In 2002, the groundbreaking book, The Restoration Economy, predicted that the 21st century would be the Century of Restoration.
Subsequently, the United Nations declared that the period from 2021 – 2030 would be the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This reduced the timescale by a factor of 10, and reduced the scope from the regeneration of our natural, built and socioeconomic environments to just the natural environment, but it was certainly a step in the right direction.
Private companies can and have responded more nimbly to the challenge and opportunities of global regeneration. Many are small, family-owned businesses, but some are truly huge.One example is the Fortune 500 company Jacobs, a global engineering and design firm based in Dallas, Texas.
Jacobs was founded in 1947, has about 55,000 employees, and bills over $14 billion annually.
Jacobs is working with REVITALIZATION‘s publisher, RECONOMICS Institute, on a number of visionary initiatives intended to boost restoration, revitalization and resilience for all.
Another major (but significantly smaller) company in the same general field as Jacobs is Stantec. They were founded in 1954, have some 26,000 employees, bill about $3.7 billion annually, and are based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Stantec was recently named a partner in the United Nations (UN) Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Stantec says that this solidifies their position as one of the foremost global ecosystem restoration firms.
The UN’s Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a global compact signed by 70-plus countries.
It aims to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems around the world. This effort also plays a critical role in achieving the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In support of this global call to action, the UN developed a partnership framework inclusive of eight participation categories.
The UN partnership committee approved Stantec’s application as an actor partner in that framework.
Stantec is the first design and engineering firm to be named an actor partner by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration team.
Actor partners are private sector entities that develop restoration programs and advise, support, or facilitate restoration activities on the ground.
Actor partners sign a declaration statement about adhering to the UN Decade on Restoration principles and are committed to several expectations outlined by the UN over the course of the decade, including serving on its Science Taskforce.
“It’s an honor to join with the UN to help restore ecosystems that are essential to addressing climate-change impacts,” said Susan Reisbord, executive vice president for Stantec’s Environmental Services business.
“Located throughout the world, our multidisciplinary ecosystem restoration teams are trusted technical advisors helping achieve our clients’ restoration goals at nearly any scale or location in the landscape,” she added.
Over its nearly 70-year history, Stantec has developed a large in-house team of more than 1,000 ecosystem restoration professionals worldwide including ecologists, restoration specialists, and technicians.
Stantec says it’s work has benefited both clients and communities through the restoration of:
- More than 40,000 acres across North America, in over 50 states and provinces, and
- More than 1,000 miles of rivers and streams across the globe.
In its ecosystem restoration work, Stantec works with clients to reduce their carbon footprint by restoring forests and wetlands that sequester carbon, improve coastal resiliency through the restoration of estuaries and coastal wetlands, meet corporate sustainability goals through nature-based solutions, restore prairies and forests to create pollinator habitat, and meet mitigation needs and improve water quality and aquatic environments by restoring streams and wetlands.
Photo of the Big Thompson River restoration project courtesy of Stantec.