Atkins tops the tables in Consultancy Survey
22 August 2006, News release from Atkins
Atkins has, as last year, gained the top slot overall reputation in environmental consultancy in the highly regarded Edie.net Environmental Consultancy Survey 2006 of the largest 50 environmental consultancies.
Atkins also achieved a Top Four place in all categories this year (in customers' votes).
We have climbed the ladder in several categories, including Waste management and recycling & CSR/SER and we are also the company people would most like to work for.
Dermod Sweeney, Managing Director of Atkins Water and Environment states: "We are delighted with the results of this survey. As well as being one of the UK's largest environmental consultancies, we also have many environmental specialists working within other parts of the Atkins Group. We can draw on an immense wealth of expertise specific to a host of different markets and industries, including aviation, defence, highways, nuclear, rail, waste and water. This range of services, combined with Atkins' considerable engineering arm, means it can act as a 'one stop-shop', to provide a number of environmental solutions to a wide range of sectors."
Atkins was voted with the:
and scored within the Top 4 positions for:
The Secret of Success in environmental consultancy
Environmental consultancy is nowadays less often a 'distress purchase' and has, rather, increasingly become about us 'adding value' to our clients' undertaking This provides more interesting, varied and challenging projects as we seek to really understand our clients' businesses. It can also mean that environmental consultancy becomes rather more dependent on the stage of the economic cycle and the prosperity of the market sector (hence the present increase in oil and gas services available).
An increase in environmental awareness and the challenges of climate change, waste management, water resource issues and economic regeneration continue to create good opportunities.
Water and environmental consultancy also shows an increased overlap with other business sectors including corporate governance, risk management (or resilience planning as it is increasingly called), insurance and reputation management. Atkins is increasingly winning projects by combining skills from across the Group. So, environmental management skills may be combined with management consultancy, other technical skills and financial and project management skills.
Similarly, skills in economic regeneration may be combined with skills in brownfield redevelopment, tourism and heritage. Of course, there remains a strong demand for single discipline studies also, be it a contaminated land project or a noise survey. Nevertheless, a key success factor for Atkins has been to combine skills.
Our success in these types of surveys may also relate to the number of innovative solutions we offer clients in meeting their specific needs. We also try to look at the 'big picture' and design tools and products that could help a group of clients or an Industry in full. Examples include:
Paul Miller Project Manager, Environment Agency: "The innovative GIS habitat search tool being developed by Atkins will enable the Environment Agency to rapidly screen habitat creation opportunities in the Anglian Region enabling us to focus our efforts on the best sites. We can also see wider potential for this tool both within and outside the Environment Agency." (Habitat Creation GIS Data Tool)
Atkins Contaminated Land Solutions have been providing land quality consultancy services for over 25 years and as such have a wealth of experience in successfully addressing land contamination issues for a broad client base encompassing the public and private sector.
Our services range across the full land quality spectrum from providing upfront due diligence services and strategic advice through to delivering value engineered site remediation packages to return derelict or disused land to beneficial use, or indeed to facilitate a change of use under a planning application.
Our environmental risk assessment division is particularly highly regarded having undertaken some of the more complex modelling assignments in Europe as well as producing technical guidance documentation on behalf of the UK Environment Agency and other regulatory and industry best practice bodies. We pride ourselves on ensuring that robust risk assessment modelling is fundamental to the brownfield assessment and regeneration process in order to ensure that we deliver site and enduse specific solutions within a value engineering framework.
We have the largest number of staff in the UK accredited as Specialists in Land Condition (SiLC) and we also provide commercial training in all aspects of the land contamination cycle from robust site characterisation through to Detailed Quantitative Risk Assessment, Remedial Options Appraisal, production of Strategy Statements and Waste and Excess Soil Classification.
Current high profile projects include the Olympic Park, Crossrail and providing advise on numerous sites determined as Contaminated Land under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act.
For further information please email Atkins
EIA / SEA
The rapid growth in this area reflects the fact that impact assessments are now a pre-requisite for almost any large project.
