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Planning and evaluating reductions in the environmental footprint of a large engineering consultancy

Olsson, Ashley (2008) Planning and evaluating reductions in the environmental footprint of a large engineering consultancy. Internship Report, Murdoch University.

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    Abstract

    Sustainability has become a major focus for Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) as they aim to become a global leader in this field. In doing so, SKM have set a corporate goal of achieving a 30% reduction in per capita Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

    In response to this corporate goal of achieving a 30% reduction in per capita GHG emissions, this study analysed GHG as a sustainability indicator. In this context, the environmental footprint of an SKM office building was examined, along with the possible direct abatement opportunities through building operations, and indirect opportunities through clients and suppliers.

    This study calculated the environmental footprint of SKM to be 1488.98t CO2-e, which equates to 3.5t CO2-e per capita. Internal abatement opportunities were identified within this study, with estimated emission reductions calculated to be 492.54t CO2-e, as a result, reducing current emissions by 33% to a total of 2.31t CO2-e per capita.

    GHG emissions were found to be a contributor to achieving sustainability, as it provides a quantitative measure, however it was identified that it cannot be a sole indicator to achieving sustainability. SKM must educate and influence suppliers and clients to adopt sustainable practices from the commencement of a project, consequently improving SKM's environmental and social performance through delivering sustainable services.

    Further studies are recommended in terms of quantifying the viability of SKM and Stockland (building owner) installing new innovative technologies and providing educational programs to increase the environmental performance of the company and building. Ultimately, SKM must aim for an integrated energy, water and waste system, which strives to close resource loops and reduce demand.

    Publication Type: Internship Report (Bachelor of Engineering)
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/11
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