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WSP In NZ To Halve Carbon Footprint Of Infrastructure Designs And Advice By 2030

In a New Zealand-first, leading design, engineering and environmental consultancy WSP has today announced that it will halve the carbon footprint of infrastructure designs and advice provided to clients by 2030.

The move complements internal science-based decarbonisation targets, which will see WSP cut its own greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

Estimates suggest that 20 percent of global carbon emissions relate to the construction of the built environment, with a further 30 percent relating to the operation of buildings and infrastructure.

Today's move underscores the essential role that organisations in the sector have in helping to address climate change and contributing to the transition to a low-carbon economy.

WSP in New Zealand managing director Ian Blair says that for New Zealand to achieve its net zero 2050 goal, building and infrastructure-related emissions must be attacked from every angle. That must start at the beginning, when WSP is working with clients and partners to develop future ready infrastructure solutions.

"We are committed to acting with urgency and providing leadership to help achieve the country's emissions reduction targets by promoting world-class low carbon solutions for Aotearoa New Zealand's infrastructure."

As New Zealand’s leading infrastructure professional services firm, WSP has the opportunity to make a significant impact on carbon emissions working with its public and private sector clients on building, transport, water and power projects.

Today's announcement follows the same commitment made by WSP UK, Denmark and Sweden. It places WSP in New Zealand at the forefront of climate action and sustainability, alongside the recent acquisition of leading global environmental services firm, Golder Associates.

"Providing low-carbon advice and options at the earliest stages of infrastructure planning and design will help reduce emissions associated with the materials, construction process, and ongoing operations and maintenance, reducing the overall carbon footprint and, more often than not, whole of life costs" says Ian.

Halving the carbon footprint of infrastructure design and advice is expected to help stimulate greater market demand for lower carbon materials. WSP is already at the forefront of low carbon solutions, innovating in more sustainable and low carbon transport surfaces and harnessing digital solutions, for example, to drive decarbonisation on Auckland’s City Rail Link project.

"Given the insights and lessons from COP26, the time has never been more right to provide leadership and action on this critical global issue," says Ian.

WSP will release its decarbonisation roadmap in the New Year and is baselining carbon emissions from designs and advice currently provided to clients. It is also making a significant investment in accelerating its capability to undertake low carbon 'optioneering' at scale for clients from mid-2022.

With WSP in New Zealand's research and innovation arm boasting a decades-long history in the systematic examination of alternative infrastructure materials, the company is in an unrivalled position to partner with clients and industry to drive meaningful action on this commitment, says Ian.

For the sake of our shared climate future, WSP is hopeful that today's move will raise the bar and encourage others in the industry to follow suit.

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