process
  • Further develop differentiated on-boarding training for employees and managers
  • Improve use of automated anti-corruption controls

Human rights

Our commitment to respect human rights is anchored in our Global Commitment – our key policy commitment on sustainability and responsible behaviour. We respect human rights by implementing procedures in line with the UN Global Compact and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP). Our Global Commitment is integrated in our Code of Conduct, our global policies and our supply chain management.

Ramboll complies with local regulations. We follow the requirements in accordance with the UK Modern Slavery Act and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act. In 2018, Ramboll conducted a human rights impact assessment in India focusing on Gender Equality, Health & Safety and Cultural Awareness.

Human Rights Impact Assessments

To identify impacts and possible adverse effects on human rights, we conducted a pilot human rights impact assessment in 2016 (Copenhagen head office), a global desktop study in 2017 (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and the UK) and a human rights impact assessment in 2018 (India). Overall 22% or 2 out of 9 of country business units have been part of the human rights impact assessments. 

A pilot impact assessment of our Copenhagen head office was carried out to identify actual and potential adverse impacts that Ramboll may cause or contribute to through our internal operations.

The global desktop study was conducted to get an overview of Ramboll’s salient human rights risks from a global perspective and to inform our further work with implementing human rights due diligence according to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It covered known risks in Ramboll operations, known risks in our stronghold geographies (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and the UK) and known risks in our industry.

In 2018, Ramboll conducted a human rights impact assessment in India focusing on Gender Equality, Health, Safety and Security and Cultural Awareness, the second such assessment undertaken globally in the last three years. In 2019, we will conduct a human rights impact assessment in Middle East and Asia.

Human rights risks

The most relevant human rights issues in the sectors in which Ramboll operates are related to discrimination, forced labour, health, safety and security, the rights of indigenous people, corruption risks, and environmental impacts. Ramboll is sometimes indirectly linked to these issues through our business relationships on projects. For example, a supplier or sub-consultant with whom Ramboll has a contractual relationship may have a negative impact on an employee’s rights.

Based on the results of the human rights risk assessments, a consolidated risk matrix was developed in 2017. Risks identified in the risk matrix have been considered and mitigation actions have been identified, and mitigating actions are integrated for example in our Sustainability & CR strategy, Health, Safety & Security Programme, Compliance Programme and HR Business Plan. Our Business Association Code, project management system and third-party assessments also aim to prevent risks and address any human rights violations in our operations and supply chain.

IN 2019 WE WILL:
Conduct human rights impact assessments in the Middle East

    Ethics and dilemmas 

    Based on our long history and legacy, Ramboll’s values and principles guide our decisions about our project portfolio. A new Group Policy for Clients defines characteristics for the types of clients we will and will not work for. Furthermore, an Ethics Committee has been established to respond to needs for direction and guidance beyond our policies and procedures. The Committee handles dilemmas and provides advice on how to ensure that Ramboll acts as a responsible company. It interprets our business integrity standards when necessary and serves as the point of contact when Ramboll is faced with issues related to our ethical standards. For example, with respect to clients and services involved in projects characterised by aggressive, destructive or suppressive purposes towards nature or people. Anyone in Ramboll can make a request to the Ethics Committee, and the Committee must then reply. Any decision taken by the Ethics Committee is final and binding and the agreed position is communicated accordingly.

    Managing project risks

    All employees are responsible for carefully considering whether a client and/or a project complies with Ramboll’s Legacy and Fundamentals. 

    To guide this important business process, a new Project Integration (PI) Tool was implemented in 2018. The tool is compulsory for all projects and helps project managers and employees to identify all risks, conflicts of interests and client dilemmas of project opportunities. The findings are integrated into decisions and actions related to the management of tendering, contracting, project implementation and closure. The PI tool is built around 14 different management themes, and in the initial phase, the assessment focuses on Health, Safety & Security, Ethics and Compliance, and Data Privacy, respectively. 

    Third part due diligence screenings of clients are conducted whenever clients or their projects are considered to represent potentially high ethical and compliance risks to Ramboll.

    Managing our environmental impact

    Our environmental management is based on recognised principles as stated in the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development. As sustainable society consultants, Ramboll’s positive impact to the environment is realised through our projects as expressed by the SDGs. We are also constantly striving to control and reduce our environmental footprint.

    To reduce our negative impact from our business operations, we have an environmental management programme, including the Group Policy Environmental Management procedures, which is aligned with EN ISO 9001 on quality management, EN ISO 14001 on environmental management and EN ISO 45001 on occupational health and safety management. As part of this, we have set a specific target for our carbon footprint.

