Sustainability & climate change

Sustainability & climate change

Aurecon works with organisations and governments to protect and enhance their performance by responding to the risks and opportunities presented by sustainability and climate change.

Your customers, stakeholders and shareholders, partners and employees, care about climate change. They expect you to care too and will be looking to see what you are going to do about it. Some may even demand you do something. Responding to the climate change challenge is good for your business. It is also the right thing to do for people and for our planet.

Today an organisation's future economic success has direct links to its sustainability and climate change performance. Gone is the time when creating a sustainable business focused only on meeting compliance requirements. Now the focus is on protecting your organisation against the climate change challenge, while creating a healthier future for people and for our planet.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Climate risk includes transition risks and physical risks.

Transition risks

Transition risks are those risks linked to the transformation towards a low-carbon economy.

Changes in social value and stakeholder expectations are the key drivers of transition risk. Followed by regulatory changes, reflecting both the social and political shifts and technological changes required to achieve decarbonisation.

Transition risks strand assets and operations and can result in business models becoming obsolete. Careful navigation of transition risks will enable the harnessing of opportunities provided by a low-carbon economy when developing strategies, policies and projects.

Physical risks

Physical risks come from the direct effects of climate change. This risk category includes more frequent and extreme weather events, and changes to baseline conditions, such as sea level and air temperature.

Physical risks cause damage to property, can affect the performance of assets and impact the valuations of financial assets.

Careful management of these risks can mitigate increased recovery costs, disrupted supply chains, and product redundancy. While adaptation strategies help to increase society's resilience to climate change.

Organisations should consider how climate change will affect their business models, supply chains, infrastructure and investments. Then use that assessment to test and reset strategies and business plans. Leadership needs to drive how an organisation will meet its climate change challenges. The strategy needs to become an integral part of business planning, detailed in its commitments, and be at the heart of all decision making. 

Given the size and complexity of the challenge, a key element of how Governments lead and respond will be how they engage and work in partnership with industry and the wider community.

sustainability

Climate change performance

Creating a sustainable business now focuses on meeting the climate change challenge, while creating a healthier future for people and for our planet.

Position to transition

Transformation towards a net zero carbon future

RISK

Stranded assets and operations

Regulatory changes and technological changes required to achieve decarbonisation

Social value and stakeholder expectations

binder ring binder ring
OPPORTUNITIES

Decarbonisation of transport and industrial sectors

Future energy and fuel technologies

New business models and export industries

Build and support communities

Position to mitigate and adapt

Asset protection and community resilience

RISK

Rising temperatures, rising sea levels, increased frequency and intensity of weather events, changing groundwater levels, air pollution, flooding, coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion, landslides, bushfires/wildfires/forest fires, droughts

binder ring binder ring
OPPORTUNITIES

Coastal protection

Water strategy

Resilient infrastructure

Sustainable cities and communities

Our difference

Organisations and governments that adopt flexible pathway options will be more successful at managing their climate challenges. Aurecon offers a depth of expertise in transition risk management and scenario analysis as well as climate change adaptation and resilience planning.

The journey towards a more sustainable future is ongoing; the transition and choices available are different for each organisation. The path you choose will be based on what climate change means for your business. It’s important to choose the right partner to help you manage both the transition and physical risks of climate change.

This is a complex journey not a linear one. Your organisation might be in the early stages of transition or already further down the path with some good work happening to adapt and build resilience across regions and communities.

We can talk strategy backed by vital engineering experience, technical capability and design expertise. That is what makes us different. Our heritage and experience give us the right to innovate and stretch the boundaries of the possible.

New low-carbon technologies are coming to market all the time. Aurecon’s deep understanding of technology pathways and options allows us to work with our clients to develop a road-map for their transformation towards a net zero carbon future. We have experience across a range of asset and infrastructure types, as well as regions and communities. Our teams have worked across all levels of government and industry including energy, resources, transport, property and water.

How we deliver 

To address the transition and physical risks of climate change, we first place humans at the heart of all we do. We partner with our clients to protect their organisation and their assets, now and into the future. Then we use our engineering, design and advisory expertise to help them meet their climate change challenge while making a positive contribution to the communities in which we live and work.

We partner with our clients to:

Aurecon uses our engineering, design and advisory expertise to help our clients meet their climate change challenge.

Aurecon uses our engineering, design and advisory expertise to help our clients meet their climate change challenge.

Our sustainability and climate change services

Institutional investors, analysts, shareholders and insurers are looking for more than a commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They are looking for tangible examples of carbon reduction, energy transition and climate change risk and resilience.

