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WSPs Jennifer Brunton & Caitlin Dodunski on climate resilience

WSP's Jennifer Brunton & Caitlin Dodunski on climate resilience

 November 21, 2022

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WSP is at forefront of the preservation of nature and biodiversity. The company drives the agenda by initiating conversations with global clients, engaging with decision-making bodies, and supporting broader pan-sector campaigns aimed at accelerating positive action.

WSP demonstrates how this can be achieved without a trade-off in climate change efforts. Innovative approaches to ecological restoration and nature-based solutions can simultaneously address the two biggest threats currently facing human existence.

Harnessing nature's ingenuity 

WSP New York Water Business Line Leader, Jennifer Brunton, and Work Group Manager, Ecology, Caitlin Dodunski, share how the company plans to harness nature’s ingenuity to drive a holistic and flexible approach to climate, ecological and social resilience that will be paramount in the years ahead.

“Achieving a fundamental shift to work with nature rather than in opposition to it will require more than boldness and creativity. It will require a conscious break from our standard practices," says Jennifer. 

Steering sustainable development

Jennifer and Caitlin explain how WSP is establishing the frameworks to steer organizations towards nature positive and sustainable development. The company is part of many impactful initiatives, including:

  • Business for Nature’s Call to Action, encouraging governments to adopt ambitious policies that reverse biodiversity loss.
  • The United Nations’ Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a major initiative aimed at protecting and reviving damaged ecosystems which in turn could provide one third of the answer to the climate crisis.
  • The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Forum, supporting the development of a risk management and disclosure framework for organizations to report and act on evolving nature-related risks.
  • The Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) principle, which accounts for and compensates the impacts from development to biodiversity with equivalent and additional gains
  • The UK Business & Biodiversity Forum (UKBBF), a business-to-business hub co-founded by WSP which aims to mainstream biodiversity throughout the private sector.

Using nature-based solutions to tackle climate change

Jennifer and Caitlin also discuss WSP-led projects challenging traditional approaches and demonstrating how nature-based solutions can bring vital benefits both in terms of climate resilience and biodiversity. Many of these innovative projects are helping to bridge the innovation chasm by scaling up pilot projects into the mainstream.

For example, WSP is designing a living shoreline for a 20-km segment of Highway Franklin 98 that traverses Apalachicola Bay on the Florida panhandle. The project, which contrasts markedly with the concrete used in the majority of global coastal infrastructure, involves establishing an intertidal marsh through the introduction of oyster reefs to attenuate wave energy. The project not only serves to enhance ecological functions of coastal habitats and helps restore the hard-hit oyster fishery, but also helps mitigate chronic erosion of the adjacent Highway 98, which serves as a hurricane evacuation route.

Uniquely positioned to tackle climate and biodiversity crises

Finally, Jennifer and Caitlin share detaisl of WSP’s Future Ready® program which drives a holistic and flexible approach to climate, ecological and social resilience. WSP's multi-faceted advice helps clients turn business risk into business opportunity – the opportunity to meet their climate and biodiversity commitments, together with broader responsibilities to their employees, communities and investors and other stakeholders.

These are the concepts that inspire WSP's people every day, and enable them to rethink and deliver designs that address both climate change and nature loss, and secure social benefits at the same time.

Expertise makes an impact in a WSP career 

WSP employees are a collaborative team of experts that thrives on challenge and unconventional thinking.

Channeling curiosity into creating progressive solutions to complex issues is both their mission and their passion.

Join them in doing purposeful, sustainable work that helps shape communities and the future.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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