Recognising the need to be a champion of change within the global infrastructure market, Black & Veatch has announced that it is strengthening its sustainability vision with new pledges that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and global best practices. The company’s pledges will address a range of environmental and business practices, including carbon neutrality by 2025, water usage, diversity and inclusion, anti-corruption and more.
“Black & Veatch’s Sustainability Pledges reinforce our commitment to the betterment of society and mark a new chapter in our sustainability journey,” said Steve Edwards, Black & Veatch’s CEO.
“Our efforts to align more closely with the UN SDGs are driven by a responsibility to operate more sustainably while also recognising our greatest opportunity to contribute is through the work we do for our clients around the world.”
This year, Black & Veatch signed three United Nations pledges – the Global Compact, the CEO Water Mandate and the Caring for Climate. The company also undertook an in-depth assessment to better understand the topics that are most important to its employee-owners and key external stakeholders – and where the company could have the biggest impact.
Further demonstrating its commitment to sustainability, last week the company announced it is ending its participation in coal-based power design and construction to focus on clean energy technologies and help clients accelerate their path to net zero.
As part of its new strategic plan, these commitments reflect the priorities of Black & Veatch’s employee-owners and clients, underpinning the quest to work relentlessly to solve humanity’s critical infrastructure challenges. The pledges include:
- Managing the company’s carbon footprint and achieving net zero emission for overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
- Gauging the company’s water footprint and helping clients meet their own sustainable water use objectives to address the complexity and local nature of water as a critical resource through Black & Veatch’s operations and work.
- Incorporating sustainability principles into all project execution manuals.
- Continuously improving management systems that enable and support operating ethically and with integrity.
- In the interest of health, safety and security, continuously improving management systems that enable and support safe operations.
- Cultivating and embracing an inclusive, diverse workplace.
- Through its Black & Veatch Foundation and community partnerships, aligning its charitable giving with its mission and core values, and with the UN SDGs.
Black & Veatch is further pledging to innovate in sustainable infrastructure and expand its sustainability services, enabling clients to manage climate risk, decarbonise construction and operations, protect water resources, realise a circular economy and eliminate harmful environmental and societal impacts. The company also will accelerate partnerships with clean technology startups through its IgniteX program, and work to enable clients to deploy carbon reducing technologies like hydrogen power at scale.
“The engineering and construction industry is ideally positioned to help communities around the world achieve their sustainability goals by embracing technology and innovation, from design through construction and decommissioning,” Edwards said.