Environmental and Social Responsibility Policy
Planet. People. Profit.
We believe that:
- Well-planned, funded and managed infrastructure is critical to:
- Improve economic growth
- Improve people lives
- Protect the environment
- Our work generates positive economic, environmental and social value by helping infrastructure leaders make better and more impactful infrastructure decisions.
- There is an inherent case in doing business in an environmentally, socially responsible and sustainable manner.
CPCS has an impact in 2 ways:
- Through the advice we provide to clients
These impacts have the potential to be significant, given the important role infrastructure plays in economic, environmental and social value creation.
These impacts can take many forms, including better enabling economic growth and competitiveness, improving community mobility and access to electricity, creating better opportunities for disadvantaged groups and promoting better, more efficient use of resources.
Through our day-to-day operations
As a management consulting firm, the environmental and social impact of our day-to-day operations are relatively minimal. The most significant negative environmental impacts relate to travel.
There are nevertheless opportunities to mitigate the negative impacts of our operations and to create positive environmental and social value in a complimentary, ongoing and sustainable way.
Our policy has 2 objectives:
- Minimizing negative environmental and social impacts
We seek to minimize or mitigate negative impacts of our work on the environment and society both through the advice we provide to clients and through our day-to-day operations (office work, field work, travel etc.).
- Creating environmental, social and economic value
Beyond minimizing negative impacts, we seek to create positive value for the environment, the society and economies as advisors to infrastructure leaders and by giving back as CPCS team members.
3 themes covering the impact we have through our advice to clients and our day-to-day operations
Theme 1: Awareness and understanding of our impacts on the environment and society
Advice to infrastructure leaders
- Our advice to clients is backed by robust research, consultations and analysis of the potential social, environmental and economic impacts of their infrastructure decisions and other project-specific considerations.
- We work on projects that increase awareness of environmental and social issues, such as studies to assess emissions from freight transportation, health and equity dimensions of transit pricing policies or economic barriers relating to inadequate access to reliable electricity.
- We conduct and document post-project reviews regarding the impact of our work and how our analysis and advice was used in practice.
- We track and inventory our operating impacts, such as travel, use of printing and our office footprint. All staff are invited to identify opportunities and related actions to improve environmental and social performance through CPCS’s Issue Tracker platform.
- Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Advisory Group coordinates regular reviews of our operations’ impacts and promotes greater awareness of our environmental and social impacts internally and externally.
- The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group tracks and reports on inclusion (and its barriers) at CPCS.
Theme 2: Systematic approach to continuous improvement
Advice to infrastructure leaders
- To mitigate negative impacts and enable positive environmental and social value from the project(s) in question, our proposals include environmental and social considerations and how these will be addressed during our work.
- We use project-appropriate analytical tools and frameworks coupled with creativity and our deep sector-specific knowledge to inform recommendations that best address environmental and social considerations. For example, we have developed project selection criteria that prioritize projects that promote gender inclusiveness for the African Union.
- As relevant, we use impact-specific environmental and social (including gender-lens) appraisal tools and reflect local laws, regulations and guidelines for impact appraisals.
- CPCS’s Board and Management reflect environmental and social considerations in strategic, risk and operational decision making. CPCS’s Board and Management is also committed to greater inclusiveness among the Board and the Management Team.
- The CSR Committee oversees and reports on actions that address the inventory of environmental and social impacts and related progress, including the role of CPCS’s transit fair subsidy, flex work policies and family expense claim policies.
- We regularly review and update internal policies to limit negative impacts and promote environmental and social value creation, including by building policies into broader corporate strategies (e.g. the Inclusive Talent Management Strategy). One outcome that arose from this is locating our headquarters in a LEED Gold certified building.
Theme 3: Giving Back
Advice to infrastructure leaders
- We share our depth of knowledge externally through thought leadership activities, including regular publications and webinars.
- We undertake pro-bono assignments in our core sectors where there is potential for value creation, such as a feasibility study of rooftop solar for a university or an impact investment strategy to advance projects that have significant developmental, environmental and social benefits in emerging markets.
- Many CPCS projects include a capacity building component aimed at increasing client institutional and technical capacity. Training and leave-behind tools enable the long-term success of our recommendations to infrastructure leaders and their organizations.
- We lead regular knowledge sharing sessions internally, support a mentorship program and undertake other initiatives to develop our team and professional growth among staff.
- We are formalizing a philanthropy policy to provide corporate backing to philanthropic endeavours initiated by staff. It serves a triple objective:
- Do good
- Reinforce CPCS employees’ sense of purpose and belonging
- Build a positive image by showing that we are giving back to our communities
This policy is governed by the CSR Advisory Group, which reports to the CPCS management team. The group is tasked with guiding and advancing proactive CSR initiatives and encouraging participation. It also provides periodic updates to our Board of Directors.