As the consideration of climate change factors becomes part and parcel of doing business, SRK Consulting recently held a global climate action workshop to further mainstream this issue into its project work.
The workshop was a critical component of an international gathering of SRK engineers and scientists in South Africa, which included SRK’s bi-annual practice leaders’ meeting. The workshop was part of a strategic effort to integrate climate action into the company’s wide range of services.
“Whether we are conducting project evaluation, due diligence or feasibility assessments, there is a need to consider climate resilience and decarbonisation as a factor in the long-term life of an asset. Through this sharing of knowledge and insights across our global network, we ensure that we are constantly building capacity in this field across the disciplines,” says SRK associate partner and principal scientist Philippa Burmeister.
She notes that clients are starting to realise that climate action strategies like decarbonisation and resilience are no longer ‘nice to have’. “They are essential aspects of project design and implementation – not least because lenders and customers are requiring considerable detail on these matters.”
The workshop raised awareness and encouraged learning, where climate action experts were able to share insights with a range of other disciplines – about how climate change will affect all SRK Consulting’s offerings. “Climate action is not a product to sell; it is a fundamental part of how we all conduct our work,” noted Burmeister.
The workshop comprised of four sessions, beginning with an introduction to climate action mitigation and followed by a focus on the engineering of climate resilience into mines. The third and fourth sessions looked at ways of further integrating resilience into SRK’s work, and the actions that could flow from these insights.
“It is important that industry strategies consider both mitigation and adaptation elements, she said. In terms of climate change mitigation, there is growing demand in the market for decarbonisation options – but this journey presented various levels of transitional risk. The workshop explored how SRK’s experience could assist clients in planning and implementing practical decarbonisation strategies,” she adds.
Burmeister further notes that the group discussed the importance of partnerships with technology providers, to continue growing the opportunities for our design solutions. “This also supports the quantification of our clients’ impacts and efforts – as they need to accurately quantify their emissions before they can identify how to most effectively reduce GHG emissions.”
On the other side of the coin, significant adaptation was necessary to address the various risks to projects that climate change presented. SRK colleagues were able to share the range of data and tools that were becoming available to better support clients.
SRK experts were able to discuss the best ways of identifying plausible climate change scenarios for specific projects and where best to access it. The enthusiasm about climate action was evident across the SRK global network, with the workshop being attended either virtually or in person by – among others – 20 staff from South American practices, 18 from South Africa, 14 from North America and 10 from the United Kingdom.