Sharing expertise, shaping debate
Our leaders and technical experts were active throughout 2022 – from speaking at global industry events to organising intimate client-focused discussions. External engagement is as much about listening as sharing insight and experience, collaboratively addressing challenges and guiding change.
Denise Bower, executive director for external engagement
Tomorrow’s projects are shaped today. Colleagues across our business devote expertise and experience to shape external thinking, policy and practice, so that the right projects are conceived, planned, delivered and managed the right way: To deliver the best outcomes for clients, their customers, society and the environment.
This page provides just a snapshot of the many ways our people engaged externally in 2022, across all our sectors and in all regions of the world.
We kicked off a year-long partnership with the Energy Industries Council. Managing director of our energy business Claudio Tassistro and energy economist Guy Doyle both addressed energy security, considering the impacts and possible responses to the energy crisis precipitated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Leading on carbon capture
Sector lead Prem Mahi presented on the ‘Reinvention of the oil and gas industry’, looking at challenges and opportunities for companies’ transition to net-zero technologies, including the development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage.
Lead for offshore wind Patrick Lefebvre and lead for HVDC transmission Rajat Aggarwal set out barriers and enablers of wind energy as the technology truly comes of age.
Guy Doyle, principal environmental engineer Dermot Scanlon and lead for nuclear James Locke gave presentations and led discussion with industry peers at the EIC’s ‘Nuclear showcase’, to advance knowledge and thinking on the economics of nuclear energy, planning for new nuclear projects, and developments in nuclear generating technologies, taking into consideration energy security, social acceptability and climate change.
At The Economist newspaper’s Sustainability Week, Madeleine Rawlins, our global lead for climate change, presented the ground-breaking Physical Climate Risk Assessment Methodology, PCRAM, developed by Mott MacDonald for the Coalition on Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI). PCRAM enables infrastructure owners and investors to assess the potential vulnerability of existing and new assets to climate impacts, identify resilience options, and develop costed business cases for investment to reduce exposure to climate risk.
Global cities lead Clare Wildfire presented findings from ‘A place-based approach to net zero’ a report produced by Mott MacDonald as part of the Net Zero Infrastructure Industry Coalition. She highlighted systemic barriers and opportunities; city authorities’ ability to convene key stakeholders; the importance of social buy-in and support for decarbonisation; the role of digitalisation for informing action; and the need for stronger local decision-making powers.
Our cities team presented the findings of research into the health and wellbeing benefits of creating ‘20-minute sustainable neighbourhoods’ at the international MIPIM real estate congress in Cannes, France.
Low carbon innovation
We became partner to the Holcim Accelerator Program, providing business and technical support to start-up firms in Australia, Canada and the UK, all developing innovative low carbon construction solutions.
Our then executive chair Mike Haigh championed nature-based solutions as part of a panel discussion on returning to nature to cities at the annual conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Mike was appointed as chair of the WEF’s Infrastructure Industries Governors group, which provides high-level influence to promote change on climate change, energy system transformation and social equity.
Group managing director Cathy Travers led a panel discussion on connecting people to opportunities at the inaugural UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum, a three-day conference and networking event focused on social and economic ‘levelling-up’. Fellow panellists were Nick Harris, chief executive of National Highways, Baroness Charlotte Vere, Parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, Maria Machancoses, chief executive of transport authority Midlands Connect, and Bridget Rosewell, commissioner for the National Infrastructure Commission.
World first climate risk assessment
Quantifying social value
Global lead for social outcomes Kerry Scott was invited to several events organised by UK publication Infrastructure Intelligence as a speaker and panellist. At II’s ‘Social value’ conference, Kerry set out best practice in delivering social value, calling for greater focus on quantifying and reporting value. Doing so will enable the industry to advocate more effectively for new projects and win public and political support.
Graham Bolton, our aviation lead was invited to present on transport system resilience at the International Conference for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. He considered pandemic resilience and security risks alongside the physical impacts of climate change.
