top of page

Annual review 2022

Three minute insights:

Climate change

Decarbonisation and climate resilience are critical business risks. Developing capability makes organisations more able and effective in managing all forms of risk.”

Madeleine Rawlins, global practice leader - climate change

Madeleine Rawlins

No more delay

Who’s affected and how?

Climate change affects literally everyone on the planet, but it’s hitting the poorest communities hardest. The impacts aren’t just more extreme weather and sea-level rise, but also the spread of infectious diseases, worsening air quality, heat stroke, and water and food insecurity.

The physical effects are causing progressively more damage to infrastructure and more disruption to the delivery of essential services: communications, energy, transport, water. The cost of repairing and recovering from climate effects is already too great for many governments.

Companies and their insurers are having to shoulder unpredictable repair costs. They’re losing revenue, coming under increased regulatory pressure, being fined for breaching performance requirements, losing investor confidence and, in some instances, being sued by customers and citizen activists. This is why companies need to decarbonise and build resilience.

What are the benefits?

If every company decarbonises, we collectively slow climate change to a level where we can adapt to cope with its impacts. Cutting carbon involves innovation – and companies that have been ambitious have gained much wider benefits. These include greater efficiency, new business streams and stronger supply chains.

If companies build resilience, they stay in business – delivering service, earning revenue and attracting investment.

How can we help?

We’re working to mainstream climate change into all business decisions, and to quantify the costs and benefits of acting on decarbonisation and resilience.

It’s why we developed, the Physical Climate Risk Assessment Methodology, or PCRAM, with the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment to assess and quantify the resilience needs of infrastructure assets. PCRAM will help owners and investors understand benefit-to-cost ratios – and to target investment where it will deliver the greatest benefit.

We also co-authored the international specification for carbon management in the built environment, PAS 2080. It spans the whole lifecycle of buildings and infrastructure.

Our use of PCRAM and PAS 2080 is founded on decades of experience and deep knowledge of designing, delivering and caring for buildings and infrastructure: we know the challenges, practicalities and opportunities.

Carbon reduction and climate resilience have become key considerations on our projects – part of our duty of care to clients.

What else?

In 2022 we launched a new climate finance service to help project proponents secure capital from climate risk-averse investors – and to help investors identify projects that will meet present and future climate requirements.

Projects included the development of a methodology for the World Bank, to mainstream climate resilience into the bank’s investment decision-making.

For Canada Infrastructure Bank, we helped shape a CA$2bn investment and procurement plan for energy efficiency building retrofits. Existing buildings are responsible for most buildings-related carbon emissions, so incentivising and stimulating reductions is essential everywhere.

For Natural England, we developed a geospatial tool to assess potential climate impacts on projected landscapes and farmland, and their role in achieving resilience for neighbouring assets and communities.

In the USA, our design of Boston’s Green Line addressed resilience under future climate scenarios. Construction was completed in late 2022.

We provided guidance to international accreditation body, the Science Based Targets Initiative, on how to produce net zero guidance to the oil and gas industry. This work paves the way for the development of net zero route maps, plotting the industry’s transition from fossil fuels to green energy over the coming two decades.

We’re leading a programme to improve the UK’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The inventory is the keystone for national emissions reduction targets and international reporting – it is already considered to be world-leading and will be substantially strengthened.

As part of New York Climate Action Week in September 2022 we hosted an event with North American transport clients focusing on the business case for climate resilience. We hosted our annual Carbon Crunch conference – now renamed Climate Crunch – examining the system-scale challenges and opportunities presented by decarbonisation and resilience, and the role of collaboration in achieving change.

What now?

Just do it. We’re here to help.


Annual review 2022

More insights

bottom of page