AECOM EHS Service Summary Sheet

ECI Program

Forestry and Natural Capital Services


Forestry expertise:

  • Forest inventory and mapping:
    • Land Use Land Cover mapping using advanced GIS and remote sensing technologies.
    • Design of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of GHG emissions – monitor changes in forest area vs. forest area benchmark.
  • Strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the forestry sector:
    • Inventory of GHG emissions/absorptions in forestry
    • Design of zero-deforestation supply chains, Emission Reduction Programs.
    • Knowledge Transfer.

Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services expertise:

  • Impact valuation of natural capital investments (including expertise in social capital valuation)
    • Natural capital accounting
    • Environmental valuation
  • Ecosystem services assessment
  • Identification of Ecosystem-based mitigation and adaptation actions
  • Monitoring and Evaluation



  • Use of advanced GIS and remote sensing techniques
    • Very high resolution imagery – satellite, drone, airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging) to interprete and/or calibrate scenes.
    • Ability to combine various types of imagery in a single project according to complexity, image availability, scope of work…
    • Ability to process very large amounts of data through dedicated servers and computing machines.
  • Cost-effective methods to collect and process data
    • “Zero-paper”: field work using light equipment (either tablets or cell phones) to collect field data, decreasing transcription time to zero.
    • Use of advanced collection tools to improve geo-precision (GPS) and allow real time monitoring of field activities.
    • Rent computing machine time or servers to increase processing capacities when needed.

Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services:

  • Bespoke tools developed for clients to incorporate the six capitals approach into decision making (financial, manufactured, natural, human, social and intellectual).
  • Awarded the National Grid Chairman’s Award for Innovation and shortlisted for the Finance for the Future Awards for innovative approaches.


  • Understanding of total value of forestry investment including their role in providing key-environmental services and the opportunities linked to it
  • Use of tested and validated methods, as well as standard procedures, ensuring compliance with GHG offsets mechanisms.
  • Reducing the costs of forest monitoring per km2:
    • Imagery costs are decreasing over time and become more and more available – some images are even free (ex: Sentinel, 10m precision). Complex projects may require a mix of free and non-free images, according to scope, budget, etc.
    • Technology improves field data collection efficiency, reduce transcription time and allows real-time monitoring under certain conditions.
  • Businesses are increasingly recognising the need to reflect the value of natural capital assets in their accounting systems to help support the long-term protection and sustainable use of the natural environment
  • Incorporating natural capital into business accounts and decision-making processes can help companies to better recognise and manage risks to their business and promote business continuity.
  • Natural capital approaches are applicable to various aspects of a company’s operations including for individual operating sites and specific supply chains.

Deployment Steps:

  • Quantify natural resources
  • Assess commercial, natural capital and ecosystem services provided
  • Value provision of services to Novartis, value chain and wider communities / local economy
  • Identify how value could be enhanced and savings generated
  • Develop investment decisions and confirm business case

Timeline to Develop:

One/two months per site.

Rough Cost:

USD$20k to $400k depending on site habitat characteristics, acreage, scope of work, location and technology deployed

AECOM Team location:

  • AECOM’s Forest, Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services excellence centres are based in Canada, Ecuador and UK.
  • Deployment of technical experts can be global.

Novartis Interface Required:

Dr Markus Lehni (Novartis Sustainability Coach & Adviser):

Link to more info / video: