This article is part of the Bright Leaders of Calgary series, which features prominent corporate leaders and their insights on the local business community and vision for the future.
Calgary is a recognized leader in the global energy transition, and home to major companies in the renewable energy value chain. WSP in Canada, a trusted innovator and steward of Canada’s energy transition, is one of the companies leading the way in the path to net zero.
With over a thousand employees in Calgary, the design and engineering firm collaborates with the government and private sector on major environmental and infrastructure projects impacting the city’s long-term prosperity. At the helm of the company’s 5,300 person Earth and Environment team as Executive Vice President, Greg Herasymuik leads sustainable solutions for WSP in Canada.
We caught up with Greg to hear how WSP in Canada builds a multidisciplinary talent pipeline and develops homegrown solutions to global energy and infrastructure challenges, both priorities in the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy.
What opportunities does the energy transition present for WSP in Canada?
Calgary is an emerging leader in the global energy transition. And with a strong presence in Calgary, WSP has a deep bench strength of expertise in both the traditional and renewable energy industry.
WSP in Canada supports traditional carbon capture projects, but also leads innovative initiatives in the energy transition in areas such as greenhouse gas accounting and climate adaptation assessments. Increasingly, developing solutions in the energy transition means building solutions for the future. We help clients across industries meet Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals in areas including the design of efficient infrastructure and industrial facilities, and the development of environmental compliance reporting.
Globally, energy transition issues are complex and require a lot of different skill sets. At WSP in Canada, our uniqueness lies in our ability to assemble multidisciplinary teams of engineers, scientists and sustainability consultants, from Calgary and beyond, to build sustainable solutions for clients.
What’s an example of an innovative project WSP has led that Calgarians might recognize?
WSP in Canada played a central role in helping the City of Calgary with its climate adaptation assessments and flood protection projects following the 2013 flood, to ensure the city would be prepared for anything like this in the future.
But perhaps the most tangible project for Calgarians is our work in designing the new landmark Green Line project. Currently underway, the Green Line – Calgary’s newest line on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system – will connect Calgarians from Eau Claire through the southeast of the city. Alongside our partners in the Bow Transit Connectors consortium, WSP in Canada is working on Phase One of the line, including design of the infrastructure, environmental remediation and greenhouse gas emissions reduction needs associated with the project.
Not just a ‘green’ project, the Green Line will also transform how Calgarians move and gather in the city.
What are your insights and observations of Calgary’s talent pool?
With a strong foothold in energy, Calgary’s talent pool is evolving from a place of strength for the needs of the future.
The city is attracting diverse talent like never before with a strong net migration from other provinces in Canada and the world. Through both existing and new talent, the city has a critical pool of STEM expertise and skilled tradespeople, which makes it easy to attract companies eager to drive solutions on the path to net zero.
This diversity of skillsets is exactly what companies are looking for – including WSP in Canada. We have over 1,000 people that choose to work for us and solve problems for the world from Calgary. Every sign points to Calgary being a healthy city, with a talent pool that is prepared for the future.
How does WSP work with local post-secondary institutions (PSIs)?
With 67,000 staff around the world, and over a thousand in Calgary, WSP built its team through strong connections to post-secondary institutions (PSI).
We have dedicated campus recruitment and talent attraction teams that work specifically with the PSIs to establish relationships with students. Our summer program offers students the opportunity to interact with technical experts from around the world, get training and work on a variety of different projects to develop their careers.
In Calgary, we have great relationships with the University of Calgary where many students join us for the summer and choose to stay on longer to build a career with us.
What gives you optimism about Calgary’s future?
Calgary is a progressive city home to companies that are addressing the challenges of our future.
The city’s natural beauty, access to post-secondary institutions, livability and concentration of STEM expertise makes it increasingly easy for companies to grow here.
Talent is moving here in droves, and when you see the diversity of people that are moving here, it’s validation that the city is doing a lot of things right. All of these factors build Calgary’s competitive advantages as a global leader, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
About Team Calgary: The Team Calgary corporate partnership program engages our community’s visionary thought leaders to influence Calgary’s economic growth and create long-term prosperity and opportunities for all Calgarians.
Together, we advance the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, as the path to make Calgary the place where bright minds and big ideas come together with an unmatched spirit to help solve global challenges.