News Jan 20, 2020

7 Forward-Thinking Solutions You Should Know About Before Davos 2020

Ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, we’re celebrating forward-thinking actions being taken globally to secure a more resilient tomorrow.

Green mountains

Environmental stewardship and climate change are the defining issues of our time. Climate-related issues dominated all top-five long-term risks in terms of likelihood in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2020.

Today, almost four billion people live in urban areas around the world. These cities account for more than 70% of global carbon emissions, which are directly-linked to the devastating effects of the variating climate.

No longer secondary concerns to human progress, environmental impacts should guide social and economic decisions across governments, markets and geographies if we’re to address the most-pressing global challenges.

Ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, our Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou shared his insights on how thinking differently about cities is key to leaving a legacy fit for the future.

Today, we’re highlighting seven examples of forward-thinking actions being taken today to secure a more resilient tomorrow:

  1. In Los Angeles, where motorists battle some of the most-congested traffic conditions in the world, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is exploring how connected and automated vehicle technologies can help reduce traffic and air congestion along a critical 18-mile stretch of highway that serves two of the largest U.S. container ports.
  2. Harnessing the power of big data, more than 900 locations have integrated powerful geospatial analysis and visualization tools on mobile devices to streamline the process of identifying and prioritizing buildings with potential harmful vapor intrusion risks before they can impact human and infrastructure health.
  3. Transport for London  is implementing the world’s first ultra-low emission zone, one of a series of measures to tackle poor air quality in the city, protecting public health and helping thousands of Londoners to breathe cleaner air. This area within the city requires all cars (other than taxis), motorcycles, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles to meet exhaust emissions standards or pay a daily charge to travel.
  4. NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston uses the International Space Station as an orbiting Earth observatory, gathering critical data for climate science. The Center’s Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit collects, archives and interprets this data from an array of atmospheric sensors and Earth photography, in close coordination with the U.S. Geologic Survey. The remotely-sensed data and high-definition imagery, captured from 240 miles above in space, is used to aid environmental improvement and disaster response efforts.
  5. Australian Catchment Management Authorities, Water Corporations and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning collaborated on an award-winning Catchment Carbon Offsets Trial as a step toward achieving net zero water utility operating emissions by or before 2050.
  6. In actively working to achieve near-term interim greenhouse gas reduction targets and a long-range carbon neutrality goal, one major U.S. west coast city inspired development of a tool to provide system-wide comparisons of the greenhouse gas impacts across the lifecycle of various solid waste management options.
  7. The potential of large-scale hydrogen conversion to significantly reduce carbon emissions is being studied globally. For example, Metrolinx, a Government of Ontario (GO) agency that manages and integrates regional transportation planning in Canada’s Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, looked into the feasibility of using Hydrogen Fuel Cells (HFCs) as a power source for electrifying the GO rail network, which carries more than 70,000 passengers annually.

Sustainable Outcomes

From the way we operate our business, to the work we perform with clients and other organizations, Jacobs continues to look at ways we can make a positive environmental, societal and economic difference for businesses, governments and communities around the world. Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), PlanBeyond™ is Jacobs’ approach to sustainability — planning beyond today for a more sustainable future for everyone. We received the 2019 Climate Leadership Award, and Environmental Business International (EBI) also recognized our work with 11 Business Achievement Awards for Environmental and Climate Change Innovations for leadership and outstanding performance in our environmental and climate change work in 2018.

In FY2020, we’re developing a net-zero carbon goal for our operations alongside a Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Plan will set out how we will continue to reduce carbon emissions from the facilities we own or operate, reduce emissions associated with our business travel, and other carbon mitigation initiatives. Explore more forward-thinking solutions on

Davos 2020: Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters is the foremost creative force for engaging the world's top leaders in collaborative activities to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou and President and CFO Kevin Berryman will join more than 3,000 participants and 711 expert speakers at the January 21-24, 2020, meeting themed “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Steve is speaking as incoming Co-Chair of the Infrastructure and Urban Development Governors, moderating a panel on leveraging technology and innovation to achieve a net-zero carbon future, while Kevin is speaking on a Davos panel addressing the role that responsible water consumption plays in addressing the global water crisis.

Watch live sessions from Davos 2020 here.