As we begin the New Year, my APTIM colleagues and I have reflected back on 2021 and are looking ahead to what 2022 will bring. I recently had the opportunity to hear from some industry experts on the state of the environmental industry. The following are key industry updates for 2022 and beyond.
- Virtual Meetings Aren’t Going Anywhere.
With new variants of COVID-19 emerging and many workplaces embracing remote work indefinitely, it’s clear that we haven’t returned to the pre-pandemic “normal” – and it’s likely that remote work is the new “normal”. Adapting to a predominantly virtual workforce and finding creative new ways to foster relationships with clients are imperative. I hope you like the border around my face when we talk on Teams, Zoom, or other collaboration platforms!
- Funding Opportunities to Address Climate Challenges.
In the past year, we have seen tremendous movement out of the current Administration in a variety of areas, including environmental justice, enforcement, climate change, and resiliency. New legislation and policies such as the Infrastructure Bill passed in late 2021 are providing new project funding opportunities for clients to assist with challenges, including climate impact, brownfields, and energy resiliency.
- Companies Must Commit to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Net Zero.
With the Administration’s renewed focus on sustainability, more companies are making ambitious commitments to ESG and Net Zero. These commitments are important to clients and investors, and they matter to current and prospective employees. Investing in staff and instilling a sense of purpose within your business is paramount, especially amid the Great Resignation and War for Talent.
- Keep Ahead of the Technology Curve.
Keeping up with new technology is more important than ever thanks to increased competition, talent constraints, and the risks for disruption that automation can pose (make sure your company is the disruptor, not the disrupted). Investing in data management and machine learning tools that support improved data analysis and business decisions is a trend that will continue to increase in the coming years.
I’m proud that APTIM’s actions over the past year reflect these trends. In 2021, APTIM formed our ESG Council that works to set and support an agenda for stewardship and sustainability. We know the way we behave as a company is inseparable from the way that we serve our communities and clients. We will release our first ESG Report this year and will continue to work toward achieving our commitments.
APTIM is also at the forefront of providing sustainability services to support clients in the pursuit of decarbonization, resiliency, and positioning ESG at the core of their business strategies. To help lead these efforts, we added our first Director of Sustainability, Lindsay Arell, and welcomed a new Vice President of Energy Solutions, Brenda Hopewell. They are already leading us in exciting new directions, including publishing a first-of-its kind Sustainable Sport Index (SSI) Report, which we released last fall.
Additionally, APTIM is preparing to meet the challenge of helping clients comply with the aggressive regulations and enforcement policies that come with the Administration’s climate-focused agenda. We are adding new hires to our Environmental Consulting services and we are recruiting for several more key positions as we continue to prioritize growth and excellent customer service.
As we carry out this agenda, we are constantly in search of new and innovative technologies and new ways to connect with clients. We look forward to another year of convening with you face to face – whether in-person or through the latest virtual technology.
Greg Coffman, Vice President of Business Operations