Transformational Partnership Award – Natural Capital Laboratory – Shortlisted, winners announced June 2023
Climate Change Business Journal Business Achievement Awards – Natural Capital Laboratory – Industry Leadership in Natural Capital, Winner
AECOM (Dallas) together with The Lifescape Project and landowners Emilia and Roger Leese for initiating the Natural Capital Laboratory (NCL) – an outdoor research laboratory in Scotland – to develop and commercialize innovative approaches to tackling biodiversity and climate emergencies. The vision is to expand into a globally connected network of sites pioneering and sharing innovations to tackle environmental problems.
The 100-acre living laboratory is documenting site rewilding, testing and trialing technologies to measure and monitor environmental change. The team’s 60 specialists are drawn from across AECOM, The Lifescape Project, University of Cumbria and other organizations, bringing together expertise in rewilding, natural capital, ecology, water, landscape management, acoustics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and stakeholder engagement.
A key focus of the NCL is to reduce the costs of acquiring, analyzing, and using data through remote sensing, AI, and drone surveys to remotely monitor habitat extent and condition to support estimates of environmental net gain. The NCL is also collecting information around the environmental and economic impacts of rewilding projects, developing new models and valuation estimates. The techniques and products being developed are generating a change in clients’ ability to understand, quantify, and value their social and environmental impacts and integrate them into stages of the impact assessment process.”
Sustainability Strategy Implementation Award – Natural Capital Laboratory, The Lifescape Project and University of Cumbria – Winners
Nature Based Project of the Year – Natural Capital Laboratory – Highly Commended
‘Best Practice – Innovation’ category – Natural Capital Laboratory – Commended
John Connell Awards – Innovation category – Natural Capital Laboratory – Shortlisted
Health & Wellbeing – Roger Leese, Winner
The rewilding pioneer is using his commercial litigation experience at Clifford Chance to bring ESG practices to the fore of leading global companies. His rewilding project in the Highlands explores innovative virtual and digital ways to communicate the benefits of rewilding
Best ESG Campaign Or Case Study to Improve Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use of the Terrestrial Ecosystems – AECOM for the Natural Capital Laboratory – Winner
Environmental Noise category – AECOM, Natural Capital Laboratory, Winner; Innovation category, Commended
This is a very clever project in which the acoustic elements are key to the success, with use of virtual reality to explain how it can work. It offers an excellent way of showing the client and the public what they can expect and it offers great potential for the future. It recognises that soundscape has changed the way information is presented and that use of technology can enable good acoustics to be demonstrated to everyone. It has pushed innovation from the very start and goes beyond existing good practice as well as having timescales that were huge and challenging. The use of audio to assess changes in animal and bats behaviour was brilliant and this type of immersive sound demonstration can benefit future programmes. This is the sort of work that shows what acoustic consultancy can cover and displays creativity in design and testing new techniques to quantify, measure and communicate environmental and social change.
Natural Environment Champion – Natural Capital Laboratory, Winner
The winner in the “Natural Environment” category, bringing the best elements of digital technology and laboratory testing to the natural world. The project demonstrates vision and long term commitment to environmental work, enabling innovative solutions to be tested and proven in an effective manner, minimising disruption.
Sustainability Impact Awards – AECOM, Natural Capital Laboratory, Shortlisted
DREAM and COLLABORATE – Natural Capital Laboratory, Shortlisted
Consultancy of the Year – AECOM – Winner
Aecom says it has embraced the need for projects to address climate change, the biodiversity crisis, and to deliver social value. It is furthering these goals by collaborating with industry and investing in R&D, through its Natural Capital Laboratory, custom carbon assessments and offsite solutions. The judges were impressed by “a progressive and collaborative organisation with a global reach and a deep culture”, praising its keenness “to learn and share expertise with peers and clients”. Our judges added: “[Aecom] demonstrated a willingness to push professional boundaries beyond the norm, making a meaningful impact on the industry at large