This commitment is one top of its existing target to bring its own UK operational carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.
To date, many firms within the consulting and built environment sector have promised to tackle their own carbon emissions from buildings and travel. WSP says that this is the first commitment in the engineering consultancy sector to address the carbon footprint of all designs and advice provided to clients – addressing the largest impact and opportunity of all professional services firms, it says.
This commitment requires that WSP halves the carbon footprint of its designs, including both the materials that are specified in any design as well as the in-use emissions where WSP is the lead designer for key emission sources, such as building heating and cooling systems.
Where WSP is supporting in an advisory capacity, the footprint is calculated as the percentage of WSP’s fee against the total development costs multiplied by the whole life footprint of that scheme.
WSP UK director of sustainability David Symons said: “This is a transformational commitment that will change every project WSP delivers for our clients. Measuring and halving the carbon footprint of the designs and the advice we give to our clients over the coming decade is a truly exciting prospect and a commitment we’re proud to make.
“This is the first commitment of its kind in our sector and will require us to make really substantial investments in skills, R&D, innovation and processes to equip every UK colleague to be carbon leaders as part of WSP’s Future Ready programme.”
WSP UK chief executive Mark Naysmith said: “For companies like WSP, the greatest impact we can make on the world’s climate and environmental emergencies is addressing the carbon footprint associated with the work we do for our clients. When we design the heating or cooling system for a tall building or railway station, for instance, the energy needed to run this system will have an environmental impact for decades. It is our responsibility at the design and advice stage to ensure we are putting forward solutions to our clients that are sustainable both today and in the future.”