Texan by Nature is excited to recognize Stantec as a 2023 TxN 20 honoree for their leadership in conservation and sustainability. Stantec’s commitment to conservation, as well as their projects, programs, best practices, and lessons learned are an example and inspiration for us all.
Honoree Industry and Size: Architecture, Design & Development–Enterprise
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place, and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.
We care about the communities we serve—because they’re our communities too. This allows us to assess what’s needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what’s never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.
We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.
Welch Outdoor Learning Center– The Welch Outdoor Learning Center received a 2022 IIDA TX/OK Design Excellence Awards for Best in City Center (Austin),Katy ISD’s bold and visionary outdoor learning facility.
What is Stantec’s conservation and sustainability mission and why is it important to your culture?
At Stantec, sustainability is key to our purpose, promise, and values. And we live it every day because we are accountable to our communities–to strengthening them and making them resilient for whatever the future may hold. We are committed to being a leader and model of sustainability by doing business in a way that meets the needs of the present while contributing to an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future. This commitment is at the heart of how we operate and deliver solutions to our clients. It is vital to our long-term success in achieving our vision: to create a future where infrastructure gives back, water is protected, natural systems are valued, biodiversity is prioritized, economies are circular, nothing gets wasted, development is responsible, everyone can access renewable energy, and society is just.
Find our sustainability mission and sustainability policy statement here.
How is conservation and sustainability a part of Stantec’s business strategy?
Sustainability is vital to our brand, embodied in our corporate culture, and directly connected to our corporate strategy. At Stantec, sustainability is built on the premise that positive economic results are only possible when we effectively manage ESG activities across our value chain.
Here’s how we approach sustainability with our primary stakeholder groups:
With Our Communities
Our project work provides positive outcomes for the communities where we work, live, and play. Our employees actively support environmental and social causes through their volunteer work; our philanthropy includes a purposeful focus on addressing climate change and promoting an inclusive culture; and our innovation investments promote sustainable technologies and policy advancements.
For Our Clients
Our greatest influence on sustainability comes from the services we provide to clients and communities. Each of our geographies and business operating units help clients address their challenges by identifying and capturing ways to make their projects more sustainable. Our project-facing ESG approach uses the framework of the SDGs, specifically the seven goals we can most directly influence.
For Our Investors
Stantec is considered an impact investment option, and our investors expect ESG leadership. We disclose sustainability performance against major investor-driven frameworks, including SASB and TCFD (see Appendixes). We consistently rank high in sustainability ratings across multiple independent investor-driven third parties (such as CDP, MSCI, Refinitiv, ISS, Sustainalytics, and S&P).
With Our Employees
Our operational ESG initiatives introduce efficiencies that improve the quality of work-life of our employees; reduce the environmental footprint of our operations; provide a foundation for effective decision-making, risk management, and transparency; manage costs; drive innovation; and promote a culture of inclusivity, equity, responsibility, and stewardship.
What are Stantec’s short and long-term goals as they relate to conservation and sustainability?
Well-respected programs and initiatives guide our company goals as we integrate sustainability and conservation into each part of our business.
Who at Stantec is leading your conservation and sustainability efforts and what are some examples of employee engagement in conservation and sustainability at Stantec?
Our commitment to sustainability starts with our chief executive officer, Gord Johnston, who maintains an Envision Sustainability Professional credential. Here are a few more individuals and groups whose commitment to conservation and sustainability echo throughout Stantec:
Board Sustainability and Safety Committee (SSC) Each Board and SSC meeting covers sustainability progress because we believe it’s the primary way to deliver shareholder value over the long term. The SSC confirms that Stantec’s ESG goals align with the Company’s strategic plan, and the Board annually examines sustainability-linked pay metrics that determine Stantec’s financial success.
Executive ESG Committee
This committee is accountable for our sustainability performance and communicates critical ESG knowledge, performance, concerns, and initiatives to the Board.
Award-winning members include:
Climate Solutions Leadership Team
In 2022, we formalized a global Climate Solutions Leadership Team to address climate-related risks and opportunities in our work. This team’s goal is to expand market share and meet client needs with respect to climate change.
