Initiative launched to promote sustainable infrastructure, unlock value and transform communities

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, is expanding the size and scope of its environmental services in response to the demand for more sustainable infrastructure and nature-based solutions.

The move will see its Environment Practice expand by 50% by 2025, and five new service lines introduced, to tackle the key challenges of climate change resilience and global pressures for demand on resources.

As industry faces mounting pressure to develop critical infrastructure against a backdrop of rising costs and looming net zero targets, Atkins is set to make a fundamental shift in how it delivers its services.

By putting the environment and communities at the heart of the development process it will unlock value in projects, helping to create sustainable infrastructure and thriving places as a result.

Alongside the recruitment drive across a range of roles, five new service lines have also been launched to directly address the changing needs of its clients which will include: Nature-based solutions, Valuing a Sustainable Future, Carbon Advisory, Planning & Consenting and Sustainability and Climate Resilience.

The renewed focus is in response to increased demand on resources such as water, energy and housing, at a time when there is a real need to restore nature and communities and protect them from the impact of climate change.

The approach draws on Atkins’ wide breadth of expertise across the business globally, and will enable the environment team to work with clients from day one on a project.

Dr Victoria Hutchinson, Atkins Environment Practice director, said:

“By working with clients much earlier in the project process, we can put environment and communities at the heart of the decision making, which ensures better outcomes and improved circumstances for people. This will help mitigate any project risks around time and budget and make sure clients get consentable solutions that are ready to go to site quickly.

“It means meeting demand for new services, but also growing our existing consulting strategy and advisory services. We are bringing our understanding of client objectives and regulatory requirements, as well as our ability to rapidly assemble and interpret data sets, so we can take complex client projects and bring them together behind a coherent presentation of data. This demonstrates real long-term value across physical, environmental and social drivers.”

By engaging with clients and stakeholder groups before work starts on-site, potential problems can be identified and resolved early on. In addition opportunities for ensuring better social value outcomes can also be identified and realised early in the process – unlocking value in the project for the client as well as its end-user communities.

Atkins has been bringing this new approach to some of the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects*, which has resulted in more efficient processes, more informed decision-making, improved design and more opportunities to transform communities and the environment.

Dr Hutchinson adds:

“By finding new ways of looking at value we can help rebalance communities, create more opportunity for under-represented groups to participate in the economy, and identify nature-positive ways of stimulating growth. This should mean that overall we invest in infrastructure that creates better outcomes for communities and the environment.”

Mike McNicholas, managing director of Atkins’ Infrastructure division, said:

“As a business we have undergone a process of ‘re-imagining’ the role of our environment services in order to meet the ongoing challenges faced by clients. We have always been alive to the dynamics of the markets we operate in and the need to adapt to changing circumstances, and of course listening to our clients.

“As a result we have created new service lines to specifically address those issues faced by our clients, and have been proactive about getting the best people in place to head them up. The result is a holistic approach to projects that enables clients to make informed investment decisions and ensures all stakeholder groups fully understand the benefits of the approach, resulting in faster, better, greener project outcomes.”

For more information about Atkins Environment Practice and services, please visit: Reimagining our environment to unlock investment – SNC-Lavalin (


Notes to editors

*For more information on these case studies see our Enabling Sustainable Infrastructure brochure: enabling-sustainable-infrastructure.pdf (

Five new service lines have been launched in response to the changing needs of our clients and will enable us to engage more directly with clients to bring communities and the environment to the heart of clients’ decision-making:

Nature Based Solutions will be led by Claire Neale as service line director. Claire is an experienced environment professional with broad ranging skillset gained over 20 years’ experience in the water industry and environment sector.
She has worked in government, regulator, private sector, consulting, water utilities and in large cross-sector collaborations.
She is focused on delivering outcomes for a more sustainable future, with enhanced natural and social value, connecting communities and improving liveability. She joins Atkins from Southern Water.

Valuing a Sustainable Future is led by Dr Philippa Ross. This service line focuses on supporting our clients to make better, more sustainable decisions by measuring and acting on environmental and social impact and value. It will harness the fantastic skills and expertise from across Environment in areas such as non-financial disclosures, sustainability reporting, multi-capitals, economics, decisional making frameworks and many other disciplines and shape them into focused client value propositions.
Dr Ross has a doctorate in sustainability and resilience and brings nearly 20 years’ experience working in multidisciplinary teams with governments and development banks.

Planning and Consenting is led by Dr Andrew Jones as senior service line director. Andrew is an established business leader in the built environment sector, with 30 years’ experience in urban planning, mixed-use regeneration, global events, and sustainable place strategies, building award-winning design, town planning and economic development teams.

Carbon Advisory is led by Paul Taylor as service line director, a Technical Director with 32 years consultancy experience and a background in GHG emissions his recent focus is on embodied carbon reduction opportunities in linear infrastructure for major clients. This has led to the creation of carbon resources, carbon processes and carbon value propositions that have already been successfully used and reused in projects.

Sustainability and Climate Resilience Service line lead position to be confirmed.

For media enquiries contact Simon Peevers, Atkins Senior advisor external communications, M: 07825 573 855 E: [email protected]

About Atkins
Atkins ( is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management     consultancies, employing over 19,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long-term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas.

About SNC-Lavalin
Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is a fully integrated professional services and project management company with offices around the world. SNC-Lavalin connects people, technology and data to help shape and deliver world-leading concepts and projects, while offering comprehensive innovative solutions across the asset lifecycle. Our expertise is wide-ranging — consulting & advisory, intelligent networks & cybersecurity, design & engineering, procurement, project & construction management, operations & maintenance, decommissioning and sustaining capital – and delivered to clients in four strategic sectors: EDPM (engineering, design and project management), Infrastructure, Nuclear and Resources, supported by Capital. People. Drive. Results.