Environmental and social services
Project delivery is continually exposed to changing regulatory requirements and evolving political and community aspirations. Complexity can arise, leading to increased costs and potential project delays.
One of the drivers of increasing costs is non-technical risk – one of the biggest challenges facing companies. To combat this, it’s imperative that you engage early with stakeholders and build sincere lasting relationships. This will help to reduce the potential for delays and increased spending. Upfront investment in evaluating and planning to address stakeholder issues yields dividends across the project lifecycle. The integration of environmental, economic, cultural and social issues in design development and execution strategies is fundamental to reducing complexity (and cost). Importantly, it accelerates project approval, as key stakeholders are able to make informed decisions.
We provide tailored environmental and social support for your company across the project lifecycle. At the start of a project, we focus on identifying the key issues influencing project approval and government, non-government and community information needs. We support our clients in developing lasting relationships with their stakeholders, facilitating trust and effective engagement. We partner with our clients in managing the technical and non-technical risks associated with project approvals, construction and operations, compliance and performance management, corporate social responsibility and asset closure and rehabilitation.
Environmental and social impact assessment, permitting and approvals
We work with our clients to provide timely, accessible and transparent environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA), as well as environmental approval documents that address the complexities of government legislation and guidelines. The result is faster, positive government decision-making, stakeholder confidence and community reassurance.
We manage major projects from the initial scoping stage to site selection and baseline studies, such as the ESIA, through to project approval. We liaise and consult with government agencies, the community and other stakeholders throughout the project.
We incorporate information from baseline assessments, and use a robust methodology to assess potential impacts to the environment and the community. We propose suitable mitigation and management measures to address potential impacts and integrate these into the construction and operational phases.Back to top
Site and route selection, project design optimisation and land use planning
Thoughtful site and route selection is the primary mitigation for addressing and avoiding environmental, cultural and social impacts by design. Supported by technology including GPS, GIS and spatial analysis, our specialists will apply their considerable experience to identify sites and routes that minimise adverse environmental, cultural and social impacts.
We will help you in design development by conceptualising options for addressing potential impacts based on our experience. We have delivered measurable savings to many clients, whilst minimising environmental damage and social unease.
Through our outcome based approach and knowledge of development activities, we will support you in negotiating approval and licence conditions, ensuring practicable management measures and monitoring requirements.Back to top
Environmental baseline assessments and monitoring
We help our clients to understand the biophysical environment that surrounds them by providing specialist technical baseline assessment and monitoring services across a wide range of environmental disciplines and geographic locations.
Our team of environmental specialists routinely conduct environmental baseline assessments and monitoring in some of the world’s most interesting and challenging locations. For example, we’ve performed soil sampling in the oil fields of Iraq, baseline ecological surveys in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and water quality monitoring in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.Back to top
Social baseline assessments and monitoring
We can provide a deep understanding of the social environment in which you operate. Our socio-economic baselines provide an accurate synopsis of community characteristics and emerging issues. With the proven ability to gather reliable primary data in the most remote and volatile environments, our experienced field practitioners know the right questions to ask. We appreciate that first impressions matter. Our field practitioners work closely with the community to introduce projects and initiatives in a positive way, laying the groundwork for effective partnerships.
With an in-house team of monitoring and evaluation specialists, we tailor evaluation frameworks to keep you informed. A social licence to operate can be difficult to establish and maintain, so we provide you with reliable information which provides an understanding of the perceptions of the host communities that may be influenced by your project.Back to top
Environmental performance management
Never has it been more important to demonstrate to regulators, the community and the wider public, that your company’s environmental and social performance is ‘up to scratch’. Whether it’s complying with national regulations, international standards or best practice; poor performance can have serious legal, financial and reputational implications.
To safe guard your company, sound environmental risk frameworks should underpin all decision making. This may include adherence to specific financial institution measures such as World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) performance standards. It may also mean improving your environmental performance through the continuous enhancement and rigour of an environmental management system.
We’ve worked on more than 25 projects where financial or internal policy has dictated compliance with the World Bank and IFC performance standards. We also work with clients to improve their internal environmental management systems so that compliance is achieved, risks are managed and serious environmental incidents are avoided.Back to top
Social performance management and stakeholder engagement
Our team will help you to attain your social performance goals. We integrate social research and analysis, social impact assessment, stakeholder engagement, and monitoring and evaluation. You’ll understand the social environment and its risks, and together we’ll develop a strategy for addressing them.
Using collaborative and inclusive communication, we’ll help you develop a productive partnership with local communities to deliver mutually beneficial results. Just like our environmental outcomes, we’ll ensure that your social impact management strategies align with your business-as-usual operations.Back to top
Life of asset planning, closure and rehabilitation
Whether your asset is a mine, gas pipeline or offshore oil platform; we can save you money and reduce your environmental and social liability through effective asset closure.
We understand that rehabilitation and closure activities are cost sensitive. Through early engagement in the asset lifecycle, we focus on identifying synergies with your day-to-day operations that will reduce closure and rehabilitation costs later on. We’ll also identify pragmatic or creative end use options for your site.
As well as meeting statutory requirements, when closing an asset you must also consider the preferences of local residents and other stakeholders. We can help you meet lease relinquishment conditions, negotiate with the relevant agencies and engage with stakeholders.Back to top
GIS data management, modelling, mapping and graphics
We appreciate that confident decisions need to be based on accurate data. But it’s not about having a lot of data - it’s about having the right data, presented in the right way. To help your team visually understand your project, we’ll use a geographic information system (GIS).
We’ll gather data over your project site from a host of sources including site layout plans, aerial photography, heritage locations and field photos from cameras. All of the data gathered will be held in a central database which will be the one source of geographic truth for your project. All project data captured and created during the course of the project is added into this database. Just as it receives these datasets so too does it become the source for varied and valuable project outputs including maps, measurements, statistics, analyses and 3D visualisation and animations. We can also upload data to mobile devices to be used in the field and reveal your project site more broadly via a secure internal or public web maps.
Finally, we believe a picture is worth a thousand words and we place a strong emphasis on high-quality presentation. This array of choice gives you and your project stakeholders a clear visual window to a well-managed suite of geographic and related project data to help you make important decisions.Back to top
Auditing, technical review and due diligence
Are you worried about your project or site’s regulatory compliance? Are you involved in an investment decision with environmental uncertainty? Concerns like these can keep you awake at night. We can help you better understand these risks and uncertainties through our auditing, technical review and due diligence services.
In some cases a forensic inquiry is needed, in others, a look and feel based on experience is sufficient, or perhaps you need something in between. Either way, we can bring substantial experience in reducing your compliance or investment risks. Our contaminated land auditors have extensive experience, some working in the industry for more than 25 years.Back to top