dcsimg Engineering a sustainable society - Ramboll Group

Engineering a sustainable society

In a world that is characterised by economic challenges, climate change, globalisation, overpopulation and a quest for resources, sustainable solutions that meet the needs of today without compromising tomorrow are highly in demand. 

A sustainable society has to meet the needs of the current generation without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.

”Sustainability is often about compromise and balancing needs. In Ramboll, we understand sustainability as balancing the economic, social, environmental and climatic effects of projects,” says Lisbet Poll Hansen, Senior Project Manager of Sustainability, Climate and Environment at Ramboll in Denmark. Over the years, Ramboll has built up a strong position in the Nordic region within sustainability, which has been expanded and transferred to other parts of the world.

Most optimal solutions

“Based on the context of the project, Ramboll’s specialists help customers select the most optimal solutions. Our expertise within management and strategy in combination with the hardcore technical skills enables us to provide qualified consultancy on all types of projects to ensure sustainable development,” Lisbet Poll Hansen says.

“There is progress towards making our society more sustainable than yesterday. If we want to continue this positive trend, we have to keep on sharing solutions and experience across sectors, while continuously improving performance and looking for new opportunities,” she concludes.

Chicago Lakeside: Visualisation: Skidmore, Owings & Merril LLP/MIR.

Long-term social solutions

To create a socially sustainable society, people have to be given the opportunity to lead a good and comfortable life. In Denmark, Ramboll is involved in a large research centre that aims to establish initiatives that foster well-being for vulnerable children and youngsters.

Through research projects focusing on gaining knowledge on how to support the well-being and skills of different age groups – from day care to college – the aim is to support a more widespread use of effective programmes and a more cost-effective allocation of public resources.

Preserving the environment

Sustainable development also means safeguarding the world’s natural environment and biodiversity. To determine how other European countries ensure the protection of natural areas and compare how well Sweden is positioned, Ramboll has carried out an international survey on the protection of land (including freshwater) classified under the IUCN system in Finland, the Netherlands, UK and Germany. The report will serve as a background for a new national Swedish strategy for sustainable land use at government level.

Working with the UK Highways Agency, Ramboll’s specialists performed research and developed a strategy to deal with the consequences of climate change. We provided advice for minimizing the Agency’s contribution to climate change and developed an adaptation strategy.

Among other things, approaches to whole life carbon accounting, the use of social marketing techniques as a means to drive behavioural change, and the feasible production of renewable energy on the Agency estate were developed.

The Navitas building. Visualisation: MIR

Availability of energy

Stable energy supply is a basic prerequisite for any well functioning society. Ramboll and CESI (provider of technical and engineering services) performed a study to determine the best options for electrical and gas interconnections in relation to plans to create a single energy market for 20 Arab countries by 2030.

This will help to ensure the availability of the required energy in the region. Lowering energy consumption
Another important sustainability issue is how energy is consumed. Consumption is dependent on human behaviour as well as the energy use of, for example, buildings and transportation. During construction projects, Ramboll helps consider sustainability all the way from the actual construction process to the long-term energy use and supply of the building.

For Navitas, a new building for the college of engineering in Aarhus, Denmark, Ramboll performed a complete screening of the proposed sustainability initiatives. This showed that by improving documentation, construction management and making some extra investments, the building would be the first in the country to achieve an ‘excellent’ rating under the BREEAM International Bespoke certification.


Eva Himmelstrup Dahl
Eva Himmelstrup Dahl
Senior Project Manager
T+45 4598 8602