Home » Atkins to expand Environment Practice amid shift to more ‘holistic approach’

Atkins to expand Environment Practice amid shift to more ‘holistic approach’

by Liam Turner
Greenery surrounding tall buildings

Atkins is expanding the size and scope of its environmental services in a bid to promote sustainable infrastructure, create value, and improve communities.

The SNC-Lavalin consultancy says the move is in response to the demand for more sustainable infrastructure and nature-based solutions.

The move will see its Environment Practice expand by 50% by 2025, and five new service lines introduced to tackle the challenges of climate change resilience and global pressures for demand on resources.

These are set to include: Nature-based solutions, Valuing a Sustainable Future, Carbon Advisory, Planning & Consenting, and Sustainability and Climate Resilience.

The firm says its renewed focus is a response to increased demand on resources such as water, energy, and housing, amid the wider backdrop of climate change.

Atkins will also be launching a recruitment drive across a range of roles.

‘Real long-term value’

Dr Victoria Hutchinson, Atkins Environment Practice director, said: “By working with clients much earlier in the project process, we can put environment and communities at the heart of the decision-making, which ensures better outcomes and improved circumstances for people.

“This will help mitigate any project risks around time and budget and make sure clients get consentable solutions that are ready to go to site quickly.

“It means meeting demand for new services, but also growing our existing consulting strategy and advisory services.

“We are bringing our understanding of client objectives and regulatory requirements, as well as our ability to rapidly assemble and interpret data sets, so we can take complex client projects and bring them together behind a coherent presentation of data.

“This demonstrates real long-term value across physical, environmental, and social drivers.”

By engaging with clients and stakeholder groups before work starts on site, potential problems can be identified and resolved early on.

In addition, opportunities for ensuring better social value outcomes can also be identified and realised early in the process – unlocking value in the project for the client as well as its end-user communities.

Dr Hutchinson added: “By finding new ways of looking at value, we can help rebalance communities, create more opportunity for under-represented groups to participate in the economy, and identify nature-positive ways of stimulating growth.

“This should mean that overall we invest in infrastructure that creates better outcomes for communities and the environment.”

Mike McNicholas, managing director of Atkins’ Infrastructure division, said: “As a business, we have undergone a process of ‘re-imagining’ the role of our environment services in order to meet the ongoing challenges faced by clients.

“We have always been alive to the dynamics of the markets we operate in and the need to adapt to changing circumstances, and of course listening to our clients.

“As a result, we have created new service lines to specifically address those issues faced by our clients, and have been proactive about getting the best people in place to head them up.

“The result is a holistic approach to projects that enables clients to make informed investment decisions and ensures all stakeholder groups fully understand the benefits of the approach, resulting in faster, better, greener project outcomes.”

Image: mokokomo/Shutterstock

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