Increasingly investors are looking beyond financial statements and resource estimates to consider the ways in which a firm manages its risk, taking account of local stakeholder relations, corporate code of ethics, sustainability strategies, and its path to net zero. ESG provides a method by which investments can be screened on their environmental and social integrity as well as their economic potential. More than a risk management tool, ESG is an opportunity to release value.

With this in mind, project development teams are at a critical juncture when it comes to building ESG frameworks and, of course, setting measurable KPI’s by which they are able to hold themselves accountable. This becomes ever-more challenging as the demand for complex infrastructure and critical minerals increases in order to meet the requirements of the global energy transition.

Our unique multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive services to a range of sectors, with the aim of managing and executing ESG initiatives. We work to assess ESG risks and advance relevant policies and practices throughout the project life cycle, closely aligned with business priorities and opportunities on a large or small scale.

Wardell Armstrong’s team of specialists have a wealth of global experience and expertise, covering all aspects of “E”, “S” and “G”. This includes the integration of a number of best practice global standards, including the UNs SDGs, Equator Principles IV and standards set by global finance institutions and ESG reporting standards such as GRI, SASB, TCFD and TNFD. The core team is supported across the firm by industry specialists in energy & climate changewaste & water management, environmental pollution, biodiversityarchaeology and cultural heritage, human health, land acquisition & resettlement and stakeholder engagement.

To secure funding from international development lenders, projects require an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment developed in compliance with banks’ stringent sustainability standards.

Wardell Armstrong provides a range of ESIA services aligned with bank requirements, examining how the project may affect environmental and social receptors, such as air quality, noise, soils, biodiversity and ecosystems, the social and human rights context, hydrology and hydrogeology.

Wardell Armstrong provides extensive social impact services from stakeholder mapping and designing baseline surveys to training and collecting baseline data and analysing impacts on socioeconomic receptors. Our multidisciplinary team covers population & livelihoods, human rights and health impact, community health & safety, cultural heritage and archaeology, landscape and visual impact and traffic and transport assessment.

Wardell Armstrong’s key specialists work with clients to help identify, mitigate and account for human rights impacts in their business.

Our team undertake Human Rights Screening, Due Diligence and Impact Assessments as needed in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights.

“Unless properly managed, involuntary resettlement may result in long-term hardship and impoverishment for affected persons and communities” EBRD’s 2019 Performance Requirement 5 (PR5).

We help develop and advise on resettlement plans, working with affected communities, governments, and key stakeholder groups to ensure Land Acquisition and Livelihood Restoration plans are undertaken in accordance with international best practice.

Wardell Armstrong offers a variety of accounting services. We have experience in undertaking carbon accounting exercises across numerous sectors including mining, infrastructure and property development taking into account best practice methodologies, such an TCFD and LCA.

Our team has many years of experience undertaking resource assessment, site identification and feasibility studies for various renewable energy projects, including analysing their potential to meet specific demand requirements as diverse as mining projects, airports, and new towns. We have assisted our Client’s with designing, consenting and permitting developments, and acted as Client’s engineer, as well as undertaking due diligence on projects. We pride ourselves on our versatility, with experience across a wide spectrum of technologies, including wind, solar geothermal energy, green hydrogen, biomass (including AD), tidal, CHP, and energy from waste projects. This deep understanding of different renewable technologies and their potential applications, puts us in an ideal position to help advise on reducing emissions and generating clean power to meet your specific needs.

Wardell Armstrong has a specialist group of in-house hydrogeologists that have deep industry experience of mine-water control, groundwater modelling, hydrochemistry and water resources.

Our team has helped many mining clients improve their mine water planning and operations resulting in more efficient water use, smaller project footprints and a smoother development path. We help operators manage water in a more circular, sustaining manner that creates value and unlocks opportunities. Investors increasingly wish to see evidence of high-quality water resource management, and key lending institutions have prioritised water management as one of the key factors affecting investment decisions.

In order to make an informed investment or project acquisition decision, the material ESG issues, i.e., the risks ad opportunities associated with the company or project in question, must be fully identified and understood.

Wardell Armstrong is well positioned to undertake both technical and ESG Due Diligence assessments, providing you with all the material metrics required ahead of an equity investment, a debt financing transaction or M&A activity.

An effective ESG strategy and reporting system is essential to the sustainability efforts of any organisation. It enables businesses to improve their practices, demonstrates progress towards sustainable business objectives, and creates a market advantage.

Our highly experienced ESG team can build your company’s ESG strategy, from early- stage stakeholder engagement and the provision of a materiality assessment, through peer and gap analysis exercises, to the implementation of a robust ESG and sustainability reporting system, all completed to finance and sector best practice standards.

Wardell Armstrong’s interdisciplinary team of experts has a strong track record of helping operators gain and maintain their Social Licence to Operate (SLO), from defining key stakeholders to developing site-specific strategies for highly sensitive operations such as displacement, preservation of cultural heritage and engaging with vulnerable or hostile community members. We have the experience and expertise to work globally to facilitate contact between stakeholders, co-developing public disclosure strategies and providing cost effective mitigation for potential risks to local communities, through the development of a grievance mechanism and stakeholder engagement plan.

Our Social Performance practice supports our client organisations to manage social aspects associated with project planning, development and monitoring. We provide Social Performance Services in two steps, first by managing social risks to prevent, reduce and manage adverse impacts and then by enhancing beneficial impacts to create shared value.

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