Despite its huge scale, Laing O’Rourke is, and operates as, a family-owned business and many of its 12,000 employees have been employed for decades. Founder Ray O’Rourke is known for pushing new boundaries, being innovative and setting new standards – inspiring his clients, employees, partners and stakeholders alike. And like all industry leaders, decarbonisation has been high on his executive team’s agenda. There was never any doubt that a comprehensive sustainability and climate strategy – designed to achieve net zero before 2050 – would not only transform the future of engineering and construction more broadly, but also support Laing O’Rourke’s license to operate in our increasingly uncertain world.
Global Executive team members Madeleina Loughrey-Grant, Group Legal and Tax Director and Rebecca Hanley, Group Strategy & Transformation Director, were only too pleased to take this company priority under their wings in 2020.
Madeleina says, “Being a responsible business means being honest about the consequences of our activities and their impact. We needed a strategy to help us be transparent of those impacts, measure them accurately, and act to minimise them. I’m really passionate about excelling in our climate disclosures on climate risk – that’s what industry leaders need to do.”
Rebecca adds, “We’re setting clear goals and mapping out how we can protect the environment and help people thrive. This work gave us the opportunity to bed down our thinking in this space, overcome competing priorities, and create the environment we needed for people in the business to take this agenda forward. Our new approach addresses our clients’ needs too, who increasingly have their own net zero targets. It’s a win-win for everyone in the industry and the environment.”