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Atkins focuses on improving environmental management performance, risk and liability management and competitiveness for its clients, helping to deliver savings and efficiencies in time, cost and resources.


It is widely recognised that our planet’s resources are limited, that our ecosystems are at risk of being damaged further or even destroyed and that climate change poses a real threat to both the existing and future built and natural environment.

Holistic approach

A holistic, long term approach to assessment and solutions based on a sound understanding of the complex interactions between economic, social and environmental issues is essential if sustainable outcomes are to be achieved. The early integration of sustainability considerations into a policy, plan or project development process is also critical to ensuring a long term liveable future.

As well as being one of the largest and most successful international environmental consultancies, Atkins also supports a liveable future by providing environmentally-led infrastructure consultancy. We drive adaptation of the natural and built environment in the face of complex environmental change and development demand, ensuring the balanced management and protection of our natural and heritage assets.

Ensuring enhanced environmental performance

Our global network of experts is on the cutting edge of the international climate change debate and advises governments on policies and methodologies to adapt and mitigate its impact. We help businesses respond to these new government measures as well as proactively driving the journey to a low carbon economy.

We help organisations to improve their competitiveness through enhanced environmental performance and better management of risk and liability as well as to pursue opportunities in a growing environmental industry.

We can draw on our full range of in-house technical specialists in environmental science, ecology, noise, land quality, waste, air quality, water, geotechnics and tunnelling, social-economics and community issues, landscape, heritage and urban design to provide bespoke and holistic solutions for the environmental, social and economic success of your policy or scheme.



We focus on improving environmental management performance, risk and liability management and competitiveness, helping to deliver savings and efficiencies in time, cost and resources.

Our environmental expertise covers a wide range of experience in the following areas:

Sustainability and environmental consultancy

We provide a comprehensive range of services to help public and private sector organisations to characterise, quantify and manage their relationship with the natural and regulatory environment, helping us to live within our environmental, economic and social limits and to prepare for a changing climate.

Learn more about our expertise in sustainability and environmental consultancy

Air quality

We provide everything from ministerial advice on matters of national air quality strategy to indoor air quality advice to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords.

Learn more about our expertise in air quality


Our team of more than 70 ecologists provides ecological assessment, interpretation and solutions for management, development and infrastructure projects of all sizes across terrestrial, freshwater, marine, and coastal environments.

Learn more about our expertise in ecology

Waste management

Atkins supports both public and private sector clients in meeting increasing domestic and international regulatory drivers as well as reducing the business cost of managing and disposing of waste.

Learn more about our expertise in waste management

Remediation and land quality

We are a leading consultancy in the area of geo-environmental engineering and contaminated land management, providing integrated solutions to our clients and other professionals working in the field of land transactions and land development.

Learn more about our expertise in remediation and land quality

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

We have the experts to deliver all stages of the EIA process, whether that be undertaking the entire EIA, or assisting at one or more of the key stages. We support the EIA with specialists from all of the relevant environmental topic areas such as noise, air quality, water, ecology, landscape and heritage, as well as with technical experts experienced in all of the major infrastructure and developments sectors, such as urban development, energy, waste, water and transport.

Learn more about our international expertise in Environmental Impact Assessment

Learn more about our expertise in Environmental Impact Assessment in the UK

Climate change and carbon consultancy

We provide sustainable solutions to climate change issues in the built and natural environment, designing structures and producing plans that are robust in the face of future climate change and that realise their full mitigation potential through our carbon management capability.

Learn more about our expertise in climate change and carbon consultancy

Acoustics, noise and vibration

Our experience ranges from regulatory compliance for large industrial schemes to acoustic enhancement design for complex underground transport interchanges and education environments.

Learn more about our expertise in acoustics, noise and vibration


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Paul Yates
29 Jun 2017

Hydrogen can transform domestic heating and vehicle transport, large scale energy generation and energy intensive industry. It is flexible and clean at the point of end use, helping to address local air quality issues, and can be stored under pressure at high volumes, providing resilience. It is already in use in fuel cells powering vehicles such as buses and fork lift trucks. The Energy Research Partnership (ERP) considers that it has the potential to power up to 10% of road vehicles and to replace natural gas in the grid transmission system, in the same way that towns gas was replaced with natural gas in the 1970s. Of course, the use of hydrogen doesn’t come without its challenges. Manufacture through electrolysis is only low carbon if the electricity used is low carbon and in reality, the quantity of electricity required will be prohibitive. Using hydrogen from steam methane reformation (SMR) would require about a third more natural gas to produce it than using the natural gas itself directly. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) would also be required to avoid a negative impact in terms of climate change. So, for the hydrogen economy to be a viable route for decarbonisation, we need SMR, CCS and use of the existing gas network, replacing natural gas with hydrogen. Current thinking is that we need 100% hydrogen replacement of natural gas, as blending at lower proportions simply does not work out as carbon beneficial due to the CO2 generated in manufacture. However, this