Companies and developers want the assurance of a verified third-party assessment to assure the public that no adverse effects will be felt from their business.
Atkins is able to address complex environmental issues relating to a wide range of planning and development areas, as well as the conservation and management of natural resources. Our approach ensures that the environmental, technical and commercial requirements of projects are tackled in a skilled, integrated and flexible way.
One of our ground-breaking projects was the Redbridge SEA. We were commissioned by London Borough of Redbridge to undertake the SEA of their Local Implementation Plans (LIP) in accordance with the SEA Directive. The result was the production of a pioneering new method to complete SEA's.
We developed an in-house SEA methodology which has now been applied to a number of other SEAs undertaken by Atkins. The application of this methodology in the preparation of the Redbridge Environmental Report* was highlighted as an example of best practice by Transport for London and was recommended to other London Boroughs who were still preparing their Environmental Reports.
The preparation of high quality PPC applications on behalf of industrial clients and the completion of the technical assessment of PPC applications on behalf of the Environment Agency Strategic Permitting Groups has provided a significant workload in the last few years.
We consider that a major contributory factor in Atkins success in this area has been the allocation of highly experienced, technically competent individuals to each assignment and the maintenance of an open dialogue between the operator and the regulator. As a result of our broad technical capabilities Atkins has tended to shine in the consideration of the more complex installations where the BAT and impact assessments tend to be more involved. This work is challenging and enjoyed greatly by our staff.
The PPC marketplace will change significantly as the last sectors are drawn into the regime in late 2006. The focus will move to the delivery of improvement programmes, the renewal of existing permits and an increasing focus on resource efficiency. We remain bullish with regard to our service delivery to the industrial sector and look forward to assisting the Environment Agency in streamlining the regulation of PPC installations, the successful permitting of new installations (recognising the significant overlap between planning, EIA and PPC expertise) and the growth of the IPPC market within Central and Eastern Europe all of which pull to Atkins strengths.
Amongst other work on the IPPC, Atkins has developed a screening tool for assessing the impacts on human health within the PPC regime. The tool was developed for the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER) to allow regulators and other stakeholders to make knowledgeable decisions on the potential health impacts of PPC installations, which are the industrial facilities included within the PPC regime.
The screening tool provides the first assessment methodology that explicitly addresses human health within the PPC regime. The tool will be downloadable from the SNIFFER website.
Jack McCarey, South West Water:
"The service that Atkins supplies through its Dams and Reservoirs business and Panel Engineer Dr Andy Hughes, is a very efficient service, based on a wealth of experience and a pragmatic approach which gives us great value for money." (Reservoirs Panel Engineers & Services)
Climate Change Climate change has been described as the greatest threat facing us today. This is a rapidly growing area due to further legislation combined with increased awareness and responsibility by businesses and government alike.
Atkins works with a range of clients to identify the impacts, risks and opportunities presented by climate change, how these impacts can be managed and how we can adapt to a changing climate.
Atkins can help turn Emission Trading Scheme strategy (ETS) and Kyoto compliance burdens into strategic opportunities. Atkins has a track record of assisting organisations in compliance with the growing requirements of the European Union other Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and finding the most appropriate strategy to address future GHG emissions.
Atkins recently launched a report on the possible impacts of climate change on London's Transport system. The report presents the findings of comprehensive research undertaken by Atkins who were commissioned on behalf of the London Climate Change Partnership and London's key transport decision makers. The report provides four case studies; tidal and river flooding affecting new infrastructure in the Thames Gateway; local flooding of transport infrastructure; damage to national rail and road infrastructure from hot weather; and passenger comfort on the London Underground in hot weather. The report recommends a number of key actions to ensure that London is better prepared for the risks arising from climate change.
Waste & Recycling
As a result of legislative changes and associated policy developments and strategy requirements, wastes, resource management and recycling issues are rising on everyone's agenda.
Atkins has been increasingly been taking a strategic role with waste management operators, government agencies and local authorities, this being reflected in further improvement in our position in the edie.net survey.
Our capabilities embrace strategic review and development research, planning and permitting, design of waste management facilities, investigation, assessment, restoration and remediation of closed landfill facilities.