Volunteer change agents from inclusion, diversity, and equity teams act as champions globally, breaking down barriers that might accidentally introduce bias and encouraging people to celebrate their identity and voice.
In 2022, Stantec donated $45,000+ through our Dollars for Doers program supporting employees who volunteered or raised money for their communities. We invested in our planet with Earth Day community engagement across 10 countries.
We held our ninth annual Stantec in the Community Week, with almost 4,000 employees volunteering for 300+ organizations worldwide. Sustainability events like stream cleanups and planting pollinator-friendly plants are key to this tradition.
Volunteer-led Green Teams focus on sustainability in our offices, projects, and personal lives. Our employees provide expertise through pro-bono work with Engineers Without Borders, the Boys and Girls Club, and Habitat for Humanity.
It is evident that client relationships and improving communities is paramount to Stantec. They are always responsive to any questions, concerns, or needs. Throughout our project experience together, I have been impressed by their creativity, ability to listen carefully and respond to our community’s needs, and sensitivity to budget limitations.
– Janice Pokrant, City Planner, City of Del Rio, Texas
Katy Prairie Stream Mitigation Bank Project– Stantec helped re-establish a resilient ecosystem for the Katy Prairie Stream Mitigation Bank project – the first of its kind in Texas and one of the largest in the world.
What conservation and sustainability programs and projects does Stantec lead and participate in?
At Stantec, our conservation and sustainability efforts carry the most impact to the world through our projects. We have four strategic growth initiatives (SGI) that reflect these efforts—coastal resilience, ecosystem restoration, smart cities and urban places, and energy transition. The projects in each SGI connect directly to our core UN SDGs: 6) Clean Water and Sanitation; 7) Affordable and Clean Energy; 9) Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; 11) Sustainable Cities and Communities; 13) Climate Action; 14) Life Below Water; and 15) Life on Land.
Coastal Resilience – UN SDGs 6, 11, 13, 14
Through management, infrastructure, and nature-based solutions, we help communities adapt to rising sea levels and extreme weather events due to climate change. Close to home, Stantec is working with the Texas Water Development Board to create a more resilient flood plan for the entire state. With climate change driving more severe weather events and sea level rise, this coordinated, and data-driven, approach offers the potential to save lives and protect against significant financial loss. We share more about post-disaster coastal restoration and resilience work in this video.
Ecosystem Restoration – UN SDGs 6, 14, 15
Our science and planning help communities protect, restore, monitor, and respond to biodiversity loss, climate change, and environmental degradation. We are currently developing a wetland mitigation bank for the Harris County Flood Control District and have completed several stream restoration projects around Texas that we continue to monitor. This important work is made possible by Stantec’s passionate ecosystem restoration professionals—folks like senior water resources engineer Kate Klavon, who shares a day in her life here. Step even deeper into Kate’s world with our interactive site: What does ecosystem restoration look like?
Smart Cities and Urban Places – UN SDG 6, 11
Using technology and planning, we help communities address resource security and conservation, wellness, accessibility, mobility, equity, and congestion. We helped the City of Farmers Branch develop a comprehensive plan that will carry them into a new era of sustainable growth. The City is ready to start improving mobility, increase equitable housing, and repurpose its existing infrastructure in their commitment to environmental, economic, and social progress. Visit our interactive site, the 7 best practices of highly effective smart cities, for more on adapting urban places to thrive in our changing world.
Energy Transition – UN SDGs 6, 7, 9, 13
We help clients shift and adapt to a low-carbon future through renewable energy, distributed power, battery storage, new technology, and policies. Stantec is supporting the largest net zero logistics development in North America and the largest solar investment in US history. In Texas, we helped NASA’s Johnson Space Center with power reliability as they developed an energy-efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plant and microgrid. Navigate the evolving landscape of energy transition with our interactive site here.
When I envision the world I want to live in, I see inclusive communities that are safe, equitable, and environmentally sound—a world with restored ecosystems and climate-resilient neighborhoods thriving in a zero-carbon, circular economy. Achieving and maintaining this vision requires creativity, intelligence, innovation, and empathy. Sustainability means planning for the long term and acting now.
