- AECOM announced the details of its strategy for reaching environmental, social and corporate governance objectives today.
- The “Sustainable Legacies” program is focused on sustainable development, social outcomes for the communities where the company works, net-zero carbon emissions and enhanced governance, the company said in a release.
- “We believe infrastructure creates opportunities for everyone, and directly integrating ESG principles with our technical excellence and capabilities puts us in the best position to deliver sustainable legacies for a better world,” said CEO Troy Rudd.
ESG is an investment approach that screens publicly traded companies for predefined objectives based on environmental, social and corporate governance criteria. It shuns firms that don’t adhere to such principles or those that operate in industries that are philosophically opposed to them, such as fossil fuels.
ESG also considers the impact firms’ actions have on the environment and society, the policies they have in place to promote social equity, such as diversity among board members and executives or workers’ rights, and transparency and clear reporting in corporate governance and operations.
The AECOM initiative is in line with clients’ evolving priorities focused on sustainability and social impact, according to Lara Poloni, AECOM president. Major tenets of the initiative include:
- Goals to be operationally net-zero by the end of 2021 and reach science-based net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 through a range of actions including decarbonizing fleet vehicles, switching to renewable energy tariffs, partnering with suppliers to decarbonize and implementing a 50% reduction in business travel.
- A target for women comprising at least 20% of senior leadership roles and at least 35% of the overall workforce. Its efforts extend to include developing project teams that reflect the clients and communities it serves and partnering with small and medium enterprises to generate social value through positive community investments.
- Tracking and reporting ESG performance targets externally in line with leading industry benchmarks.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles-based company executed an amendment to its existing senior secured credit facilities that includes incentives linked to achieving certain sustainability, diversity and inclusion goals.
Other publicly traded construction firms have also embraced the ideas behind ESG. Jacobs, Fluor, Balfour Beatty and Lendlease have announced carbon-cutting and other diversity and inclusion initiatives.