Question & Answer with APTIM’s CEO Mark Fallon
As we have moved into the fourth quarter of 2021, APTIM has been reflecting on our progress and goals for addressing the many social and environmental issues our industry faces. APTIM’s CEO Mark Fallon sat down to discuss where APTIM is headed regarding sustainability, diversity, labor, and more, and the extraordinary things we’re doing to get there. Learn more by reading the conversation below.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
ESG and DEI
Q: APTIM recently launched our own Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Sustainability Council with the goal of quantifying our current ESG performance and laying the foundation for improving our performance in future years. How is APTIM addressing environmental issues internally and serving as a thought leader for clients and others in our industry?
Mark: The way that APTIM behaves as a company and as a community is inseparable from the way that we serve our clients. ESG advice and service is a core element of our value proposition. APTIM is unique insofar as we deliver every element of environmental service—ranging from sustainability advice and measurement to permitting, compliance consulting, remedial design and execution, and the decommissioning of facilities. Our aim is to be a recognized global leader in restoring the natural environment and making the built environment more sustainable and resilient. That aim comes with the obligation to hold ourselves to a high standard of ESG performance.
We are in the early stages of our ESG journey. We have a long way to go, and I am so grateful to our teammates who are pioneering this effort on sustainability, governance, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). I am engaged actively in these efforts, and I am accountable to my teammates and to our Board to deliver progress.
What is APTIM doing to address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?
Mark: We have a lot of work to do in DEI, but it starts with our The Collaborative Way (TCW) commitment of Being for Each Other. Being able to give voice and opportunity to people of all different backgrounds is what we stand for. The way we behave is intrinsic to the way we work and intrinsic to our value proposition. We need to be able to adapt in different communities by understanding not just technical details, but also social details and nuance.
Climate and Sustainability
Recent severe weather events including Hurricane Ida, the Caldor and Dixie Fires, devastating drought conditions, and deadly heat waves have many acknowledging the impacts of global warming, the increased pace of climate destruction, and the vulnerability of our planet. With APTIM’s depth of experience and history in the company’s home state of Louisiana—one of the most affected regions by rising sea level and severe weather—how can we position ourselves as a Consequence Management Provider to deliver solutions to address climate risk?
Mark: First, we make APTIM the best place to work for the world’s most capable and committed professionals in fields including resilience, sustainability, coastal engineers, program management, disaster response and recovery, and geophysical science and engineering. We do this through our commitment to a collaborative culture and by providing work experience that recognizes and supports wellness, fair compensation, and a balanced life.
We also pursue and capture important and impactful projects and programs, like the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management National Sand Inventory, the FEMA Individual Assistance Contract, the Army Corps of Engineers Rapid Disaster Infrastructure contract, the Louisiana Coastal Reference Monitoring program, and others. These programs offer the best women and men in the world to work not just to respond to the impacts of climate change but also to make communities more resilient to these impacts and, finally, to reduce the risks of climate for clients and communities.
Many companies are discussing the shortage of qualified labor and the difficulty in retaining personnel. What is APTIM’s strategy for securing the best talent in the market and retaining existing talent?
Mark: We are placing talent over tenure and readying our staff to perform and excel. Our firm is accountable to the talented men and women we have internally. We trust the resources we have, and we help connect talent to opportunity. We have growth priorities and need to invest in people and teams in those areas.
It takes discipline to know where to invest. Investing in people is the perfect manifestation of that.
APTIM. Expect the Extraordinary.