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Stantec's sustainability-linked revenue jumps $500M in 2023

Edmonton design and engineering firm ranks in Top-10 of Corporate Knights Global 100 list

Stantec Tower in Edmonton. (Courtesy Stantec)
Stantec Tower in Edmonton. (Courtesy Stantec)

Edmonton-based sustainable design and engineering company Stantec Inc. (STN-T) says it achieved a $500-million increase in sustainability-related revenue during 2023 compared to a year earlier.

A total of $3.9 billion (61 per cent) of its 2023 gross revenue was generated by activities in alignment with core United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), nearly twice the $2 billion Stantec reported in 2019, the year the company began tracking SDG revenue. 

These were some of the key figures contained in Stantec's 17th annual sustainability report released at the beginning of April, which also states the corporate giant achieved operational carbon neutrality for the second consecutive year.

Stantec also ranked first in its peer group in the Corporate Knights Global 100 most sustainable companies rankings which assess firms' relative ESG performance, and was the only North American company that placed among the Top-10 companies worldwide (it stood in 9th place).

Stantec also released its 2024-2026 Strategic Plan that updates its strategic growth initiatives directly connected to climate action, reflecting its commitment to reinforcing sustainability in its corporate culture and operations.

"Our focus on improvement and progress towards our goals is authentically driven by all employees at Stantec," Carrie Sabin, vice-president of corporate sustainability at Stantec, said in an interview with Sustainable Biz Canada. "We focus on how Stantec can make a positive impact on the communities around us (as opposed to) focusing on trends or goals that do not make sense for our company."

Supporting Indigenous nonprofits 

Stantec also announced it succeeded in reaching the first-year terms of its Sustainability Linked Loan and donated the accumulated savings to Indigenous-led non-profits addressing climate action. Following the recommendations of the company's Indigenous relations teams, five non-profit groups were chosen as beneficiaries of the funding: 

Stantec's support of these Indigenous groups' commitment to clean energy and sustainability is part of an overall effort to improve their ability to address environmental issues.

"As Stantec continues to make progress towards our Sustainability Linked Loan KPIs (key performance indicators), we will continue to build relationships with Indigenous-led organizations supporting climate action," Sabin said.

"The program’s intent is for Stantec to find ways to maximize our impact, contribute to addressing challenges communities face, and reflect our strength as a firm that contribute to environmental and social solutions."

Report outlines key strategic growth objectives

The report outlines three key strategic growth initiatives Stantec hopes to achieve: climate solutions, communities and infrastructure of the future, and future technology.

The report also highlights several major sustainability projects Stantec is overseeing in North America and abroad which are having positive impacts on local communities and their environments.

In Canada, Stantec is heading up work on the low-carbon, mass timber FortWhyte Alive Buffalo Crossing Visitor Centre that fosters awareness of the global ecosystem and promotes sustainable living.

The project is the first commercial building in Manitoba to obtain Passive House certification and conforms to the Canada Green Buildings Council Zero Carbon Building Standards.

South of the border, Stantec collaborated with the South Carolina Dept. of Transportation and U.S. Federal Highway Administration on the implementation of a $200 million Environmental Justice Community Mitigation Plan.

The program is intended to improve local resilience and address transportation needs of communities in the Charleston area affected by the I-526 and I-26 highway improvement project.

Stantec has also been active in the United Kingdom where its award-winning Clifton Works project has been replacing concrete and chemicals seen in traditional wastewater works.

This has transformed the Clifton integrated constructed wetland into a pollinator nature reserve and one of the first biodiversity net-gain-positive wastewater treatment works in the country. The size of three Olympic swimming pools, the new works will reduce operational costs by 40 per cent and generate carbon savings of 79 per cent. 

Stantec sources 96 per cent of its energy from renewables

Several key pillars of Stantec's design and engineering operations include advising its customers on net-zero strategies, developing clean energy systems, as well as creating energy efficient, resilient buildings and infrastructure.

The company is also dedicated to setting a high standard for its own operations as recognized by the Corporate Knights Global 100 Report.

"The main driver of Stantec’s strategy is doing what is right for our organization and our people," Sabin said.  

"Currently, 96 per cent of our electricity is renewably sourced . . . Our strategy to lower emissions is outlined in our emissions management approach and our resource conservation management approach. Our efforts include a focus on optimizing our office space in energy-efficient buildings and maximizing our use of renewable energy."

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