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Celebrating One Year with the United Nations Global Compact

The compact currently has over 23,000 members from over 160 countries around the world—of which APTIM is a proud one.

Today (Nov. 29) is APTIM’s one-year anniversary of membership with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). This voluntary initiative is based on the commitments of chief executive officers to implement universal sustainability principles and take steps to support the goals of the United Nations.

In honor of this milestone, Monica Thilges, Enterprise Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), will share reflections on how APTIM has grown as a member of the business coalition and what is on the horizon in terms of our involvement with the UNGC.

Since joining the UNGC one year ago, what opportunities has APTIM engaged in as a member?

In my opinion, the most impactful UNGC opportunity we leveraged in 2023 was the Climate Ambition Accelerator program. At the end of 2022, we set a very ambitious goal of measuring our complete carbon footprint and setting emission reduction goals aligned with the Paris Agreement, effectively cutting our footprint in half by 2030, and we rigorously committed to submit our goals for validation to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi).

Most businesses take years to accomplish this, but we wanted to be able to submit our goals to SBTi by the end of 2023. The accelerator provided resources and virtual webinars that are helping us to meet this goal, by distilling and demystifying the literally thousands of pages of guidance documents.

Several of our colleagues have also participated in UNGC webinars and downloaded reports with topics ranging from how to be a male ally for gender equality to how to climate-proof your business. Because APTIM is a signatory member, these resources are available to anyone with an APTIM email address. All they need to do is visit the UNGC website, create a login, and explore.

What specific initiatives has APTIM implemented in the past year in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

There are 17 SDGs, ranging from no poverty to affordable and clean energy. One of the reasons I feel really fortunate to be on the APTIM team is that we have a positive impact on the majority of the SDGs. A few examples include:

  • Our partnership and funding of LSU’s EnvironMentors program, which aligns with SDG 4: Quality Education and 14: Life Below Water.
  • Our corporate ESG initiatives focused on reducing the plastic and energy waste in our offices, supporting SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and 13: Climate Action.
  • Most significantly, the work we do for our clients supports the SDGs. For instance, our resilience work aligns with 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and 10: Reduced Inequalities, while our remediation work aligns with 6: Clean Water and Sanitation and 15: Life on Land.

How has APTIM’s UNGC membership helped to build our brand and foster collaboration with other organizations?

Our engagement with the UNGC has created a couple of unique and high-profile opportunities for us to share our expertise and collaborate with other organizations. In September, we were invited to share our experience with quick starting our climate journey as part of a panel at the UNGC SDG Summit USA during Climate Week New York City. A few weeks later, we were invited to present the business case for disaster preparedness as part of a UNGC webinar on the intersection of human rights and climate change. These opportunities allowed us to position ourselves as thought leaders and make new connections with several organizations that may lead to interesting opportunities for APTIM.

Starting tomorrow, the United Nations will be hosting their 28th annual Conference of Parties (COP28) which takes place in Dubai. If you are interested, you can join these sessions virtually as well by registering the through COP28 Resilience Hub.

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