Sustainability Week on WCN: Costain recognises biodiversity’s importance

Vania Goncalves 10 Oct 2016 EUROPE BUSINESS

UK-based construction and engineering company Costain highlighted the importance of preserving the environment and biodiversity in an initiative last month.

The company’s Wildlife Week had the ultimate goal of demonstrating the positive impact that the company can have on biodiversity by bringing together employees, partners and stakeholders.  

James York, Costain’s corporate responsibility manager, said: “It is a great way of just being able to raise awareness with all of our stakeholders around the impact that our organisation and the industry has on biodiversity.

“We are looking at ways to be able to improve our biodiversity impact and we set the 2025 target to have all projects to display a net positive biodiversity impact.”

Costain’s sustainability strategy, ‘Engineering a Sustainable Tomorrow’, aims to have all of the company’s projects with a net positive effect on biodiversity by 2025.

The Wildlife Week has contributed to the company’s ‘Engineering a Sustainable Tomorrow’ sustainability strategy by focusing on two main targets:
•    All projects should review their Biodiversity Action Plans with a challenge to do one thing on-site to improve biodiversity.
•    To get staff volunteering in events organised by the Wildlife Trust, one of the company’s chosen charities for 2016, or by other local environmental organisations.

The company uses its ‘biodiversity toolkit’ to enhance a site’s biodiversity. York said: “The toolkit provides us with an opportunity to be able to start calculate the impact on the environment.

“In previous years there was no real attempt to quantify this impact, and actually for us to be able to get where we are, having a net-positive biodiversity impact, we need to be able to measure our current impact and that’s what the tool does.”

The toolkit includes a biodiversity unit calculator, which calculates any damage to the environment and how much work has to be done to compensate it.

Costain’s employees volunteering during the Wildlife Week have also contributed to its ‘Hour Pledge’ campaign to donate 10,000 hours of employees’ working time to good causes.

“There is sort of a clear link between employee wellbeing or satisfaction and the fact that they are able to volunteer within their working time to support these good causes,” said York.

He added: “There’s all sorts of things going on, there’re people volunteering at our four charity partners this year, that is the Wildlife Trust, the Princess Trust, Macmillan and Age UK.”

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