IMC wins Association for Consultancy and Engineering Social Impact Champion of the Year award

IMC was announced as the winner of the Social Impact Champion of the Year award at a gala dinner ceremony at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London on Wednesday 6 June.

Monday 11 June 2018

Every year, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) celebrates remarkable companies, projects, initiatives and individuals.

This year, leading professionals from the consultancy and engineering industry gathered at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London on Wednesday 6 June for the announcement of the winners of this year’s Awards edition across 11 categories. The judging panel was made up of eminent individuals from across the industry and chaired by Sir Terry Morgan, chairman of Crossrail.

We are delighted that IMC Worldwide won in the Social Impact Champion of the Year category, which recognises an organisation which shows the most leadership and greatest consistency of environmental sustainability that makes a positive impact in its own business practices and in projects delivered.

Within the Humqadam programme in Pakistan, which is UK Aid’s largest education infrastructure programme worldwide, IMC has rehabilitated over 450 schools in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We have built safe, female-friendly classrooms and facilities including libraries, science and IT laboratories, toilets to increase attendance and retention rates among girls and ramps for disabled access, to benefit 1 million children by 2020.

IMC employs techniques new to Pakistan which extend the life of the buildings and increase their thermal comfort without air conditioning, reducing the schools’ carbon footprint over time.

On Bangladesh’s southern coast, we are building 172 schools-cum-cyclone shelters with funding from the Islamic Development Bank to help communities rebuild after the 2007’s Cyclone Sidr and protect them from future disasters. The buildings’ double function maximises asset utilisation and ensures that they are maintained between emergencies.

The shelters resist wind speeds of 260 km/h and are equipped with durable school furniture, solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems. Those in areas which lack access to potable water also include treatment systems and solar power water pumps which work without electricity.

We place a great emphasis on environment preservation and the fight against climate through our corporate practices as well, from supporting the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement through initiatives such as tracking carbon emissions, identifying where we can reduce them, and benchmarking against competitors, through to joining the UN Global Compact. Through this voluntary initiative, we commit to implement universal sustainability principles, with a sharp focus on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Each year, IMC allocates £10,000 to our Charity Fund to support poverty alleviation initiatives that maximise the impact of our programmes. In 2017, we teamed up with the  UK Department for International Development (DFID) to provide one of the schools rehabilitated by the Humqadam programme with a library. While DFID paid for the structure, IMC donated furniture, including bean bags, rugs and bookshelves, and hundreds of books.

Within the UK Aid-funded Rural Access Programme, the CONNECT component is boosting Nepal’s economy to benefit the poor. We build partnerships between banks, multinationals, small firms and farmers and promote entrepreneurship among women and youth.

We bring all stakeholders around the table from the outset. The vision and purpose of each partnership are enshrined in the Memorandum of Understanding and CONNECT signs a legally binding contract including all parties to increase the bargaining power of marginalised players and strengthen transparency.

To reduce reliance on aid, we teach our partners to build market strategies and scale. We linked over 3,000 subsistence farmers with businesses that purchase their agricultural goods in long-term agreements, allowing them to have steadier income, and with banks, that now lend to them. 

Our partnership with Unilever led to the appointment of 296 women as sales agents. Rural communities now have access to essential health and sanitation products and jobs while Unilever can reach remote populations.

Our pilots have scaled ahead of schedule and proved to be replicable and financially viable. CONNECT has delivered an investment leverage of £518,241, including £283,488 in loans for small businesses and farmers, the equivalent to raising £1.31 from the private sector for every £1 of UK aid invested.

Speaking at the awards, ACE chief executive, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said:

Once again it was a huge pleasure to welcome the industry for our gala event and awards ceremony. As in previous years, the winners were of exceptional quality – truly the best of the best. I am proud to have shared the stage with them and delighted that the awards continue to highlight what makes our industry great.

You can learn more about our impact here.

Click here to learn more about the ACE Awards 2018 and winners on the Infrastructure Intelligence website

Learn more on ACE website

Cover photo: IMC representatives at the award ceremony. From left to right: Senior Technical Director, Trade and Investment, Phil Dowrick; Director, Worldwide regional team, Bryony Everett; Managing Director Gavin English; Principal Consultant, Project Management Unit, Monica Inkpen; Associate Director, Water and Sanitation, Andre Steele; Consultant, Worldwide regional team, Natasha Butorac; Francis Dangare, Principal Consultant, Highways.

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