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Insights How can project managers act on climate change?

We’re at the pinnacle of a climate emergency. However, if we act now, we can pump the brakes and implement innovative ideas that pave the way for a greener future.

At the AtkinsRéalis Group, including Atkins and Faithful+Gould, we believe in setting clear Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) targets as a call to action for our whole organisation. Our Net Zero Carbon 2030 Routemap ensures that we contribute to a sustainable future and limit the impacts of climate change because protecting the planet for future generations is a business imperative.

The pressing need to address climate change isn’t a new challenge, but you might still be asking yourself what project managers can do. Here are a few ways these professionals can act on climate change and help to build a more sustainable planet.

image of the words society, environment, economy and sustainability

Address the three pillars of sustainability

Climate change was first identified by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius in 1986 when he predicted that carbon dioxide would impact the temperature of our planet. At the time, it was just a prediction, but fast forward to the current day and not only do we know that CO2 emissions lead to a rise in temperature, but we also know that a significant rise will lead to mass habitat loss. What’s the answer to this problem? Simply, incorporating sustainability into everything that we do, not least of all the way that we design and build infrastructure.

Project management can be thought of as a discipline for managing change. This change can be positive and can help to combat climate change when the three pillars of sustainability are taken into account. The pillars are as follow:

  • Social Sustainability
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Economic Sustainability

Working to improve efficiencies on projects by implementing new initiatives that will save time and money and prevent waste is an example of strategic project management. By doing so, professionals working in this field can help build faster and smarter.

Help the built environment implement alternatives

Project managers - from graduates to senior project managers - have the opportunity to reduce both the causes and consequences of climate change. For example, a cause is the use of unsustainable materials such as concrete, and the consequence is unnecessarily high CO2 emissions. However, in the Middle East, project managers have the challenge of finding materials that are sustainable but will also stand up to the heat. In this way, they can help architects beat the heat in the UAE.

Alternatively, there are smart cities, like NEOM Saudi Arabia. NEOM is a central element of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 which seeks to diversify the Saudi economy and reduce its dependency on hydrocarbons. Scientists, urban planners, environmental experts and projects managers are coming together to lead the way on climate change and promote renewable energy.

The planned city, founded by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, is an opportunity for all professionals within the built environment to build something that prioritises sustainability, promotes biodiversity and pushes the boundaries of engineering and design.

Be a champion of change

We know that immediate action is needed to combat climate change. There's so much more that we can be doing, and at AtkinsRéalis , we recognise the power of assembling a team that is passionate about engineering a better future. We recently announced renewed targets for climate action throughout our global business, and we're looking for talented project managers across the Middle East who will help us pave the way for a more sustainable construction industry.

Find your next project manager job in the Middle East with AtkinsRéalis

As a leader in the design and delivery of the built environment, we have a unique opportunity to make an impact as a company. Our vision for engineering a sustainable society will help our clients to tackle the challenges the world faces.

Why not join us on our mission to shape a better world? Browse our current project management jobs in the Middle East.