WCS won Environmental, Social and Governance Leader at the inaugural New Civil Engineer NCE Awards held last night, 20 September, in London.
The award recognises the impact of WCS’s ’SustainableFuture’ plan. Introduced in 2021, this ambitious strategy puts the three pillars of sustainability – environment, social purpose, and good governance at the heart of all our activities.
The panel of judges said “The WCS team illustrated strong leadership and technical understanding of ESG within a design consultancy. There were many great examples of positive behaviours and actions with a conscious decision to embed ESG to influence more sustainable outcomes. The judges felt this organisation embodied the gold standard of ESG within a small organisation.”
New Civil Engineer deputy editor Belinda Smart shared: “These inaugural NCE awards have highlighted excellence and innovation among civil engineering consultancies and associated organisations in the UK. Judges were impressed with the calibre and range of entries across the award categories, with the winners providing a terrific benchmark of best practice across the industry.”
Asa Whitfield, MD at WCS, said “What an achievement by our team to win this category, up against some very strong competition! It goes to show that when it comes to sustainability, SMEs have an essential part to play.
“WCS is passionate about using our expertise to contribute to a sustainable future, which is demonstrated in our work on projects supporting the UK’s net zero agenda. We’re very proud to have grown rapidly over the past two years, and shown that financial success can be driven by focussing on core values.”
Here are some examples of our work in all three areas of sustainability – environmental, social and governance.
WCS’s ‘SustainableFuture’ strategy represents a conscious decision to focus on work that will contribute to the UK reaching net zero and deliver significant environmental benefits for society in the years to come.
We also work in the Power & Energy sector, on projects encompassing low-carbon technologies and renewable energy. We’ve helped deliver sustainable projects throughout the UK, ranging from rail electrification, civil engineering design for the worlds largest offshore wind farm, to designing a primary substation for a new 6,000 home ‘garden’ village.
WCS’s strategy demanded a new and innovative approach to project delivery. This has been achieved through the increased use of remote/desktop applications, modular designs and innovative techniques including the use of:
- Carbon calculation tools
- Materials with recycled elements wherever possible
- 4D synchro for sequencing works
- Remote surveillance to reduce time on site
WCS’s ‘SustainableFuture’ strategy recognises the importance of, and depends upon, strong social values.
Our growing team of engineers and technicians, who embody and demonstrate our values of agility, collaboration, and experience daily, have fuelled our success.
Despite the skills shortage, WCS’s headcount has grown by 33% over the last year. We have recruited graduates and engineers from diverse backgrounds and other engineering disciplines, giving them the training, tools, and new skills, they need to develop and succeed.
We recognise the strengths these individuals bring to WCS, and work hard to enable them to reach their full potential. We are proud of our team and are careful to look after their safety, health, and wellbeing.
Our talent – experienced and home-grown – is respected for their expertise, evidenced by how often we are invited by clients to become the Lead Civil Engineer for projects.
Our social value impact spreads much wider. In 2020 we began working with MicroLoan Foundation, a women’s empowerment and poverty alleviation charity which works across Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Since 2002, Microloan has supported over 390,000 women facing poverty, providing loan capital and training so they can build small businesses. As a result, more than 1.6 million children have increased access to nutritious food, healthcare, and education.
Our internal policies are guided and supported by independent external certifications and credentials, including ISO9001, ISO45001 and ISO14001.
Our industry-specific affiliations, for example, Achilles Link-Up and UVDB, help ensure we are part of an efficient, ethical, and sustainable supply chain. In addition, we are Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) accredited.
Health and Safety is of paramount importance for the WCS team and our operations. We hold weekly team meetings where we share ‘Safety Moments’ and we are a member of the Confidential Incident Reporting for Safety (CIRAS) scheme.
Looking to the future
WCS’s ‘SustainableFuture’ strategy has brought about a step-change in company growth, built on a commitment to excellence and the enthusiasm and skills of our team, and we believe that will continue as we maintain our focus on all three pillars of sustainability. We are proud to partner with clients to help them deliver sustainable infrastructure and to positively contribute to the UK’s drive towards net zero in the future.