Canadian Consulting Engineer

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COWI eschews fossil fuel projects

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“This is one of the boldest decisions we have made." - Group CEO Lars-Peter Søbye

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International consulting engineering firm COWI has decided not to take on any future projects accommodating the exploration of fossil fuels, with the aim of achieving 100% revenue from sustainability-related projects within the next five years.

As it moves to allocate all resources to projects that move its clients toward sustainability, the firm claims it is first among its peers to make such a statement in response to the current climate crisis.

“This is one of the boldest decisions we have made during my 30-plus years at COWI,” says group CEO Lars-Peter Søbye, “but it’s the right thing to do, if we seriously want to tackle the climate crisis. We need to be ready to seize ‘green’ projects and support our customers in the transition.”

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Fossil fuel projects comprised approximately 5% of the group’s turnover in 2021, while some 45% of revenue came from projects not directly related to the green transition. The firm will honour its current contracts, but will no longer participate in tenders for new fossil fuel projects.

“The world will still need roads and airports and we will be helping our customers in these areas,” Søbye says, “but we must and will deliver solutions that make the world more sustainable, regardless of segments. We will still work with energy majors on their green transition, e.g. establishing offshore wind or green hydrogen projects, but not exploring or producing fossil fuels.”

The expected upside of allocating all resources toward sustainability is to benefit from massive government and pension-fund investments in the green transition.

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