UK & Europe ,

Jules Price
28 Feb 2017

Often, when we see the word ecology in a sentence, it’s nudging against other words like ‘disaster’ or ‘crisis’. In fact, the word only gained currency outside academia as the myriad consequences of global warming became known.   Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen a move away from identifying ecological impacts at the last minute and then trying to shoe-horn appropriate mitigation into the well advanced, detailed engineering design of a major infrastructure scheme, to a more iterative approach.   This requires the involvement of ecologists during the initial stages of design so that impacts can be identified and either designed out, or be mitigated more easily and economically early on.   This type of smart ecological thinking has been put into practice at major sites such as the London 2012 Olympic Park – where wetland biodiversity was a key aspect of the planning – and at Coed Darcy, where we’re transforming an oil refinery into the first ‘sustainable village’ in Wales.   New technologies can help to make the process of gathering data ‘smarter’, too.   We’ve been testing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles across a range of projects where field surveys have traditionally been used. During a project for a water company, a drone took 10 days to survey what would have taken a two-person team 40 days using traditional walkover methods. So the survey is done more quickly, the results are available sooner, and the constraints are known earlier.   This invariably saves money because it is almost always the delays caused by unexpected finds that

UK & Europe ,

Jessica Green
03 Feb 2017

I have always been of the view that the huge push for gender diversity we see so frequently in engineering firms is condescending and undermining to women. I don’t need a support network when I see myself as equal. I don’t need motivational sessions from ‘empowered women’ when I see no difference between the ‘empowered women’ and the more competent of my male colleagues around me. Strong and weak people come in both genders, and by categorising ourselves as empowered, we succumb to the stale stereotype that women are weaker than men, and we degrade ourselves whilst complaining that it is the men that are degrading us. In my relatively short experience as an engineer, I have received nothing but respect from my male counterparts; the only sexism I have encountered was from another female engineer who, for some reason, did not like having another woman in the office. I felt patronised when colleagues asked how I thought they could attract more women to the firm. There isn’t an abundance of women with engineering degrees, where did they think they were going to attract them from?! Engineering was simply more for the male‐minded amongst us. Recently however, whilst working on an international project with a global workforce, I specifically noticed one very alien concept: the Spanish engineers were an equal male‐female balance. In fact, on researching the figures, I discovered that the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineers in the whole of Europe. Whilst I still disagree with the use of

UK & Europe , Middle East & Africa , North America , Asia Pacific , Rest of World ,

Claire Wansbury
09 Jan 2017

The government had previously committed support to seven garden cities. The change in policy is to draw in smaller developments, each delivering between 1,500 and 10,000 new homes. It is easy to assume that these ‘village’ developments must, by definition, be smaller scale than the garden cities originally envisaged by Howard, but in reality the largest will be similar in numbers of dwellings to Howard’s original theoretical proposals.   A key challenge in delivering the quality of living spaces envisaged under the garden cities movement comes from the density of each development. Howard’s vision involved cities supporting 32,000 people across 2,400 hectares. In modern developments the density of dwellings is far higher.   In any new garden village, the greenspaces should be multi-functional, benefitting human health, social cohesion, wildlife, and flood management. The benefits that people gain from the natural environment are termed ecosystem services. Obvious examples include food and fuel, but less obvious benefits are provided by services such as pollination and the contribution natural habitats make to flood control. Some of these services are effectively ‘free goods’, which people benefit from without paying for them overtly – the cost only becomes apparent when an ecosystem is degraded and the service declines. Ecosystem services valuation attempts to take account of these services in cost-benefit analysis. Some services can be valued by direct pricing (e.g. food and fuel); others are valued by proxy, such as willingness to pay for recreational use or the increase in house prices in areas with green space. True

