Our Sustainability Policy and HSE Policy confirm our commitment to care for the health and safety of our people and the environment. Support is provided through the consistent applications of these policies which are internationally certified through GHD’s HSE Management System. The strategic and operational implementation of HSE at an organisational level is the responsibility of the Executive Management Group (EMG) – chaired by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
GHD contributes to the public environmental debate through our involvement with industry associations and United Nations Global Compact community committees. We interact with all levels of government in the countries in which we operate on matters within our sphere of influence.
Sustainability targets and indicators (economic, environmental and social) as they relate to GHD are reported on a regular basis through the Executive Reporting System as well as Executive and Operating Centre management structures.
The GHD Environmental Stewardship approach details the environment specific objectives and targets and the reporting requirements for each.
GHD influences ‘downstream’ suppliers via procurement processes requirements including Registration of Subcontractors, and Terms of Engagement. PIA is a methodology 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. This is also supported by the Environment in Design Guidelines for smaller projects. Coupled with partnerships with industry organisations, our people maintain the currency of their discipline via structured technical forums. Additionally, GHD makes the ‘best available technology’ available to client organisations.
GHD’s approach to Environmental Stewardship is based on proactive identification of measures that will positively affect our environmental footprint. In early 2018, we set ambitious 4 year targets for all of our operations. Select each of the key result areas below to see our targets and how we are tracking.
In 2011, we established the GHD in the Community program. GITC provides funding and resources support for worthwhile activities in the global and local communities within which GHD operates its business. It is designed to promote the ideal that we all like give back to our communities, in a meaningful way, as an organisation and as individuals.
Generally, the nature of GITC activities is philanthropic and humanitarian, combining the resources of GHD with the enthusiasm, commitment and ideas of our people to engage in beneficial opportunities that make a difference for less advantaged people within our communities and other worthy causes.
The GITC objectives are to:
GHD recognises and acknowledges employees for their personal contribution in activities that help promote the key themes of education, disaster recovery, skilled volunteering, diversity and inclusion and enterprise development.
As a Gold sponsor of the Engineers Without Borders in New Zealand, GHD showcased our work around improving water security in the Pa Enua (Outer Islands) of the Cook Islands. Engineers worked with local government both in Rarotonga and the Pa Enua to provide technical advice, develop plans and design infrastructure to meet the needs of communities and provide them with a resilient source for their water supply.
Projects ranged from the development of water galleries in Aitutaki, to options for repairing concrete water tanks in Mauke, to designing a new water intake in Mangaia. Development of water supply master plans, writing technical standards and providing training material for local staff have also been a focus.
In September 2018, 80 construction and engineering professionals came together in the Lake District to raise an incredible GBP18,500 for five UK charities; Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Candlelighters Trust, Manchester Mind, and Purple Warriors. Over the course of three days, teams competed against each other in a series of mental and physical trials across fell, forest and water in England’s biggest national park.
Professional formalities were set to one side and hierarchies forgotten as the teams tackled what is widely regarded as one of the toughest, but most enjoyable, construction industry challenges. Established by GHD in 1997 as part of a combined team building and community outreach program, the biennial challenge has now raised a total of GBP193,500 for UK charities.
The Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) represents the Aboriginal people of the homelands and outstations in an area of West Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. GHD partnered with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to provide the BAC with recommendations on the repair and refurbishment of six shelters BAC built approximately 20 years ago in Darwin.
Through continued discussions and communication with BAC and EWB, GHD was able to gain a good understanding of the challenges being faced, which allowed GHD to successfully carry out a visual structural assessment of the shelters. Making the shelters habitable means the 300-600 homeland residents can make more reasonable choices between accessing services that they need, while still maintaining their important connection to country.
A passionate team from GHD’s Cameron Park and Roseville offices in California volunteered with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity for their first-ever Veterans Build, an initiative focused on providing homeownership to US veterans, military service members, and their families.
Our GHD people worked on a house being built for the Wirth family. Mark Wirth served 6 years in the US Air Force, and he and his wife, Emily, are now working, pursuing nursing degrees, and raising their two young children, Natalie and Troy. They are also contributing 500 hours of sweat equity to help build their home and were there working on the day that the GHD team participated.
The GHD team got to work alongside the Wirth family and helped with a wide range of tasks, including painting, backfilling the watermain trench to the house, putting up siding, attaching trim boards, and cutting brush.
Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Build also includes programming to help facilitate the transition from military service to civilian life, which includes financial education and financial literacy programs, volunteer and community engagement experiences, and employment opportunities.
Partnering with Lendlease in Australia, GHD has established a program designed to directly address the gender imbalance within Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)-based industries, in which only 23.3 per cent of employees are female. Eleven Year 10 female students from two Melbourne high schools took part in a simulated project over the course of a week, working closely with GHD mentors where the students acted as architects, engineers, project managers, urban designers and environmental scientists.
The program is targeted at avoiding a looming skills shortage within the engineering, design and construction industry. It is based on the principle that positive role models and encouragement can have a significant impact on teenagers’ subject and career choices.
GHD people all across the world continue to advocate STEM careers, breaking down barriers and talking to children and young people about engineering. We volunteer at local schools to bring STEM subjects to life and demonstrate their value in future occupations. In the UK, our people are working with universities around the country, providing mentoring, workshops and work placement opportunities to pass on knowledge and experience to the next generation of engineers and scientists.