– Gord Johnston, President and Chief Executive Officer
How does Stantec see the future of conservation and sustainability evolving, and what role will your company play in that progress?
Communities are facing major challenges to their long-term sustainability. An increasingly changing climate. Pollution of the biosphere and oceans. Loss in biodiversity. At the same time, there are opportunities for positive change through new technologies, ecosystem regeneration, and holistic, unified planning by community leaders. An ecosystem infrastructure approach—integrating the natural and built environment—is key to transforming the future of our communities.
Stantec is taking several measures to be at the forefront of shaping this future:
City of Galveston South Shore Drainage Project: In support of the City’s mission for a more resilient Galveston, the Stantec team is developing a design that mitigates storm impacts while also improving quality of life and enhancing local environment.
How does Stantec quantify investment and return on conservation and sustainability?
Because of investments in environmental and sustainability initiatives, Stantec increased the amount of our gross revenue tied to the United Nations SDGs to 60% (approximately $2.5 billion USD) in 2022. By aligning corporate financials with SDGs, we embed sustainability into every dollar we spend.
Stantec issued a sustainability-linked loan (SLL) that connects our $1.1 billion (CAD) syndicated senior credit facilities to our ESG performance. This includes two KPIs: achieving emissions reduction targets and improving our Bloomberg Gender Equality Index score. Stantec’s SLL is the first globally to link the financing structure to progress made relative to the Bloomberg score. In 2022, Stantec met the SLL terms and will be the first company in Canada to direct the interest savings earned by achieving the targets back into communities to further climate action and social equity (proceeds to be distributed in 2023).
In 2022, Stantec achieved our goal of reaching carbon neutral status companywide. We exceeded emissions reduction targets and consumed renewable energy equivalent to 92% of our operational electricity use through installed solar, green tariffs, and certified wind and solar energy attribute certificates.
Recent awards represent the return on conservation efforts:
What is the one lesson that Stantec has learned from your conservation and sustainability efforts that others can take back and think about applying within their own space?
The tagline on our 2022 Sustainability Report says it best: Every Action. Every Decision. Our planet didn’t get to where it is now overnight—it will take intentional change built into everyday lives to address the challenges we face. Infusing every action and decision with a sustainability angle creates a platform for change. It drives us to evolve.
Achieving carbon neutrality in our operations in 2022 was an accomplishment, but we can’t rest there. For the first time, we conducted a materiality refresh that expanded our focus on ESG concerns to our entire value chain. While we continue to manage our operational impacts, we are also amplifying the ESG connection to our project work and supply chain.
We spent time understanding Stantec’s sustainability context as defined by the Global Reporting Initiative—the external influences that contribute to positive and negative impacts on lives, livelihoods, and supply chains.
We considered drivers such as the accelerating climate crisis, global pandemics, geopolitical instability, water stress, digital revolution, the great resignation, social justice, and rapidly evolving ESG-related regulatory requirements. Sustainability and conservation touch every part of our business, of our lives. We meet this reality by applying a sustainability lens to every action and every decision.
Why is Texas an important home or base of operations for Stantec?
The pulse of Stantec’s business courses through Texas involving all our major business operating units (Buildings, Energy & Resources, Environmental Services, Infrastructure, and Water).
The work we’ve done, like creating development plans for 100+ Texas communities, makes us proud. We also recognize improvements to Texas have a broader reach. The work we do protects coastal water resources and ecosystems, rehabilitates commercial trucking routes, and launches schools that will shape the future stewards of our planet—to name just a few of our contributions.
By investing in Texas, Stantec saw some exciting news in 2022:
Learn more about Stantec’s conservation and sustainability efforts here.
Inclduing 700+ ecosystem restoration experts including ecologists, restoration specialists, and technicians.
Primary SDG include: clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; sustainability cities and communities; climate action; life below water; and life on land.
And 50% total energy (fuel and electricity) in 2022 derived from renewable resources.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas