Northrop declares climate and biodiversity emergency

With half of the world’s population in lockdown due to Covid-19, where airports are silent, roads are empty and factories are closed, we have seen global carbon emissions fall by a mere 5.5%. The climate emergency has not gone away, and this gives us some idea of how much work there is to do.

During the closing stages of 2019 and the early days of our devastating Black Summer, the Northrop Board and Leadership Team committed to act on climate change. We recognised the rapidly unfolding threat that a warming climate poses for society, our biosphere, our communities and our clients.

Our first action was to join the Engineers Declare initiative, clearly and openly acknowledging that we are in a climate and biodiversity emergency. The Engineers Declare ‘declaration’ puts forward a holistic and systems-based approach to delivering engineering and consulting services that both cease our contributions to global warming and help build a more sustainable, resilient and prosperous future. By thinking differently about how we design and construct buildings we can unlock enormous potential for social and commercial value creation.

Northrop are transitioning towards climate leadership, which includes a strategy that would embed ‘climate resilience’ into everything that we do. For us, resilience is being prepared for future climate shocks and events but also being focused on prosperity; prosperous cities, communities, projects, businesses and even prosperous personal lives. And we can’t have prosperity without clean air, clean water, rich biodiversity, abundant renewable resources, safe and abundant food and a just and fair society.

Northrop’s Climate Emergency Taskforce is laying out the pathway for our transition to a new way of working. It’s one step in a long journey, but an important one – so watch this space!

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