UK & Europe ,


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San Jacinto Marsh is a 350-acre tidal wetland located at the confluence of the Houston Shipping Channel and San Jacinto River. It is also the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive victory that won Texas independence from Mexico in 1836. The marsh is part of the larger San Jacinto Battleground complex, which is a designated National Historic Landmark that receives an estimated 250,000 visitors annually.   One of the few functioning tidal wetlands among this industry-heavy area of Houston, San Jacinto has faced a barrage of modern-day battles associated with coastal erosion and sinking land surfaces. The marsh scored a big win by being selected as the recipient site for beneficially-used dredge material from a nearby dock expansion project at the Barbours Cut Terminal deepwater port. In turn, the community also reaped the benefit of the dock expansion, which was slated to provide additional jobs and revenue to the region. We served as the dredging engineer of record and our team successfully designed and completed the project within an accelerated schedule of 20 months, transporting 475,000 cubic yards of dredged material nearly 10 miles from Barbours Cut to San Jacinto Marsh.  The dredge fill helped restore 150 acres of intertidal marsh habitat, to mimic the conditions of the battlefield in 1836. By restoring the marsh to its historically-accurate condition, an intertidal habitat was created that promotes growth of native marsh grasses and withstands varying water elevations and salinity levels. To ensure the dredged sediment consolidates successfully with existing material at San


We are working with the Airport Authority Hong Kong to implement a three-runway system (3RS), involving construction of a new airport platform north of the existing north runway. Our scope of works includes the design of the ground improvement works, reclamation, seawalls, re-provisioning works and the extension and modification of existing large box culverts. The size of the reclamation will be approximately 650 hectares - about half the current size of the airport platform. The main challenge of the project is that no dredging of the soft sediments is allowed because of environmental concerns. Our key task is to develop cost-effective methods to strengthen the soft sediments in-situ such that the post-construction settlements are limited to acceptable values. A follow-up field trial will be conducted to confirm the performance of the treated seabed using the Deep Cement Mixing (DCM) technique. The detailed design will be delivered within a tight schedule to facilitate the anticipated award of the main works contract in 2016. Our services will continue into the construction phase with the provision of design support services. Upon completion of the 3RS, the expansion plan will allow the airport to handle an additional 30 million passengers a year according to the Airport Master Planning of 2030.

China ,

In conjunction with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Charleston District, Atkins will prepare the environmental impact statement (EIS) in order to evaluate the project’s potential socioeconomic and natural environmental impacts. Conducted over a period of 5 to 6 years, the EIS will address numerous issues such as sea level rise, scenery impacts, protected species and habitat, socioeconomic issues, transportation impacts, noise and vibration, and air quality. The wharf will encompass more than 2 miles, with the ability to manage eight design vessels at full buildout. The expansive size of this project could impact approximately 54 acres of tidal salt marsh and bottomland hardwood wetlands, where threatened and endangered species exist. Among these and several other issues, Atkins will evaluate the project’s impact and develop ways to mitigate the environmental effects. Developed jointly by the port authorities of Georgia and South Carolina, this bi-state owned and operated marine container terminal will aid projected growth for containerized cargo for a minimum of 25 years and is expected to support economic development in the region, including adding billions in tax revenue and upwards of 1 million jobs.


The primary tools for controlling and treating stormwater are referred to as stormwater best management practices (BMPs). BMPs include features such as detention ponds, rain gardens, and swales, which slow and treat stormwater as it moves through the system, helping to reduce flood risk during storms and also improve water quality. To help the city decide where BMPs should be placed for the best results, Atkins worked with Bonita Springs to develop the BMP Assessment Tool (BAT). The tool allows the city to simulate various scenarios for placing BMPs throughout the stormwater drainage system. Using a rainfall/runoff algorithm, the tool estimates pollutant loads across the network for each scenario, supporting informed decision-making on which BMPs to implement and where to place them. A challenge in evaluating pollutant levels is estimating the amount of directly connected impervious areas (DCIA) in a community. These areas include buildings, driveways, parking lots, and roads that contribute to high concentrations of pollution. Traditionally, the way to accurately estimate DCIA is to use aerial imagery—an expensive and labor-intensive process many communities cannot afford. The BAT uses a new process of “virtualizing” DCIA by interpreting available road and parcel databases to simulate its likely location, producing a more accurate (and less costly) estimate of DCIA than traditional land use-based methods. By creating what-if scenarios, based on existing conditions and proposed BMP plans, the city was able to reach consensus on their citywide BMP plan. The plan includes a new multi-million dollar park project, which will improve recreation

