Annual Review 2019

Rob Knott

Rob Knott - Chairman

Ashley Wright

Ashley Wright - CEO

Every day each of our people are leaving their personal mark on the communities in which we live and work, in the delivery of smart, agile and sustainable solutions for our clients across the world.

Drawing from our talented global workforce that embraces diversity of thought, experience and an opportunity mindset across five continents, we continue to deliver fresh, responsive solutions for our clients that create lasting community benefit.

With more than 25 percent of our people being material owners of the business, our employee ownership model is the common bond that unites us – alongside a deep commitment to technical excellence and client service. Employee ownership continues to help us attract and retain a strong, stable core of talented professionals and helps us sustain deep client knowledge and long-term relationships. It really does set us apart and informs both our humility and our future.

Acting collaboratively drives the passions of our 10,000+ people and allows us to thrive. Our progress in the continual pursuit of technical excellence is evident in the many international and national awards won by our people for their exemplary and innovative work this year. Our focus on delivery transformation continued as we work to standardise local adoption of workflows and realise more innovative and agile ways of working.

Sustainability diagram

We are building a more resilient, sustainable and digitally enabled global organisation. With that opportunity comes genuine gratitude in the chance to better support the complex and changing demands of the communities and clients we serve.

Our purpose of lasting community benefit helps us address the most fundamental human needs for water, energy and urbanisation and their interface with the signature forces of our time – accelerating technology, innovation and climate change. Our commitment to deep technical excellence, value creation and our ability to adapt our service offering is making a difference to how GHD is operating globally.

GHD is committed to making the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and its principles part of our strategy, culture and day-to-day operations. We remain strongly committed to alignment with the UNGC 10 Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular those we believe are most strongly aligned with our enterprise activities, namely Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities and Communities.

GHD’s focus on improving safety communication with our people, targeting high risk work groups and senior management engagement has resulted in a strong improvement in our Total Recordable Incident Rate (200,000 hours) - reducing from 0.24 in 2018 to 0.21 in 2019. We remain focused on safety initiatives and further improvements in incident rates during 2020.

Diversity and Inclusion

GHD is committed to diversity and inclusion (D & I) and the deep strategic value it brings. This year, we established a Global Diversity Council to uncover, understand and help reduce the barriers to broader diversity and inclusion at GHD. Our ongoing strategy for D & I continues with a key objective to close the gap to achieve our gender diversity target of 40 percent female workforce by 2020 including 30 percent for professional/technical roles. Our progress is reflected in the increasing number of female leaders within the business, with 57% of executive appointments being female. In 2019, we also initiated a pilot neurodiversity employment program to attract more diverse talent to GHD.

Energy icons

Boosted by a willingness to adapt, to anticipate new market environments and respond to our clients’ evolving needs, we are shaping a new strategic approach. The unprecedented momentum for a transition to a cleaner energy future globally is providing us with a unique opportunity to take a lead position in future energy, including solar, wind, battery storage, hydro power and storage, waste to energy and hydrogen fuel development.

In a data-driven world, we are shaping our own future in the design of a new agile business strategy that is truly client-centric and adaptive to changing the global markets before us. Our clients are also facing new challenges and requiring new services as they adopt and embrace technology. This strategic approach will allow us to deepen our emphasis on existing focus areas and more positively influence the communities we work within, in a more sustainable manner.

Digital engineering or delivery transformation, is enabling our people to work differently with processes, create new value and think differently about the problems they are solving. Our pioneering efforts in the digital transformation of project delivery and other pursuits have been demonstrated at international conferences like Bentley Systems’ Year in Infrastructure Conference in Singapore and Autodesk University in London.

Sustainability diagram

Revenues for 2019 financial year grew to AUD 2.2 billion, representing an increase of 14 percent on the prior year, which was almost entirely attributed to organic growth. All geographic operating regions; Australia, Asia Pacific, Europe/Middle East and North America delivered positive revenue growth on the prior year. Growth in the new global Digital and Advisory businesses was also very strong with these businesses reaching a combined workforce of around 500 by year-end.


  • Strong growth in Risk and Regulatory and digital asset management sectors
  • Continued leadership in Infrastructure transactions in APAC


  • Major transportation projects, transition to new energy, drought response and digitisation of water utilities
  • GHDWoodhead ranks as one of the top three architecture practices in Australasia


  • Leadership in the delivery of Environmental and Water outcomes across New Zealand
  • Strong growth in the delivery of local Infrastructure needs in Philippines and Chile


  • Established globally and substantial growth in Innovation Advisory, Connecting Infrastructure, Environmental Data Management, Location Intelligence and Bids and Tender systems

Europe/Middle East

  • Award winning technology led innovation in renewable energy sector
  • Strong growth in international gateways and energy sectors with leading integrated advisory, digital and technical propositions

North America

  • Significant growth in Water and Transport markets alongside continued success in Maritime and Coastal

Our strategic commitment is to continue to be client and community obsessed, be courageous, be future ready and deliberate in serving our clients more effectively in the years to come.