In this increasingly interconnected world, global ‘megatrends’ are shaping the way we deliver projects.

These megatrends represent a range of transformative global forces that have far-reaching effects on businesses, economies, industries, societies and individuals, and encompass issues such as climate change, urbanisation and changes in consumer demand.

When these changes are predictable, businesses can plan and adapt. But unpredictable changes, such as climate-change induced storms or flooding, can happen overnight. They must also be mitigated for. It is vital that we provide our clients with the support they need so that they can withstand environmental events such as these.

Contact us

Picture of Sarah-Jane Stewart

Sarah-Jane Stewart

Global Head of Sustainability

Glasgow, United Kingdom

+44 141 220 2000

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Sustainability policy statement

SNC-Lavalin has been a signatory of the UN Global Compact responding to Agenda 2030 since 2015, progressing corporate and project initiatives across all of the goals. It is important to recognize the link between sustainable development and other relevant ongoing processes in the economic, social and environmental fields. We have the potential to create significant positive change across all our activities globally and have assessed the goals in terms of significance to our business operations. Our business is already addressing relevant strategic, economic, social and environmental topics through our corporate initiatives and our project execution. It was essential for us to use the UN SDGs as a framework for assessing which topics had become significantly important to our stakeholders.

SNC-Lavalin has a responsibility to put sustainability at the heart of our business strategy through our market leadership role, our operations and the services we provide. SNC-Lavalin recognizes that our operations can make an important contribution to a more sustainable world. It is our leadership responsibility to both improve our own sustainability performance through the way we run our business and to influence others. This will be through the alignment of our strategic advice, design, construction, asset life-cycle operations and services aligned with our business strategy and plans.

Sustainable business strategy

We are putting sustainability at the heart of our business strategy. We are undertaking business activities in a way that is beneficial to the environment, society and global and local economies, allowing us to be a future facing business. Our Sustainable Business Strategy is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is based on evaluating our performance against a set of high-level, science-based targets. This gives us a broader perspective on how we define which sustainability issues are material to our business activities. Our strategy recognizes the importance of advancing the triple bottom line of environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Our Sustainable Business Strategy leverages the unique experience we have gained over the years in helping clients address the global and local, social, environmental and economic impacts, opportunities and risks associated with large infrastructure, energy and industrial development projects.

Delivering change will not just relate to our activities as a business in terms of property, resource use and procurement, but help to deliver positive change across all our business activities, including the projects we deliver and the activity of our corporate departments.

There are five key global megatrends that have the potential to influence our business strategy. They present rich opportunities for us to develop radically more sustainable behaviour and practice. They are:

1. Global population growth and urbanization

The UN predicts that world’s population will reach almost 10 billion by 2050. By 2055, an estimated 75% of us will live in cities, putting infrastructure, transport and supply systems under extreme pressure.

Our teams are already working on a wide-range of sustainable infrastructure projects, and we’re at the forefront of R&D in regard to future-proofing cities and developing smart cities.

Below is our approach across the energy, transport, buildings, water and natural infrastructure sectors.

Our engineers play a key role in the operation of our existing energy infrastructure systems across the world.

We work closely with energy companies and governments to refurbish and upgrade existing infrastructure and distribution systems to reduce their energy use.

We are working to decommission power stations at the end of their lives to replace them with low and zero carbon alternative sources of energy.

Our transport teams work across a variety of modes of transport, helping to connect people, products and places by air, land and sea.

We develop low carbon transport networks to move people, goods and services sustainably.

We focus on demand reduction and refining the design of mass transit systems to use less energy and water (both new build and refurbishment). Every single detail, from overall weight of rolling stock to types of light fittings, is investigated as part of our approach to energy efficiency and the use of low and zero energy sources.

From new construction to upgrades and expansions we design, operate and maintain buildings of all sizes and types and across all sectors. Our portfolio includes projects for commercial and residential buildings and facilities dedicated to healthcare, education, public transport, defence, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, and municipal infrastructure.

We develop best practice approaches to global water management, and are involved in every step of the process of developing a water network, from water strategy and resource planning to infrastructure design and maintenance, as well as demand reduction through selecting low water use components and appliances.

Our specialists design projects that help restore vital ecosystems and incorporate features and processes that minimize environmental impact.

We work to improve and protect the quality of watersheds by setting maximum daily loads for pollutants, and provide urban communities with effective solutions to their flood control needs, whilst still preserving natural flora and fauna.

We are developing and implementing comprehensive environmental restoration and water management plans for a variety of natural resources including lakes, rivers streams, estuaries, wetlands and threatened habitats.

2. Climate change

For today’s projects to be sustainable over the long term, we need to plan for tomorrow’s climate realities. That’s why we play an active role in helping governments and organizations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Our team of engineers, meteorologists and toxicologists pinpoint and predict vulnerability to rising temperatures and changing weather conditions - helping our clients prepare for future climate-related events.

3. Changing mobility patterns

A shift in mobility patterns and a move towards intelligent mobility and low-carbon emissions is driving a radical change in the way our transport systems will operate in the future. We are at the forefront of intelligent mobility, designing our projects around connected and clean vehicles, personalized travel information, and demand-responsive travel.

4. Technology innovation

Clients are looking for smarter, more effective ways of running their operations to reduce their impact on the environment and society. Our specialists undertake a wide range of R&D to help our clients adopt their business practices.

We offer a range of digital and artificial intelligence related services. We use 3D digital drawing techniques linked to the manufacture of prefabricated products to maximize resource efficiency, alongside the development of designs based on circular economy principles.

Our digital offerings range from digital products and tools that enhance our clients’ projects, to Internet of Things mobility as a service, and strategic digital asset management solutions.

5. Transition to a low carbon economy

With the world’s leading economies on a fast-track to a low carbon future, we’re helping spearhead the move by making clean energy sources safe, reliable and cost-effective. We work closely with governments to help them understand and adopt emerging technologies such as energy storage and carbon capture.

We help speed up the deployment of cost-effective renewable energy technologies such as offshore and onshore wind, hydroelectricity, biomass and geothermal energy.

We also have some of the most technically skilled experts in the engineering sector in areas such as fatigue assessment, finite element analysis, dynamic analysis, computational fluid dynamics and hydrodynamics.


UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate action

pdf, 2.9MB

UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and...

pdf, 4.8MB

UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

pdf, 5.0MB

Our commitment to Indigenous Peoples

pdf, 41KB

2019 Sustainability report

pdf, 14.5MB

Lobbying & political activities 2019

pdf, 416KB

Sustainability Policy Statement

pdf, 48KB

Our Sustainable Business Strategy

pdf, 8.0MB

2018 Sustainability report

pdf, 15.8MB


UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate action

pdf, 2.9MB

UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and...

pdf, 4.8MB

UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

pdf, 5.0MB

Trade releases

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Atkins working with Environment Agency to restore UK rivers and...

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SNC-Lavalin announces Sustainability Policy Statement