We have recently completed the construction of a new household waste recycling centre for Oxfordshire County Council at Drayton, near Abingdon. The site at Drayton represents the second successful collaboration between OCC and Atkins following on from completion of the council's Dix Pit Recycling Facility last year.
The new site represented a £500K investment by the council in new infrastructure.
Similarly, in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, Atkins has been involved in the formulation of Leicestershire Waste Development Framework. In addition to the formulation of issues and options we have assisted with the Statement of Community Involvement and the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Waste Development Framework.
We have also been involved in the major 'Black Country Waste Management Strategy'. The four Councils of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton forming the Black Country Consortium have taken up the challenge of addressing the implications of the National Waste Strategy and EU Landfill Directive. Atkins established a 'Vision' for waste management which, in part, articulates their aspirations for the regeneration of the Region. This led to the production of a comprehensive waste management and minimisation strategy which embraced the key principles of best practice, joint working, value for money and sustainability.
Julia Bridget, Waste Disposal Manager, Sandwell MBC on behalf of the Black Country Councils: "The ground-breaking approach taken by Atkins and partners for the development of this comprehensive 30-year strategy for waste is unique as it encompasses the 4 Unitary Authorities of the Black Country. It will be extremely important to the regeneration of the Region." (Black Country Waste Strategy)
Water & Wastewater
Atkins has been very successful in bidding for contracts in the AMP4 period and has won a large number of Framework contracts from clients including Thames Water, Southern Water, Severn Trent Water & United Utilities.
We have also been working with the major water companies in the South East in managing the drought and mitigating its effect on customers.
We are also leading a number of industry research projects and developing innovative products in order to help clients save both money and time on important projects. One such project aims to assess the sources and quantities of Priority Substances entering the sewerage system. This will enable us to determine effective responses including treatment technologies, source control or developing new regulatory tools. The research will evaluate financial, environmental and societal costs of the strategies to meet the new environmental quality standards introduced under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
We continue to win awards for our projects and achieve high ratings in other client surveys. Recently we have been awarded the 'Outstanding Example of Civil Engineering' Merit Award by the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) for the Sutton Hall Water Treatment Works project and have also won the 'Bentley 2006 Award of Excellence for Plant Visualisation' with our 3D Arnside, Stockport and Wigan WTW models.
Don Rogers, Drought Programme Manager, Southern Water:
"We've been delighted with the support given by Atkins in helping us to combat the effects of the drought. The drought programme has necessitated as "fast track" approach to projects and has been an excellent example of collaborative working." (Drought management in the South)
Our success as a company is due mostly to the skills and expertise of the staff we employ. Atkins prides itself on its multidisciplinary team that are able to offer solutions to a wide variety of challenges.
We grow the talent of our staff in house through well regarded training schemes and we provide good incentives to encourage staff to stay with us. In terms of employing new staff, we offer very appealing packages. In the case of graduates, our graduate scheme provides a 'golden hello', shares which vest after a few years, awards for gaining Chartered Environmentalist, Chartered Engineer and other charterships, and structured training including a graduate development centre where graduates from across the company get together.
For more senior staff, the emphasis is on training and providing opportunities via career review and development centres.
Atkins' environment business is nevertheless in constant need of additional experienced staff with strong business and technical skills. We take on a number of summer students and industrial placement students in our environmental business and it is very common for these students to return to us on graduating.
This practice gives both sides a chance to test the 'fit'. Vacancies are typically advertised on web sites and applications can often be made on line. We are looking for staff expected to be high performers, but judged not only on academic achievement but on attitude, flexibility and a defined range of skills (as below):
However, we are also conscious that it is not just us who interview staff - they also 'interview' us. For this reason, along with other top employers, we have pursued and meet the Investors in People standard and are in the Sunday Times Twenty Best Big Companies to Work for 2006.
We also encourage mobility and have been able to accommodate movement of a number of staff within the UK, as we operate a national business model, as well as overseas moves. www.atkinsglobal.com/careers.
For further information please email Atkins