USA , North America ,

Rather than repair and maintain the refuge in its existing form (an artificial freshwater habitat), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service determined the best solution was to return the habitat back to its original state as a salt/brackish marsh. Before active management, the refuge was diked and managed into four freshwater impoundments that cover more than 10,000 acres. Atkins identified sustainable solutions by addressing the necessary repairs and developed the steps necessary to allow the refuge to revert to a salt and brackish marsh. We generated a hydrodynamic and numerical model of the refuge and the adjacent bay region using Delft3D modeling software to account for the effects of tides, wind, waves, and the mixing of fresh and salt water. Our staff of technical, scientific, and industry experts conceived a design that incorporated existing features with new ones in a way that balanced theory and constructability. This project led to the creation of an established Atkins model for habitat restoration and flood-proofing for coastal developments facing sea level rise. By incorporating sustainable design into natural and manmade features, such as conveyance channels, this model is a “next-step” approach to basic marsh-fill designs and may provide resource benefits to recent re-nourishment projects along the gulf coast. The refuge’s design serves as a model for effective management of coastal erosion from sea level rise—applicable to many other areas along the U.S. coastline. The project received the 2016 Environmental Excellence Silver Award from the World Organization of Dredging Associations (WODA) in its

USA , North America ,

We have been working with Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited (KOWL) since 2013 as an active member of the development team. We are developing one of the world’s first arrays of floating wind turbines by 2020 which will establish a leading position for Scotland in the development and deployment of this novel technology. This will be a pilot-scale demonstrator offshore wind farm utilising a semi-spar floating foundation technology, which will demonstrate the technological and commercial feasibility of floating offshore wind. Floating foundations open the possibility for future offshore wind farms to be located further from shore in deeper waters, minimising visual impacts whilst accessing hitherto untapped wind resources. The wind farm will have the capacity to provide 218GWhr of electricity which is the equivalent to powering over 55,000 homes in Scotland, and will see a reduction of over 94,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to fossil fuelled power sources. We have taken the Project from initial concept design to pre-consent determination. The journey has been significant and challenging, and was made possible by our in-house expertise in marine environmental assessment and consenting. The marine and coastal team provided a ‘one stop shop’ for the licensing and assessment of the Project including: Environmental Scoping Assessment Environmental Baseline Studies and Reports Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Statement Habitat Regulations Assessment  Bird Collision Risk Modelling Marine Licence and Section 36 Applications

UK ,

We helped the Environment Agency to deliver a beach management scheme at Dawlish Warren at the mouth of the Exe Estuary, with an estimated total project cost of over £14 million.   Dawlish Warren is an important wildlife site, designated as a Site of Special Scientifc Interest, Special Protection Area, Special Area of Conservation, a Ramsar wetland of international importance and local nature reserve. A key challenge was to enhance the role the sand spit plays as a flood defence to the Exe Estuary but not impact on the conservation features for which it was designated. We were involved in all stages of the scheme including: strategy, project appraisal, outline design, Preliminary Environmental Information Report, detailed design and Environmental Impact Assessment. Dawlish Warren Beach Management Scheme Our key marine and coastal environment services included: Specifcation and management and analysis of required marine surveys, including ecology, UXO and bathymetry Wave, plume and tidal modelling and reporting Water Framework Directive assessment Habitat Regulations Assessment Environmental Impact Assessment Coastal impact study Stakeholder engagement (including 3D printed model of the scheme). The scheme will involve the removal of gabions from the beach to re-mobilise the dunes, beach nourishment using sediment from subtidal sandbanks, repair of groynes to help control the nourishment and development of monitoring and management plans. Used with permission of copyright owner, Environment Agency

UK ,

Atkins has been awarded the contract for the Turkey National Transport Masterplan, to collect traffic data across the country, develop a transport model and identify key transport infrastructure investment projects over the next 30 years. Although the work will be led by Transportation, the project win was a result of a collaborative effort between the Transportation and Water Ground and Environment teams at the bid stage. Funded by EuropeAid, the work on the project will also include providing expertise on how the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication in Turkey and other institutions need to change so they are able to deliver the infrastructure investment as successfully as possible. Atkins are collaborating with lead partner Egis, who have already been working with the Turkish government in the early development phase. The team, built a relationship with Egis ahead of the bid, and unrivalled skills in transportation were a good fit with Egis’ capabilities. This project win gives Atkins the opportunity to build durable client relations and capitalise on a project of huge significance for Turkey in the longer term. In addition to building a national transport model for the country which will be used to forecast travel projections, the team are assisting with components of the Masterplan Strategy, with a particular focus on Intelligent Transport Systems and Air Transport and Navigation. The work also involves utilising the outcomes of the National Masterplan to inform the development of guidelines for Urban Transportation plans. Atkins are leading on this element of the project. As

Turkey ,



Ready to dig  

Atkins is the UK’s leading provider of utility reports. We also provide a wide range of utility management services across the lifecycle of a project.


For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

UK & Europe

Peter Williams
Divisional director
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 121 483 5000

Christina Leafe
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 121 483 5000


North America

United States of America
Tel: +1 800 477 7275



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