This weekend, 5th June, is World Environment Day 2021 and this year it’s focus is on protecting and reviving ecosystems all over the world.

During the pandemic, many of us have enjoyed reconnecting with nature and spending more time outdoors than we used to. It has also been interesting to read that the global restrictions caused by COVID-19 may have resulted in global environmental benefits, such as improvements in air and water quality and the restoration of ecosystems due to fewer tourists. Many of these environmental benefits have been warmly welcomed, but as the world slowly opens up again, how do we make sure we don’t go back to our old ways of doing things?

This World Environment Day challenges us to think about how we can be part of #GenerationRestoration, because from forests to peatlands and coasts, we all depend on healthy ecosystems for our survival. Yet, we are losing and destroying the foundations of our survival at an alarming rate. 

Over 4.7 million hectares of forests – an area larger than Denmark – are lost every year. Ecosystem loss is also depriving the world of carbon sinks (like forests and peatlands) at a time we can least afford it. Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown for three consecutive years and the planet is on pace for potentially catastrophic climate change.

So this #WED, I’ll be taking a minute to think about how I could help to grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We can all do something to help our planet.

This year at BAM, we challenged our sites to create their own ‘BAM Oasis’, a place for themselves and importantly, a place for nature. We’ve seen sites create planters from recycled wood, work with grounds teams to sow wildflower seeds and create bug hotels.

This World Environment Day we’ve been challenging our teams to create their own BAM Oasis to help restore nature.

As a business our long-term sustainability goal is to have a net positive impact on society and the environment by 2050. However, our commitment to being a sustainable business is not new and BAM has delivered a number of projects over the years that have sustainability at their heart.

In 2019, we celebrated our 150th anniversary birthday by planting 150,000 trees and in Scotland, we installed 530m3 of green roof and 360m2 of roof-mounted solar panels at Maidenhill Primary School.

At BCU in the Midlands, we remediated contaminated ground to deliver a BREEAM Excellent building. The scheme involved significant habitat creation including a pond, bird and bat boxes and a 693m2 Wildlife Grassland area, which was planted with a diverse neutral grassland seed mix. The site had 82 different species pre-construction, which increased to 161 different species post construction. 

Royal Cornwall Hospital
BAM Nuttall is also involved in the Leeds Flood alleviation scheme

About the author

Alison Guscott

Sustainability Advisor

Environmentally-conscious, Alison has been fascinated by the impact humans have on the environment since she completed a conservation management and biodiversity research programme abroad, as part of her Environmental Science degree.

Now a Sustainability Advisor at BAM, Alison is a key driver in how we communicate sustainablity issues to our people and clients.

Working with other members of the sustainability team, she ensures a clear and consistent message is communicated throughout the business. She records all the positive practices on and around our sites through comprehensive case studies, shares environmental best practice accross the business, and is the go-to person for new sustainability materials.

Read more articles from Alison Guscott