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Insights How You Can Solve The World's Engineering Net Zero Challenges With Us

Meet Jonathan Holyoak, who leads the Engineering Net Zero programme globally for the Engineering Services part of AtkinsRéalis . He has an extensive background in energy and climate issues and has worked in a range of UK Government roles.

"I believe passionately that we're responsible for tackling the climate crisis, innovating to protect our existing ecosystems and creating a habitable environment for future generations. Everyone at our organization has the skills and capabilities to make a really important contribution to this effort. That's why I'm proud that we've set "engineering a better future for our planet and its people" as the vision for our whole company. We now need to get on with making good on that vision.”
—Jonathan Holyoak, Policy and Net Zero Global Programme Director

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

Jon, what is your biggest concern about the future?

That we become fatalistic about climate change. We all know that keeping climate change to 1.5 degrees of warming is incredibly difficult, but we can't give up on the task. Our own Engineering Net Zero reports are amongst the best analysis of the challenge, but every 0.1 degree of temperature rise averted will be critical for our future ecosystem. At the same time, we'll need to deploy our engineering expertise to support the inevitable adaptations we'll need to protect ourselves from a future of rising seas and higher temperatures.

What is your team doing that's interesting?

Everything we are doing is interesting and really important! We're a small team within a far bigger ecosystem of brilliant carbon and sustainability experts. We bring together all that global capability so that we can help clients with their full range of decarbonization challenges.

We incubate and innovate new service lines to respond to a rapidly changing market (often driven by government regulation), always working closely with regional businesses and clients – Decarbonomics is a great example.

We also provide the training and systems that enable staff to advise clients confidently and consistently. My goal is to rapidly make offering low-carbon advice as core to the organization's culture as health and safety. We should not 'walk by' a high carbon outcome if we can improve it.

How is your team inspiring you?

I have a brilliant core team and am tremendously proud of how we've developed our part of the engineering net-zero strategy and brought it to life across the organization. Our work on Decarbonomics is a strong example of innovating at pace, with the client always at the heart of the process and achieving impactful low-carbon outcomes. I also think the work we're doing to integrate our digital and carbon workflows and tools will provide a simple, clear way to offer best-in-class net zero advice on any project. Look out for that in 2023.

Through our work for our clients, we make our most meaningful contributions to tackling climate change. I'm also privileged to see the work that goes on right across the business on this agenda – from nuclear power stations to nature-based urban design solutions – and I find all of that work inspiring.

How are you keeping your passion for ENZ alive?

Looking ahead, I want to do more in the coming 12 months by championing all the good work we do externally. I want to do that personally while finding new ways to get our experts talking about their brilliant work – at whatever stage they are in their careers. We need to celebrate what we are doing and be realistic about the huge task of transitioning to a net zero global economy.

What makes you confident that AtkinsRéalis can make a tangible difference?

The net-zero transition is about real change to what we build, how we build it, how we move around, and we power all of that. It's what we do, and it's up to us, and people like us, to lead the change.

We're hiring! Join us on the frontlines of decarbonizing the future: search live jobs.