In 2020, the global pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic presented us with challenges that had been impossible to foresee a year ago.

At the same time, the global society has responded with resolve to the health crisis. Local governments have acted to stop the virus from spreading through international coordination and borders have been closed to protect people, especially vulnerable groups. Support packages have also been launched by many governments to stimulate economic recovery and enable industry sectors to continue with their activities and projects. It has been a shared challenge where a concerted effort is needed – in the same way as in the climate crisis.

Taking climate action

Governments and companies need to take action to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate changes in our climate, and five years into the SDGs, it is clear that action is not happening at the pace that is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The period that lies ahead of us – 2020 to 2030 – is the decade of action, when bold changes will be required across society to achieve this target.

Share of total revenue contributing directly and positively to the UN SDGs (MDKK)

Share of total revenue contributing directly and positively to the UN SDGs (%)

In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. The target requires the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80 per cent reduction from 1990 levels.

Organisations and companies need to be prepared for the evolving legislation that will increasingly be put in place for the UK to uphold its commitment to be net zero by 2050. Companies must also take swift action in order to protect themselves from the impact of rising temperatures in order to remain profitable and successful in a climate-impacted future. The next 5 to 10 years are critical to limiting temperature rise, meaning that urgent and immediate action is required.

As a consequence, Ramboll in the UK launched a Climate Action initiative in 2020. The development of the Climate Action proposition and the technical solutions, projects and insights that sit behind it is one of Ramboll’s most focused strategic sustainability initiatives to date. It crucially brings together the expertise to help solve the complex challenges that our clients face to address the climate emergency and strengthens our position in the UK as the sustainable society consultant, which speaks to the company’s mission.

Climate commitments

As part of the current global urgency to meet the Paris Agreement targets, several climate commitments made by different industry sectors have emerged.

Ramboll and a growing number of clients pay keen attention to the commitments that express declaration of intent towards acting on the climate emergency.

Signatories are expected to follow up with committed action, seeking international cooperation on climate change and considering a degree of open-source knowledge sharing.

Ramboll committed to Science-Based Targets 

In 2020, Ramboll committed to Science- Based Targets to ensure that we as a company emit in line with what is our fair share. This global initiative is brought about by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the World Resource Institute (WRI) and the UN Global Compact. With this important decision, Ramboll joined more than 1,000 companies to take action against climate change in accordance with the Paris Agreement. We thereby set our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in line with climate science.

Establishing a baseline on circularity

In the transition from a linear to a circular economy, measuring progress is key. Ramboll was invited to assess its current performance on circularity through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circulytics Tool. The tool evaluates companies on a host of circularity metrics and gives the company a score and an overview of strengths. Finally, it points out areas that can accelerate company progress towards greater circularity. Ramboll received a score of B+ and thereby performs above the industry average.

Next: Third Party Assessments of Ramboll's Performance on Sustainability >