For more than a century, Arcadis has been working to improve our living environment – ​​in the Netherlands and worldwide in more than 70 countries. A living environment that is increasingly under pressure due to, among other things, climate change.

Arcadis wants to be a leader in the field of sustainability

‘We must do our utmost to combat climate change. And ensure that we can respond to the consequences of a changing climate. Arcadis takes a leading role in this.’ FairClimateFund spoke with Elske de Jong, Sustainable Business Operations and CSR Manager at Arcadis Netherlands.

This Dutch engineering and consultancy firm has existed since 1888. It started with a group of Dutch farmers who decided to work together to reclaim ‘waste’ land and create and maintain forests and soil improvement works. In 2020, the more than 2,000 advisors, engineers and project managers of Arcadis still share the same passion as the farmers from 1888: improving the quality of life

Sustainability and improving the quality of life are inextricably linked. Can you give examples of how Arcadis contributes to a sustainable living environment?

‘We achieve the greatest impact on sustainability through the projects we carry out for customers.’ Good examples of this are Wonderwoods, a sustainable residential tower with room for 10,000 trees and shrubs and the redevelopment of the Driebergen – Zeist station, which provides the connection with the green environment. and accessibility enhanced.

What is Arcadis itself doing to reduce its climate footprint?

‘Our CO₂ footprint is determined for more than ninety percent by mobility: traveling by car, plane and train. As a company, we do everything we can to reduce CO₂ emissions in this regard. For example, in 2019 our last large office moved to a station location and every employee has an NS Business Card that seventy percent of all employees use. We are also working on an app for employees to track their mobility that rewards sustainable travel behavior. These types of initiatives help enormously to further reduce the CO₂ footprint every year.

We also encourage the choice of a sustainable lease car using a bonus-malus system. Electrification of the fleet is the next step. Unfortunately, it is not possible to sell all our lease cars because we work on projects that sometimes require us to be present at night at locations where trains are no longer running. In short: there are still plenty of challenges to reduce our CO₂ emissions as a result of our mobility.’

Arcadis is a climate neutral company. Why do you choose CO₂ compensation?

‘Compensation tends towards bribery’ is a regularly heard criticism. We only wanted to compensate with an underlying plan to structurally reduce our own CO₂ emissions. By offsetting we give CO₂ emissions a price and therefore also become climate neutral. It encourages us as a company to look at CO₂ as a cost item. And in doing so we make our business case for CO₂ reduction healthier.

What was the deciding factor in choosing carbon credits from FairClimateFund?

‘With the money we pay for carbon credits from FairClimateFund, we can contribute to improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable to climate change. Both socially and economically. FairClimateFund’s Chulika project in India fits in seamlessly with our passion: improving the living environment of people worldwide.’

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