What were the highlights of WSP’s sustainability program in 2019?
2019 was a busy and successful year. We created a global Sustainability Task Force, composed of representatives from all our operating regions and global corporate experts, to tackle some of the most pressing items on our sustainability agenda.
We are happy to report significant progress against our GHG emission reduction objectives. We have also secured a sustainability-linked credit facility with our banking syndicate, which was a first for a professional services firm in the Americas at the time of announcement. This means that achieving ambitious targets around GHG reduction, our Green Revenue and the percentage of women we have in leadership roles will enable us to reduce the cost of credit. Conversely, if we fail to maintain these metrics at the levels they were at the time of entering into the sustainability-linked credit facility, our borrowing costs will be higher.
We also conducted an internal gap analysis against TCFD disclosure items, with a view to improved alignment with the recommendations. Finally, we were pleased that our efforts were recognized as we were named “Most Sustainable Company in the Engineering Industry – 2019” by World Finance magazine.
You mentioned the new Sustainability Task Force. What progress has the group made so far?
We believe good progress has been made in the first year of the Task Force. Our operating regions are fully empowered to design and implement their own plans for GHG reductions, and all regions now have a plan in place. Last year, our US and Swedish businesses joined the UK in setting goals to become carbon neutral. We constantly learn from and leverage the best of our regional initiatives, to enhance our sustainability ambitions across the globe.
Although we recognize there are still efforts to make on reduction of emissions, in the future we will be able to count on the Task Force to support with the progression of other sustainability-linked ambitions1.