How CPCS helps create environmental and social value as a firm and advisors to infrastructure leaders
“Our biggest impact is advising decision-makers to adopt sustainable infrastructure, operations and policies as the first line of defense against climate change and barriers to social equity” – Managing Partner Marc-André Roy
- CPCS’s tradition of delivering sustainable projects worldwide continues
- Day-to-day operations and internal processes are putting greater focus on environment and communities
- Cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions caused by business travel is a key focus
Starting from within to protect the environment and promote equity
The policies, programs and action plans we develop and implement can have long-lasting environmental and social value — typically measured in decades.
This privilege comes with a significant environmental and social responsibility.
This responsibility takes shape through our:
- Advice to clients
- Day-to-day operations
Providing sustainable solutions to infrastructure challenges for growing economies is not new to CPCS. However, our environmental and social responsibility policy and action plan have pushed us to take an honest look at our weak points and dive deeper to improve our practices.
Climate-smart solutions for clients
Since 2000, we’ve been prioritizing renewable infrastructure projects. Helping leaders see the benefits of sustainability has always been important to us.
Our environmental and social responsibility policy further enshrines this practice.
All our consulting services, namely power, transport and public-private partnerships, strive to make communities, cities and countries cleaner and more liveable.
Developing renewable energy sources in low-income countries
- Mozambique, Africa: CPCS developed an eco-friendly plan for Mozambique to accelerate national energy access and address its electricity grid issues. Combining solar power systems with battery storage is a relatively quick way to provide energy. By placing the infrastructure near high demand areas, people can have access to reliable electricity without depending on long transmission lines.
- Nauru, Oceania: CPCS helped this island microstate make a full transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Our experts are currently shaping the Nauru Energy Road Map as they identify energy sources that blend affordability with sustainability. Ever mindful of climate change, they are also assessing the climate risks that the island will be facing in the upcoming years.
- Sub-Saharan Africa: Our Interns are known to deliver high impact renewable energy projects pro bono. This summer, one intern helped CPCS lay the building blocks of a solar desalination project in Sub-Saharan Africa. Who doesn’t want high quality water at a modest price?
Travelling even farther without harming the environment
- Canada, North America: Last year, we helped a Canadian environment agency calculate the amount of greenhouse gas that can be reduced by shifting from private car use to public and active transportation.
- Uganda, Africa: What beats green travel? Green travel in style, of course. This is why CPCS has been serving as a transaction advisory expert to help Uganda jumpstart an electric bike business. Given Kampala’s high reliance on motorcycles for commuting, swapping out petrol-based models for electric ones is an important step towards cleaner air.
- Utah, U.S.: That communities live in a healthy ecosystem is paramount for CPCS. In 2020, we developed a strategic business plan for a port authority in Utah that incentivizes sustainable logistics facilities and operations.
Enabling environmentally-friendly public-private partnerships
- West Africa: CPCS gets to work when climate change is damaging West Africa’s precious coastline. Our PPP team has been helping regional representatives shortlist coastal management projects that are most attractive to public and private investors.
- Ghana, Africa: A prominent public agency in Ghana wanted to relocate into a larger and more environmentally responsible office. In response, we stepped up as transaction advisor and launched a tender process to procure a private developer that can build and operate the new accommodation.
- Philippines, Southeast Asia: Our work as transaction advisor to develop a ferry system to cross Manila Bay in the Philippines included significant measures to adapt to climate change. Chief among those was an environmental assessment that sought to limit waste disposal and engine pollution.
Day-to-day operations to minimize our firm’s carbon footprint
We talk the talk by providing green solutions to clients but also walk the walk by increasing our own positive environmental and social impact.
For instance, we’ve inventoried the most impactful ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Specific examples include:
- Moving our headquarters into a LEED Gold certified building
- Subsidizing commute via public transit and cancelling subsidies for individual parking
- Pulling out single-use plastic items from our offices
Additionally, we’ve set time-bound objectives and a meticulous action plan. This holds us accountable to our environmental commitments.
One such objective is quantifying our greenhouse gas emissions by source.
Our in-house research shows that our main source of pollution is air travel, which accounts for 380 of the firm’s 530 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (TCO2EQ) in 2019. We do expect this number to drop significantly this year and the next though, as the pandemic has made CPCS an agile partner in delivering infrastructure projects remotely.
More measures to reduce environmental harm include:
- Formally assessing our experts’ knowledge in environmental matters
- Periodically reviewing policies and practices to recommend environmentally-minded improvements and reduce negative impacts
A community-driven business
A singular focus on the environment, while laudable, is insufficient. Indeed, we must also make sure that our impact in the infrastructure sector benefits all members of the community equally.
One notable way in which we’ve embedded communal goals in our consulting work is by adding a gender equality aspect in our projects.
Because infrastructure development often affects the local labour market, we prioritize infrastructure projects that create jobs for both men and women equally. In fact, the action plan we’re currently preparing for the next Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa upholds gender-sensitive employment as a central tenet.
In addition to our focus on gender inclusion, we’ve also redoubled our philanthropic efforts.
CPCSers are often willing to apply their expertise to make a positive impact on the environment just for the sake of it. Our transportation experts, for example, have partnered up with research institutes to explore the benefits of active transportation on a pro bono basis.
We also encourage our interns to lead renewable energy projects as a service to community. Last year, one of them developed a plan for York University to implement rooftop solar on its campus buildings. The university has since applied for grants to make it work.
Creating greener and more inclusive places, transportation and power systems
CPCS is an independent voice in the infrastructure sector. We spread our message for climate change and social inclusion through our choices, advice and projects.
Striving for these goals is just not our fight, but everyone’s fight – big and small companies included. It’s an ongoing endeavour and now a defining part of our identity.
A continued focus on sustainable and communally sensitive infrastructure projects, in addition to being transparent about our internal practices, enables us to do just that.
|Pro bono||Pressing infrastructure challenge requiring expert advice|
|CPCS is always willing to take up pro bono infrastructure projects with an environmental angle. Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org today.||Have a business opportunity? You are an infrastructure leader seeking professional advice? Contact our experts.|
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