    Potential environmental risks 

    As a responsible company, Ramboll identifies potential environmental hazards, evaluates environmental risks and implements a hierarchy of controls to manage and reduce these risks. We record and take steps to control potential environmental impacts of Ramboll’s own operations, services and solutions.

    Ramboll faces a reputational risk if we do not act and/or reduce the environmental impacts, and a financial risk if we do not include environmental assessments in our projects.

    The main direct environmental impacts identified are heating/cooling, electricity consumption and travelling. The main indirect environmental impacts identified are consultancy services and projects. These impacts can be a potential risk
    if for example we provide clients with incorrect advice, deliver below-par designs or do not have a lifecycle approach. 

    Environmental targets

    Targets 2020

    We have a goal to reduce CO2 by 20% by 2020 (compared to 2016).

    In 2018, we established and implemented a global action plan to manage and reduce our carbon footprint per employee, based on experience from our Nordic business units. We also implemented global initiatives related to waste management, CO2 reduction, certification of new Ramboll offices, the use of sustainable materials, reduction of water consumption and creating awareness of sustainable practices to reduce CO2.

    The action plan is based on a new 2018-2025 strategy for environmental sustainability for our Ramboll office portfolio and related services.

    Carbon footprint

    In 2018, Ramboll’s total CO2 emission was measured at 26,708 tonnes, equal to 2.12 tonnes per full-time employee equivalent (FTEE), a slight increase from 2017 (2.05).

    For the second consecutive year, Ramboll managed to reduce energy consumption significantly. CO2 emissions from electricity, cooling and heating were 6,725 tonnes, equal to 0.53 tonnes per full-time employee equivalent (FTEE), a significant decrease from 2017 (0.67 tonnes per FTEE). Total energy consumption was measured at 36,700 MWh (38,000 MWh in 2017).

    CO2 emissions from business travel increased in 2018 to 19,983 tonnes, equal to 1.58 tonnes per FTEE from 1.38 tonnes per FTEE in 2017. This is mainly caused by an increase in air travel as the result of our increasing internationalisation.

    IN 2019 WE WILL
    - explore more effective actions to reduce CO2 from air travel.


    CO2 emissions from energy use and work-related transport


    CO2 emissions from energy use and work-related transport

    Total CO2 emissions (tons)



    Scope 1


    Scope 2


    Scope 3




    Total per FTEE 


    Our Scope 1 emissions include energy use in different owned company facilities (e.g. emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers) and fuel use for company vehicles. Our Scope 2 emissions include emissions from purchased electricity, steam, heating & cooling and at last, our Scope 3 emissions include emissions caused by business travel. The scope applied for the compilation of the emissions is financial scope.
    Due to the lack of data quality of the available data, Ramboll has chosen to exclude the remaining five GHG gasses in the GHG Protocol, and reports solely on CO2 emissions. Ramboll's disclosed greenhouse gas emissions include only CO2 emissions, where no biogas CO2 is emitted. Total CO2 emissions in the strategic baseline year 2016 were 26,248 tons. For the collection and information of the data and emissions factors applied, please refer to Annual Report (pdf) page 69. Our CO2 reporting is aligned with the GHG Protocol methodology and covers direct and indirect global CO2 emissions from activities caused by Ramboll. 
    Energy consumption

    Energy consumption

    Ramboll's total energy consumption was measured at 35,800 MWh (38,000 MWh in 2017). We have reduced the energy consumption in our offices through a number of initiatives; for example, we have increased the share of purchased renewable energy. We have also optimised the number of offices and office spaces per employee, increased awareness of measures to reduce energy consumption and pursue to select offices with lower energy consumption. We will continue to work with various initiatives to reduce energy consumption in our offices.

    Water and waste management

    To protect water resources, Ramboll set a target in 2018 to reduce water consumption by 15% per employee by 2025 (compared to 2018) and to reuse secondary water (e.g. rainwater) whenever feasible. 

    In 2018, we set a target to increase the amount of sorted waste to 90% and the amount of sorted hazardous waste to 100% by 2025. We also set a target to reduce the total waste produced per employee by 15% by 2025 (compared to 2018). We will continue to ensure that employees and guests have the correct knowledge of sorting waste.

    IN 2019 WE WILL:

    • Develop our data management system to better capture our water consumption and the amount of waste in our offices.
    • Set regional targets and define actions to reduce water consumption and the amount of waste.   

    Supply chain

    Ramboll is committed to acting responsibly, decently and transparently – also together with our business associates, such as sub-consultants, consortium partners, joint venture partners, outsourcing providers, sub-contractors, advisors, vendors and agents.

    We ask our suppliers to commit to our Business Associate Code to secure that Ramboll’s business associates demonstrate responsible business conduct in accordance with internationally recognised principles of human rights, protection of the environment and anti-corruption.

