Sweco and the EU taxonomy
Increased reporting requirements in 2022
The taxonomy regulation came into force in 2021, the year Sweco first reported the proportion of the company’s net sales, capital and operating expenses eligible under the regulation in relation to objectives for climate change mitigation and adaptation. For 2022, reporting pertains to the proportion of Sweco’s net sales, capital expenses (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx) aligned with the taxonomy.
The EU taxonomy
In order for an activity to be classified as sustainable, it must make a significant contribution to one or more of the EU’s six established environmental objectives, do no significant harm to any of the other five environmental objectives, and comply with the minimum social safeguards. The EU taxonomy includes the following environmental objectives:
- Climate change mitigation
- Climate change adaptation
- Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
- ransition to a circular economy
- Pollution prevention and control
- Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems
Proportion of taxonomy-aligned net sales
Approximately 15 per cent of Sweco’s net sales was taxonomy-eligible, of which 4 per cent was taxonomy- aligned and could be classified as environmentally sustainable projects. This low alignment is explained by the fact that the technical screening criteria for Do No Significant Harm (DNSH) are very strict, particularly as regards environmental objectives for climate adaptation and circular economy. Since Sweco operates as a consultancy and does not have final decision-making power in its client projects, meeting these DNSH criteria is deemed to be difficult to achieve. Approximately 85 per cent of Sweco’s net sales was not taxonomy-eligible. Sweco’s consultancy services within the energy sector, industry and manufacturing sector as well as within a large proportion of the construction sector and water and waste management
were not taxonomy-eligible.
Detailed information on the taxonomy is presented in the Sustainability Report as well as this Method report (pdf).
Examples of projects with taxonomy-eligible economic activities
Sweco is assisting the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency to develop national standards for mapping extreme rainfall
On behalf of the government, Sweco will assist the SCCA in developing a national and uniform method of mapping extreme rainfall in urban areas, to show the areas at risk of flooding during extreme rainfall. The mapping will calculate flood distribution, water depth, surface water flows and flow paths for specific rainfall incidents. Results will be used to analyse the consequences of extreme rainfall, and the procedure will serve as a standard for Sweden’s municipalities in identifying and preventing flood risks. The project also includes producing instructions for interpreting and using the data in urban planning.
Enabling transportation on environmentally friendly waterways
The Kiel Canal in Germany is the world’s most frequented artificial waterway. The first Levensau High Bridge – a combined pedestrian, road and railway bridge – is the oldest bridge structure on the canal. It is also one of the biggest bottlenecks for shipping. Capacity will now be increased by replacing the Levensau High Bridge with a new bridge that will improve safety and significantly reduce canal passage times, especially for larger ships. Sweco will support Kiel Canal Construction Authority in parts of the construction and thus make an important contribution to shifting goods to environmentally friendly waterways.
Ensuring that dikes in the Netherlands withstand climate change
Noorderkwartier (Water Board) is a governmental organisation that works with dikes and clean surface water. Dike safety is assessed on a regular basis to ensure that the dikes can withstand the consequences of climate change. Sweco has been commissioned to investigate the Zeedijk section of the dike around Monnickendam and carry out the exploration phase of dike improvement.