PROFESSIONAL services firm WSP Global recently announced its commitment to ambitious climate action to achieve net zero emissions across its value chain by 2040. To support this goal it set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets.
Alexandre L’Heureux, WSP’s President and Chief Executive Officer said these have since been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
“We are pleased to announce these commitments and join other organisations in leading the way on urgently tackling climate change,” L’Heureux said, adding that through this pledge, WSP will join the “Race to Zero”, which brings together a coalition of leading net zero initiatives.
Together, they aim to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy ahead of COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference taking place later this year.
“The net zero announcement and promise are well aligned to our ethos as an organisation,” said Mathieu du Plooy, Managing Director for WSP in Africa. “Our 2020 Global ESG Report, for example, demonstrates our ongoing efforts to accelerate meaningful change and we are already reporting 43% clean revenue – defined as revenues earned from services that have a positive impact on the environment and support the UN SDGs – across our international business.”
The company has also been recognised by World Finance Magazine as an ESG leader for the third year in a row.
Du Plooy believes that the transition to a low-emissions society can create opportunities to address the socio-economic challenges for a number of markets across Africa. “For example, we know that addressing the ageing building stock, and ensuring green building principles are applied to new developments, is a key area in terms of cutting emissions.
“By leveraging energy retrofits and applying green and efficient energy designs to new builds, we can rapidly create easily accessible jobs, cut emissions and provide more liveable cities,” he said, citing the example of another developing country, Chile, which is taking advantage of the decarbonisation agenda to drive domestic renewable energy initiatives and create jobs and business opportunities.
“Climate change plays a lesser part compared to the improvements in living standards for Chileans, but the result in terms of emissions is the same. And the challenges faced in African markets are not that dissimilar that we couldn’t adopt similar thinking.”