    The purpose of Ramboll Business Associate Code is to inform our business associates of the requirements we have towards their ethical business conduct, and the level of documentation we expect them to deliver upon request from Ramboll. 
    Ramboll will accept a business associate cannot document compliance with the Code from Day 1 of the business relationship, as long as the business associate starts putting processes in place and documenting their performance.

    If Ramboll is made aware during a business relationship that the business associate is non-compliant with our Code, Ramboll will (depending on the severity of the non-compliance) engage in dialogue with the business associate, including asking for documentation of the business associate’s level of compliance. If the business associate is not willing to cooperate or fails to demonstrate progress even after constructive dialogue and after a period of time in which the business associate should have been able to correct any misconduct, Ramboll will consider terminating the relationship.

    Sustainable procurement

    Procurement of goods and services for our own operations is a significant part of our purchases and thus affects our environmental and social impact. It is our goal to increase the share of eco-labelled purchases each year when we choose products and services in all countries where Ramboll is present.

    The objective for the end of 2019 is that the total share of eco-labelled office supplies reaches 75%. In 2018, the global share of eco-labelled office supplies was approximately 23%.

    Ramboll’s Global Procurement Function oversees suppliers in Ramboll, categorising all supplier spend globally for Ramboll.

    IN 2018 WE:

    • Implemented a new, revised Code of Conduct for business associates ‘Business Associate Code’, which includes criteria related to human rights (including labour rights), protection of the environment, and anti-corruption
    • Implemented guidelines and a toolbox for procurement staff
    • Screened the most significant 1,000 supply partners (9%) by them signing the revised Business Associate Code, which involve them committing to different environmental and social criteria.

    IN 2019, WE WILL:

    • focus on buying eco-labelled office supplies as far as possible.

    Ramboll has been voted member of the year 2018 in Ecolabelling Denmark (Miljømærkning Danmark). Our focus is on collaborating with companies
    who share Ramboll’s passion for driving sustainability and working to get more eco-labeled products in the market.

    Recent focus (2018) has been on furniture and the Swan labelling (‘Svanemærkning’) of work stations from Holmris.B8, on ISS’ cleaning certification/products and on a project with Lyreco on Green Office supplies.


    The Kampung Admiralty building in Singapore won the prestigious 'World Building of the Year 2018' award at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam. Designed by Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA with support from Ramboll, the building was praised by the judges for the ways in which the project dealt with the universal condition of longevity and health treatments, social housing provision and commercial space, which enabled substantial public realm benefits. This hybrid building also incorporates a huge amount of greenery (more than 100% of its footprint) in a series of layered levels which have generated welcome biodiversity.

    In June, Ramboll received no fewer than four honours at the ACE’s Constructing Excellence Awards and the Ground Engineering awards in the UK. The iconic Queensferry Crossing won the ‘Project of the Decade’ award, with other prizes being handed out for our sustainability work on Europe’s largest wetlands as well as the prestigious ‘Consultant of the Year’.

    Also in the UK, Ramboll won the coveted ‘Technology Champion of the Year’ category at the ACE Consultancy and Engineering Awards 2018. This event celebrates the best that the industry has to offer, recognising remarkable companies, industry projects and initiatives, as well as exceptional individuals and the next generation of sector leaders.

    For a new medical centre in India, Ramboll India’s building team won the ‘Best Building Award’ at the SSMB Awards which recognise and celebrate individuals and firms that have displayed extraordinary work with steel and steel structures as well as consistently providing a high level of quality service.

    And in the US, Ramboll was ranked among the top three preferred environmental service providersin the Verdantix Global Survey.

    Digital development centre India

    A major ambition in 2018 has been to strengthen our digital development and automation. With the opening of the Digital Development Centre in India in October 2018, Ramboll has a dedicated centre of expertise that will work closely with the Ramboll Engineering Centre and other business units to standardise our digital processes.

    According to Markku Moilanen, Group Executive Director at Ramboll, “We have talent and skills that are needed to link digital development to our domain knowledge, and India is a place where we can attract and hire some of the best people in the world within digital development.”

    Enabling collaboration and transparency across our business

    In line with our commitment to invest in digital solutions for our employees, a new digital workspace was launched across the organisation in 2018. Known as Rambla, it has provided employees with extensive, personalised and user-friendly features in a solution that can be accessed on all devices and is a good example of digitalisation as a tool to improve our work processes.

    Rambla won Gold prize in the 2018 Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards. It was praised for delivering convincing integration with different systems, a consistent vision to drive continuous development as well as a comprehensive online Project Portal which helps Ramboll to operate globally.