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.

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+, performing above the industry average. 

Third party assessments of Ramboll’s performance on sustainability

The Ramboll Group completed its first registration with EcoVadis, which provides global holistic sustainability ratings of companies. The ratings are used as a supplier screening tool.

Ramboll Group was assessed based on international CSR standards and performed satisfactorily on par with our peer group. In 2021, we will work on improving our ranking, focusing on our supply chain.

In 2020, Ramboll in Norway received its first Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) certification. The certification assesses the company’s ability to work with the 17 goals. The certification has been carried out by Bureau Veritas, one of the world’s leading auditing companies, and Ramboll was assessed on our efforts to influence the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 sub-goals. The audit reviewed the current status of the organisation in how the UN’s sustainability goals are operationalised in strategy, management systems, projects and in the supply chain.

The sustainability agenda in Denmark 

In 2020, Ramboll launched the first Danish study on sustainability efforts within the industrial sector. 250 major industry companies in Denmark were asked about their sustainability initiatives, the possibilities they saw and the challenges they were facing. The results of the survey show that despite the pandemic and the financial repercussions, the largest companies within the industry sector maintain a focus on making production, energy consumption and waste management more sustainable.

The Sustainability in Practice Report gives insights into industry sustainability performance across the industry in Denmark, raises awareness and provides benchmarking on important sustainability themes.

Events and partnerships

2020 was a challenging year when it comes to events and partnerships. However, several virtual events on sustainability and the climate emergency were held; Ramboll contributed to panel debates and made keynote addresses during New York Climate Week, Green Building Week and Building Green. We are planning for a substantial presence at COP-26 which has been postponed to November 2021 in Glasgow.

The partnerships that are established with New York University and Copenhagen Business School will continue with student collaborations within the areas of Smart Mobility, Sustainable Hospitals Design, and Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluations of the Built Environment.

The collaborations produce value by adding insights for the business markets to build upon. 

Creating Liveable Places

‘Liveable Places’ is Ramboll’s new offering for creating attractive, prosperous and sustainable physical spaces – from cities and neighborhoods to individual streets and buildings. Working with developers, utilities, local authorities and investors, Ramboll aims to create places where people, communities, businesses, and nature can thrive.

Liveable Places is a collaboration between Ramboll’s markets, bringing integrated offerings and global experience on urban regeneration and development projects. This includes the strategy for a mobility masterplan in Kiel, a project to enhance bicycle infrastructure and the uptake of cycling in Dublin, and the creation of 20-minute neighborhoods in Scotland where people can live, work and learn close to home.