In response, organisations are changing governance processes to allow for the ongoing monitoring and assessment of climate risk. Some publicly listed organisations have already started voluntarily reporting their climate change risk management in line with global recommendations from the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Their decision comes in preparation for regulatory changes that will likely require mandatory disclosure of climate related financial risks.

Climate related financial risks include both transition and physical risks. Aurecon can work with you on the challenges and opportunities presented by both risk categories.

  • Transition risks, such as shifts in market preferences, norms, reputational impacts, and the ensuing regulatory and technological changes required to achieve decarbonisation, are already impacting organisations, particularly in mining and energy.
  • Physical risks posed by the increasing intensity and frequency of, for example, bushfires, cyclones, typhoons and flooding, as well as changes to baseline conditions like drought occurrence and changing rainfall patterns, will create different physical risk profiles for an organisation’s assets.  

Our market offering comprises of the following two areas:

Transition risk management

Transition risks are those risks linked to the transformation towards a low-carbon economy. Shifts in societal and stakeholder responses to climate change are what’s driving transition risks. Key elements of transition risks are stranded assets and operations and regulatory and technological changes required to achieve decarbonisation. Aurecon partners with our clients to define a vision and strategy that will manage the transition risks of climate change.

Geopolitics, as well as structural shifts in stakeholder behaviours and expectations, information technology and the health of people and our planet are driving the transition away from fossil-based energy sources. The successful transformation towards a low-carbon economy requires not only a robust strategy, it also requires engagement and trust from stakeholders and the community. Organisations and governments are expected to not only think about how they will meet the climate challenge, but more importantly, to show how a transition to a low-carbon future can work in practice. Responses must show evidence of actions specifically designed to meet social and cultural needs. Aurecon can help our clients to define their climate risk responses within their strategies and business plans and then share their journey with employees, investors, shareholders and the broader community.

We start by identifying and framing their unique climate challenge. Aurecon has a real understanding of operating assets, gained from our engineering and design experience. It is this asset-specific domain knowledge we bring to clients. We can find and compare options and help our clients find the right solution to their problem.

The transition to a low-carbon future is a complex journey. After some initial easy wins, the journey becomes harder. You will hit decision points that feel like blankets of fog. On an unfamiliar road that is particularly challenging. It is why your choice of partner is so important. But with these challenges also come great opportunities.

Aurecon’s deep technical expertise and experience in managing assets and operations allow us to identify key business risks and opportunities and the many technical challenges associated with transition risk.

While there are challenges to overcome as we transition to a more sustainable future, for industry, government and communities having the capability and capacity will mean they can model what a successful transition looks like for all.

Aurecon can partner with you to manage your transition risks; create social value and meet stakeholder expectations. This may take the form of setting an energy transition strategy, decarbonisation strategy, advising on the diversification of business models and transitioning workforces or a combination of opportunities. Our teams can guide you through the uncertainty and work with you to plan your future one step at a time.

We offer clients transition risk management services in the following areas:

Social value and stakeholder expectations

Managing the social changes linked to the transition to a low-carbon economy

A change in demand, driven by changes in social value and stakeholder expectations, can have a significant revenue impact.  Similarly those social value and expectations can create resistance to an organisation’s operations or expansion plans, which in turn create brand risk and can even move approvals pathways and legislation. Aurecon works with our clients to carefully consider the economic, social and environmental impact of their choices. To deliver the best outcomes for our client’s stakeholders and communities in which they operate, we adopt an integrated approach. Our services include stand-alone communication and stakeholder engagement, shaping, planning and environmental services as well as being able to fully integrate with our engineering design offering.

Energy transition

Supporting the transition towards a more sustainable energy footprint

Energy transition refers to the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption — including oil, natural gas and coal — to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, and energy storage. Key drivers include increasing penetration of renewable energy into the energy supply mix; onset of electrification; improvements in energy storage. Energy transition takes place across all asset types and includes decarbonisation. As investors continue to prioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, energy transition will continue to increase in importance.

In setting strategy on energy transition, Aurecon partners with our clients to navigate optimal cost pathways to a sustainable energy future, manage the risks and harness the opportunities of increased renewable energy on the grid and enhance resilience of energy supply chains. We have deep knowledge across energy, resources, chemicals and transportation industries and established processes to help guide our clients to sustainable asset transformation. We use our strategic, commercial and deep technical expertise to provide an understanding of technologies and market fundamentals, support investment decisions and commercial negotiations, and inform engagement in market reform. Our expertise is increasingly in demand across heavy industry.

