When Sustainability Means More than 'Green'
The ocean covers nearly three-quarters of the surface area of our planet. comprising one billion km of water, it is the world’s single largest ecosystem and plays a central role in supporting all life on earth. The vastness of the ocean came sharply into focus nearly fifty years ago, when the Apollo missions produced the first images of our overwhelmingly blue planet from space. More recently, a number of United Nations scientific studies have underlined the interconnectedness between the planetary ocean systems, and the central role that the ocean is playing in protecting us from the impacts of climate change.
Yet, despite this heightened awareness, the ocean remains chronically undervalued, poorly managed and inadequately governed. Growing competition for scarce water resources is a growing business risk, a major economic threat, and a challenge for the sustainability of communities and the ecosystems upon which they rely. It is an issue that has serious implications for the stability of countries in which businesses operate, and for industries whose value chains are exposed to water scarcity.
The health of the global ocean is under severe threat. Eighty percent of fish stock is over-exploited, up from sixty percent thirty years ago. Ocean acidification is quickly increasing, which will lead to increased degradation of coral reef communities, home to twenty-five percent of all marine species. These developments have huge implications on society and the economy. They threaten food security and local communities around the world. Fish is the primary source of protein for five-hundred million people, and seventy million jobs are directly dependent on a healthy ocean, predominantly in developing countries.
Economically Viable and Environmentally Sound
Balancing the competing needs of feeding the global population, meeting growing demands for bioenergy, reducing and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting biodiversity is a complex challenge. We help governments and forestry and agricultural businesses develop strategies to increase productivity and supply new markets while protecting natural resources and promoting sustainability.
We help clients build sustainability into their day-to-day business by reshaping their organization, systems and processes, and culture and values. We assist cities as they develop strategies to avoid waste, increase recycling and reuse, and reduce costs. We also work with clients to extend sustainability beyond their own four walls through product recovery and recycling, supplier engagement and monitoring, and industry collaboration to set global standards.
Climate Change Regulation
The world has entered an era of unprecedented natural resource challenges that will require businesses and public-social sectors to make fundamental shifts in the way they operate—we advise companies on how to capture emerging opportunities in energy, water, waste, and land use and how to harness the potential of clean technologies to create smarter systems, and competitive advantage. We help governments to incorporate sustainability into their long-term economic growth plans, supporting the welfare and prosperity of their people and protecting the natural environment.
As a professional-services firm, our environmental footprint is relatively limited. However, our offices and practices across our entire operation take steps to reduce that footprint, with initiatives including the implementation of recycling hubs, and locating major offices in energy-efficient buildings. Our director of sustainability oversees our sustainability strategy and supports efforts in each office to optimize energy efficiency. In addition, we invest in projects with substantial long-term impact on sustainability.
We provide insights into how to develop a sustainable ocean strategy. Ocean acidification is quickly increasing, which will lead to increased degradation of coral reef communities, home to twenty percent of all marine species. These developments have huge implications on society and the economy. They threaten food security and local communities around the world. We aim to help develop and implement solutions for public, private and social sector stakeholders to support the recovery of ocean resources.