GHD has implemented a framework to reduce the
environmental footprint of our operations and projects. This aligns
with our commitment to pursue opportunities, enhance our workplace,
contribute to the community and help our clients realise their
GHD recognises the rapidly increasing urgency for
society and business to address the global sustainability
challenges of efficient use of natural and human capital, loss of
biodiversity, poverty and population growth.
Our response to these challenges is to manage the
social, economic and environmental consequences of our projects,
provide positive outcomes wherever possible and avoid serious
GHD has identified climate change,
biodiversity protection and community impacts as core
sustainability issues for clients and stakeholders. Last year, the
company launched a new Climate Change Service Line, to develop a
business in greenhouse gas abatement and climate change risk
adaptation. This team has won several important commissions
including a strategic study for the Asian Development Bank.
GHD is an active member of the Australian
Green Infrastructure Council and is coordinating the development of
the Council’s sustainability rating tool. We are also members of
Green Building Councils in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East,
the UK and now the USA.
Our Sustainability and Environment policy reflects GHD’s
commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen. GHD recognises
its corporate responsibility to contribute to the goals of
sustainable development and is committed to managing the social,
economic and environmental impacts of our operations, and assisting
our clients to manage theirs in the provision of our professional
consulting services. We recognise innovation as the key to
realising this aspiration.
Our policy commitments are given effect through examples such
- Environmental Management System (EMS) – GHD is certified
to international standard ISO 14001 by Lloyds Register Quality
- Sustainability Project Impact Assessments – To date, our
Project Impact Assessment (PIA) methodology has been used on nearly
50 jobs and we are rolling it out across the company. PIA is a
process used by GHD business development and project teams to
evaluate the social, economic and environmental impacts of projects
and as a way to brainstorm project improvement strategies. One of
the bigger PIA projects involves engineering services for
VicUrban’s Melbourne Docklands project. Melbourne Docklands is the
city’s newest waterfront precinct, urban renewal project and
Australia’s largest construction project. PIA has enabled GHD to
suggest possible sustainability improvement strategies in energy,
water, tram stops, material use and reuse, waste and
In 2008, we established a Sustainability Advisory Group (SAG) to
guide the implementation of our sustainability strategy.
SAG’s role is to:
- Identify global and local sustainability issues and determine
how they might be addressed by GHD.
- Establish though-change, direction and policy for incorporation
into GHD’s business.
- Monitor and provide feedback on EMS performance.
- Influence, review and report on GHD’s own sustainability
- Investigate innovation opportunities, which advance
sustainability in our business and services.
- Develop partnerships that assist in the instigation of and
access to new technology and business.
Meeting regularly, SAG is quickly establishing an excellent
overview of sustainability initiatives across GHD’s markets and
areas of operation.
SAG is also identifying strategies, such as the need to leverage
partner relationships to enhance access to knowledge, on a global
Most significantly, SAG recognises it can become an effective
communication agent to identify, receive and promote information on
key issues such as energy security, emissions, trading, water
conservation and management, allocation of natural resources and
waste management. This assists GHD to realise opportunities for
clients and for our people.
Managing our environmental impacts
The impacts of our operations are a consequence of our business
activities in our buildings, transport and on-site activities for
our clients. In this context our environmental impacts are
considered to be water use, electricity use, paper use, waste
production and recycling, fuel use and our greenhouse
GHD continues to reduce its total electricity use in our
Number of Offices
Kilowatt hours per employee per
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
GHD has developed a Life Cycle Assessment methodology to
identify and quantify greenhouse gas emissions attributable to our
services over their life cycle. Previous greenhouse assessments
were based on available data for Australia, for which reliable
emission factors exist, and extrapolated to the whole company. For
the 2008 financial year, data for offices worldwide, where
available, was included.
Our greenhouse gas emissions for 2008 are 4.7 tonnes CO2-e
emissions/per employee/per annum, compared to 5.2 tonnes for 2007.
Our inventory for this year is not directly comparable to previous
years, as data collection improvements have been made and more
accurate (lower) emission factors used for offices outside
Australia. The largest sources of greenhouse emissions continue to
be electricity use in our office buildings and those associated
with air travel.
In order to reduce these major emission sources, each GHD office
is introducing a range of measures to improve the energy and
greenhouse intensity of our operations.
- Includes only offices with reported data.
- This figure is a correction of the figure of 6.4 tonnes per
employee stated in our 2006/07 Annual Review.
A reduction of approximately 20 percent per person was achieved
in 2008. This exceeds the target of 5 percent reduction and shows
our ongoing commitment to reducing paper consumption.
A number of paper reduction measures were initiated
- Evaluation of 100% recycled paper supply for printer/copier
paper across Australia.
- Evaluation of the environmental credentials of paper content of
our major publications - GHD News and Annual Review.
- Provision of electronic greeting cards for Christmas and
Chinese New Year instead of traditional paper cards.
- Printing restrictions on internal newsletters.
- Provision of paperless pay summaries.
- Joining the Project Paperless initiative in May 2008.
GHD has an Environmental Management System certified to ISO
14001:2004. In 2008, we successfully completed our tri-annual