Decarbonisation

Reducing the amount of carbon emitted in the economy to combat the negative impacts of climate change and move to a more sustainable future

Transport, power and industry (manufacturing, mining, and agriculture) sectors are large carbon emitters and will have a big role to play. Decarbonisation is a long-term strategy. Working with our clients, to shape how they set up their businesses to reduce emissions, we would start with a strategic assessment of their risks regarding climate change. By understanding what they are wanting to achieve and why.

Outcomes would include confirmation of the following:

  • Which greenhouse gas emissions, Scope1, 2 and 3, to target; strategic objectives; value drivers; existing data; strategies; targets and decision criteria, for example, addressing carbon risk impacts through the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) process and alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • Investment decision process and affordability envelope, which would include developing a risk profile; setting a carbonisation strategy; scenario planning to test the decarbonisation response to the transition risk threat; exploring alternatives if decarbonisation is not the right solution; carbon benchmarking; developing a baseline of existing carbon footprint from which to measure actions; understanding current market perception towards the organisation

Transition strategy and management

Managing the diversification of business models and transitioning workforces

Organisations dealing with the disruption created by the transition to a low-carbon economy face the following challenges: the growing complexity of market and policy forces; the flood of new technologies and changing business models. By bringing diverse skillsets and perspectives to clients, Aurecon is helping organisations remain competitive in an ever-changing market.

Our infrastructure advisory teams are skilled at helping organisations make better decisions about the asset base to deliver infrastructure projects that improve both productivity and quality of life.

Changing business models and practices will bring disruption to an organisation’s workforce and the communities who depend on them. Aurecon can support organisations and governments to develop their projected workforce profiles and a roadmap for how they will support workforce planning to meet the needs of their employees and impacted communities.

Climate change adaptation and resilience planning

Physical risks come from the direct effects of climate change, such as more frequent and extreme weather events, rising sea levels and temperatures. If we are to ensure continued productivity and protection of lives and livelihoods, government and industry need to make climate adaptation and infrastructure resilience planning a top priority. Aurecon partners with our clients to manage the physical risks of climate change.

From rising sea levels, rainfall inundation, typhoons, cyclones, and landslides, Aurecon understands how to mitigate the rising costs of natural hazards. Our award-winning track record demonstrates excellence in planning for climate impacts, building resilience into those impacts, restoring essential structures and functions, and increasing infrastructure resilience.

Aurecon’s strength is the dual capability of strategy and execution. Our teams can work with you to craft your climate change response strategy and then advise on how to execute this strategy. We can do this because we have a deep understanding of how to manage the impacts of climate change on infrastructure and assets in the regions in which we operate. Particularly Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Our understanding spans the impacts of air pollution; flooding; coastal protection and marine infrastructure; coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion into agriculture.

Aurecon’s experience supports our clients’ decision-making and implementation of choices regarding climate change risk management. There are two further benefits our clients enjoy: our skills at discovering new opportunities for reducing the risks of climate change impacts; our solutions for integrating changes in climate into design, asset management and investments.

Our climate risk and resilience team, who are specialists across asset classes and regions, link closely to our core capabilities in the energy, resources, transport and water industries, allowing us to combine deep engineering knowledge of asset types with the adaptation methodology required to ensure the asset owner is best placed to make the right decisions.

Our industrial machines, ports and coastal teams have expertise in coastal protection and marine infrastructure. Coastal and marine environment knowledge includes winds, waves, currents, and sediment transport. Marine infrastructure expertise includes dredging, reclamation, breakwaters, groynes, and revetments, wharves, quays and jetties, as well as cargo handling facilities and cargo storage facilities.

We offer the following climate adaptation and resilience planning services to improve energy management, water management and sanitation models, resilient infrastructure and sustainable cities and communities.

Climate risk and resilience strategy

Coastal Master Planning

  • City master planning
  • Coastal zone management
  • Conceptual design
  • Preliminary design

Business resilience plans

  • Resilient assets analysis
  • Cost-benefit and multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Sustainability reporting and assessments

Water strategy

Institutional investors, analysts, shareholders, insurers, government, consumers and communities will assess your organisation on its sustainability and climate change performance. Transition and physical risk management choices are not mutually exclusive. A robust climate change response strategy will include a combination of both. We want to work with you to create a positive legacy for future generations.


Just Imagine ebook and audiobook

Download our latest ebook and audiobook

Just Imagine: what lies at the heart of a sustainable future? is an anthology of Aurecon blogs about climate change and sustainability, viewed through the lens of L Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

DOWNLOAD EBOOK & AUDIOBOOK

Thinking

More thinking

Projects

More projects

Related expertise

More expertise

Related markets

More from markets
To top