Midlands engineering consultancy hires new Structural Engineer

21 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

Nottinghamshire-based consultancy Howard Ward Associates has appointed a new Structural Engineer to its growing presence in the Midlands. Aniket Gohil arrives from ML Consulting, where he fulfilled a similar role.

Founded in 1977, multi-disciplinary civil and structural engineering consultancy, Howard Ward Associates (HWA) works across all sectors, providing civil and structural design services to projects with construction values ranging up to £20 million. While several reports have suggested that Brexit might harm the engineering sector of the UK, the opposite seems to be the case for HWA. After a period of increased demand, the Nottinghamshire-based engineering consultancy opened a new office in Nottingham’s city centre in 2018.

HWA, which has its head office on Walkers Yard in Radcliffe-on-Trent, took the space within Knight & Whitehall House on Carlton Street in the Hockley area of Nottingham. The firm’s initial team of 15 have since used the new locale to deliver on a number of projects in a range of sectors – including education, healthcare, emergency services, and commercial and residential construction engineering – enabling the firm to grow its presence in the region further.

Midlands engineering consultancy hires new Structural Engineer

Now, HWA has announced the appointment of Aniket Gohil in the role of Structural Engineer. His main responsibilities in the new role include undertaking structural design calculations in steel, concrete, timber and masonry and also producing engineering drawings, while co-ordinating the design of projects with clients and fellow professionals.

Gohil brings three years of engineering experience with him, having formerly plied his trade at ML Consulting, where he worked as a Graduate Structural Engineer. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in structural engineering from Kingston University and Brunel University, respectively. He is also a graduate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Commenting on his new challenge, Gohil said, “I have been following HWA for a while as I was very interested in the different projects they were delivering. I was really keen to work on residential and commercial projects to the scale that they were and was thrilled when I saw they were recruiting. I’m already working on one residential and two commercial new build projects and I look forward to working on more exciting projects in the future, learning from the best along the way and expanding into the different engineering and business areas within the company.”

Dan Bailey, Director at HWA, added, “Aniket has great technical knowledge and enthusiasm, having managed projects in previous roles and collaborating with clients to provide simple solutions to complex situations and coordinating structural designs. He is the perfect addition to our team and will help HWA continue to deliver excellent services for our clients. He is taking well to the larger projects that we are currently working on and we are extremely pleased that he has joined us.”


Private equity firms ramp up sustainability focus

19 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

In line with business leaders across the industrial gamut, private equity firms are increasingly on board with sustainability projects. According to a new study, the investment arms for major funds are implementing a number of strategies aimed at supporting sustainable economic development in line with global goals.

While the business world has finally begun to acknowledge the danger of climate change, effective action plans remain difficult to achieve. The Paris Agreement has stipulated a clear target for the decades leading up to 2100, although massively reducing emissions while not crashing the economy could be a tall order.

Businesses that are able to acquire capital can use it to boost productivity and output, thereby creating a virtuous cycle of development. However, some businesses are better able to utilise resources than others, both in terms of their relative productivity, as well as the value of the respective outcomes relative to costs (including environmental harms). Financing can therefore provide an avenue to select businesses that are aligned with various global sustainability goals, while shunning those that drive little or unsustainable social value creation.

Top moves made by investment arms towards responsible investment

Profit has for the longest time been the central criterion for investment decisions. Yet profit at any cost is increasingly seen as creating considerable social harms, while often delivering only marginal value. As a result, the private equity sector, which was initially sluggish to change its ways with regards to sustainability, has started to see the topic as an opportunity as much as a challenge.

A new study from PwC has explored how far sustainability goals have become part of the wider investment strategy for private equity (PE) firms. The report is based on analysis of a survey of 162 firms and includes responses from 145 general partners and 38 limited partners.

Maturing sustainability

Top-line results show that responsible investment has become an issue for 91% of respondents. For 81% of respondents, ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) was a board matter at least once a year, while 60% said that they already have implemented measures to address human rights issues. Two-thirds have identified and prioritised Sustainable Development goals that are relevant to their investment segments.

Change in concern and action on climate-related topics over time

While there is increasing concern around key issues, from human rights protections to environmental and biodiversity protection, the study finds there are mismatches between concern and action. For instance, concern among investment vehicles around climate change has increased since 2016.

In terms of risks to the PE firm itself, concern has increased from 46% of respondents in 2016 to 58% in the latest survey. However, the number who have taken action remains far below those concerned, at 9% in 2016 and 20% in 2019. Given the relatively broader scope of investment opportunities, portfolio companies face higher risks – and more concern – from PE professionals, at 83% in the latest survey. However, action is less than half of those concerned, at 31%.

Changing climate

In terms of the climate footprint of the portfolio companies, 77% of respondents state concern in the latest survey. 28% of respondents are taking action through the implementation of measures to mitigate their concerns.

Concern and action taken on ESG issues

In terms of the more pressing issues for emerging responsible investment or ESG issues, governance concern of portfolio companies comes in at number one (92% of respondents), while 60% have taken action on it. Firms have focused on improving awareness – setting up policies and a range of training modules for their professionals around responsible investment decision making. Cybersecurity takes the number two spot, with 89% concerned and 41% implementing strategies to mitigate risks.

Climate risks take the number three spot in terms of concern for portfolio companies (83%), but falls behind in terms of action (31%). Health and safety track records are a key concern at 80% of businesses, with 49% implementing action. Gender imbalance within PE firms themselves ranks at 78%, which is being dealt with by 31%. A recent survey from Oliver Wyman showed that there is gender balance at 13% of GP teams in developed countries.

Biodiversity is also an increasingly pertinent topic, with risks from pollution and chemical use increasingly driving wider systematic risks around environmental outcomes. It featured at number eight on the ranking of most likely global risks for the coming decade, with its impact at number six. As it stands, biodiversity is noted as an issue at 57% of firms, with 15% implementing action.