In New York, investor Guggenheim Investments and the World Wildlife Fund launched a report we wrote in collaboration with KPMG revealing that almost 40 different environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting frameworks are being used across the infrastructure sector. The report set out the case for developing an industry standard approach to measuring ESG and how it might be achieved. The report was the second by us in a series sponsored by Guggenheim Investments and WWF on sustainable infrastructure investing.
At the Australian-British Infrastructure Catalyst event, co-located in London and Birmingham, UK, we shared learnings on delivering major projects including London’s Elizabeth line with Australian public transportation and municipal clients.
InnoTrans, Germany, is one of the world’s largest transport events, with 160,000 visitors. We showcased our 30-year involvement in planning and delivering London’s Elizabeth line, and the USA's first hydrogen-powered rail system in San Bernardino, California. We demonstrated our Moata suite of digital solutions to optimise project planning, design and delivery. And we presented new thinking about the design, delivery and operation of socially inclusive transport solutions.
We convened a round-table discussion on ‘The financial imperative for climate resilience – how to achieve best return on investment’ as part of New York Climate Action Week. Chaired by executive board director Denise Bower, it brought together Carlos Sanchez, executive director of CCRI; Alicia Seiger, managing director at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance at Stanford University; Dr Paul Munday, director for climate adaptation and resilience at S&P Global Ratings; and Josh DeFlorio, chief for resilience and sustainable design at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Carbon Twin tool launches
At the All-Energy Australia clean energy event we launched Carbon Twin. It is an interactive tool that visualises embodied and operational carbon in projects and across portfolios, informing design and delivery decision-making. Our team met industry leaders to discuss solar, hydrogen, wind and energy storage opportunities.
Senior experts in public health and healthcare, place-making, transport and local government came together for a round-table discussion we organised in Birmingham, UK, focused on maximising the legacy outcomes from major infrastructure spend. It was part of a series of linked publications and events focused on transport as a catalyst for social levelling-up.
Opening our 10th Carbon Crunch event, group managing director Cathy Travers said systems thinking and co-ordinated action between organisations and across sectors is essential to achieve climate resilience as well as carbon reduction. We held our first Carbon Crunch in 2013 to raise awareness of the UK government’s seminal Infrastructure Carbon Review. Carbon Crunch has been an annual fixture since, bringing together decision-makers and influencers from across the infrastructure value chain to advance new thinking, drive innovation, and share experience, insight and lessons learned.
Carbon Crunch introduced the revised international specification for managing carbon across the built environment, PAS 2080, co-authored by Mott MacDonald. It highlighted the need for increased industry focus on ‘hard to decarb’ parts of infrastructure, including transport and materials. It explained how organisations are using independently verified decarbonisation routemaps to drive and measure progress towards net zero – and the role of data in informing and enabling it.
The resilience section of Carbon Crunch presented the Physical Climate Risk Assessment Methodology, PCRAM, to a new audience. Speakers representing investors and cities, energy, transport and water clients explained how they are advancing resilience to protect assets, services and revenues.
At the Water Environment Federation’s annual technical exhibition and conference, WEFTEC, in New Orleans, USA, we shared thinking creating a circular economy in water.
Climate finance in focus
The COP27 climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt provided another opportunity to address climate resilience, with particular focus on climate finance for projects to protect vulnerable communities and for international development projects.
Our new circular economy service for the built environment was launched at the Ecomondo conference in Rimini, Italy. Service lead Sarah Griffiths presented opportunities for employing circular economy principles across the lifecycle of buildings and infrastructure, and the business advantages of doing so.
Connor Langford from our Canada Infrastructure team chaired an event on sustainable and smart tunnelling projects, as part of the Tunnelling Association of Canada annual conference in Vancouver. In all our tunnelling team shared their technical expertise through nine presentations, while Mott MacDonald principal engineer Dani Delaloye was named Young Tunneller of the Year in recognition of her achievements and contribution to tunnelling and underground space.
Keith Howells, our former executive chair, placed climate change at the heart of his inaugural address as the 158th president of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Keith championed decarbonisation and climate resilience as leader at Mott MacDonald and continues to raise awareness and drive capability in the engineering profession.