As Canada and the global community marked the 51st annual Earth Day yesterday, and the federal government announced strengthened climate commitments at the Leaders Summit on Climate, Canadian companies involved in infrastructure development stepped up to announce enhanced environmental and climate action initiatives.

One of the companies making an extra environmental effort is WSP Global Inc., headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. The company announced ambitious climate action through a commitment to achieve net zero emissions across its value chain by 2040. To support the achievement of its net zero commitment, the corporation has set science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets, which have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

“We are pleased to announce these commitments and join other organizations in leading the way on urgently tackling climate change,” stated Alexandre L’Heureux, WSP’s president and chief executive officer. L’Heureux added that the leading environmental consulting firm is well positioned to advise clients on their own transition to a low-carbon economy.

Through this net zero commitment WSP will also join the Race to Zero, which brings together a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, with an objective to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference taking place later this year.

“We congratulate WSP on setting science-based targets consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement,” said Heidi Huusko, senior manager, environment and climate at the United Nations Global Compact, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners. “By aligning its goals with a 1.5°C future as a signatory of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C Campaign, WSP is taking action to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.”

The GHG emissions reduction targets WSP is announcing today, which supersede the corporation’s existing targets, increase the level of our ambition to align with the latest climate science.

According to the World Bank, infrastructure construction and operations such as power plants, buildings, and transport are responsible for approximately 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Featured image: The Vancouver Convention Centre West engaged WSP to provide sustainability consulting in their pursuit of LEED for existing buildings. The centre registered under the most stringent version of LEED (version 4), achieving Platinum level and making it Canada’s first LEED platinum existing building.

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