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Stantec highlights carbon neutrality achievements in its annual report

Stantec (STN-T) says it has achieved carbon neutrality for its operations in the U.K., New Zealan...

Stantec released its 15th annual Sustainability Report, highlighting milestones including achieving carbon neutrality in the U.K., New Zealand and the European Union (EU). (Courtesy, Stantec)

Stantec (STN-T) says it has achieved carbon neutrality for its operations in the U.K., New Zealand and the European Union (EU).

The global sustainable design and engineering firm, based in Edmonton, unveiled the achievement in its 15th annual sustainability report. It also reported for the first time, more than half of its yearly revenue was aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Approximately 53 per cent of gross revenue was SDG aligned in 2021, up from 45 per cent and 49 per cent in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

“In 2021, we continued leading in ESG while at the same time enhancing our competitive position…,” Gord Johnston, president and chief executive officer, said in the report.

“As a progression of Stantec’s global commitment to achieve operational carbon neutrality and net-zero, we became carbon neutral in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the European Union. Stantec continued our focus on inclusivity by rolling out a global career framework, implementing our flexible workplace strategy, and expanding the reach of our inclusion and diversity programs.”

Stantec is a global professional services company traded on the TSX and NYSE. With $4.6 billion in gross revenue in 2021, its designers, architects, engineers, scientists, planners, and project managers provide services for infrastructure projects, water treatment and management programs, buildings, environmental services, and energy and resources initiatives.

The annual sustainability report, which is compliant with the requirements of the GRI, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), also captured ESG data for the calendar year 2021.

Achievements in 2021

Stantec has continued to invest in its sustainable strategy over the last year as it looks to achieve global carbon neutrality in its operations.

Stantec completed six acquisitions in 2021 and launched the Stantec Institute for Water Technology & Policy to develop new technologies and create policy changes.

One of the companies it acquired to strengthen its ESG talent and service offerings was Cardno, a global infrastructure, environmental and social development company with over 4,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

The acquisition added 2,700 environmental scientists, engineers, ecological restoration specialists and sustainability experts to Stantec. Nearly 1,100 people joined Stantec’s environmental services team, increasing its presence in this space by 60 per cent.

With the ability to address ESG risks, Cardno consults on ecosystem and native landscape projects in the U.S. It operates a full-service native plant and seed nursery that provides more than 350 species of native wetland and prairie seed and plant material.

The other companies Stantec acquired were: Paleo Solutions’, Cox|McLain, Driven by Values, GTA and Engenium.

Stantec is also creating a materials passport to measure and track an asset’s social impact, future value, and health and safety. Also able to track carbon footprint, it will keep information on design performance (including all the players in the value chain) to better understand how well assets fit with a company’s values.

Additionally, it also developed a tool to cost-effectively calculate the carbon-capture potential across multiple habitats and eco-types.

Sustainability and corporate milestones for Stantec

Stantec amended and extended its syndicated senior credit facility under a sustainability-linked loan, becoming the first company globally to link to its Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index score.

It also became the first company in Canada to commit direct proceeds back into communities to further climate action and social justice.

Other achievements include:

– Stantec validated its science-based target against a 1.5C trajectory, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement, which is required to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change;

Forbes named Stantec as one of the World’s Top Female-Friendly companies and America’s Best Employers for Diversity;

– Stantec is a participant in the Workplace Pride Global Benchmark and has been listed on the American Indian Science and Engineering Society Top 50 workplaces for Indigenous STEM professionals;

– Stantec was ranked among the top one per cent in the world on sustainable performance and No. 1 in its peer group in the Corporate Knights Global 100 most sustainable companies’ rankings, which recognizes business practices based on ESG indicators.

Annual sustainability report gives project updates

In Canada, Stantec engineered the redevelopment of the 28-acre (11-hectare) Brentwood Town Centre retail site in Burnaby, B.C., into a resilient, transit-oriented community hub. The project is pursuing multiple LEED certifications (core and shell, new construction, and neighbourhood development).

The first phase opened in 2021 and included three mixed-use, high-rise towers. The full master plan will consist of 11 residential towers and is one of the first projects in Canada to reimagine a mall as a master-planned community.

The project will nearly double the size of the existing shopping centre and add 500,000 square feet of exterior-oriented urban retail space. It will also include new office space, six levels of below-grade parking, and approximately 4,500,000 square feet of high-rise residential development.

In the U.S., the firm is working on a project with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. The GoMed program — also known as the Automated Circulator and Connected Pedestrian Safety Program — will deploy autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttles from a downtown transit hub to the Las Vegas Medical District, providing low-carbon mobility for patients, employees and medical students.

Stantec also committed $60 million to philanthropic causes and have given $200,000 in annual equity and diversity scholarships.

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