The role we play in ensuring the continued functioning of vital areas of society – water, mobility, clean air, electricity and many more – remains as important as ever. By constantly innovating, looking forward and integrating our knowledge across all areas of business in combination with our partners and clients, we are helping ensure these operations become more predictable and resilient. Digital transformation plays a significant role in this across every industry. Our own transformation, and particularly changes that took place within our company in 2020 and our acquisitions, strengthen our ability to meet these demands and grow.
Challenges faced are becoming more complex and multi-faceted. Our response in integrating services across our company enables us to add value and improve the solutions we provide clients and we expect growth in these services. This is particularly key where markets converge. For example, the mobility agenda makes our transport and planning expertise increasingly relevant for transport hubs such as railway stations. Equally, waste water treatment is an important concern for many industrial plants, which can benefit from solutions which draw on our water expertise, particularly with focus on themes such as sustainability and resilience. The energy transition continues to be a key opportunity and, every year, we attract more and more work categorised under that theme. Across communities and markets, sustainability is gaining prominence and our commitment to sustainable solutions aligns us with the needs of our clients as they look to reduce their carbon footprint, explore circularity and increase the sustainability of their operations.
With regard to Brexit, we currently do not anticipate significant impact on our business. The consequences of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union appear to have less impact on services than for goods and our colleagues in the United Kingdom primarily work on domestic projects or are involved in activities outside the European Union. Meanwhile, infrastructure investments outlined by the United Kingdom government present opportunities for us.
As explained in note 2.1 (going concern paragraph in the Financial Statements), the uncertainty associated with COVID-19 will continue in the immediate future. The hard decisions we took in 2020 and our adoption of scenario-based thinking streamlined operations. It has increased our ability to respond flexibly and with agility in a fast-changing environment and, if required, adjust our staff capacity accordingly. Furthermore, our in-depth domain knowledge combined with predictive and creative insights and digital tools means our business plays an increasingly important role in helping clients and society anticipate and navigate the new realities.
The COVID-19 outbreak and resulting measures taken by various governments to contain the virus have affected and will affect our business in the future. In addition to the already known effects, the macroeconomic uncertainty causes disruption to economic activity and it is unknown what the longer-term impact on our business may be. COVID-19 will also have lasting impact in terms of changes in the way we work. Digital ways of working and virtual meetings are here to stay - internally and with clients who will expect more of our meetings and activities to take place at a distance. Many of our learning programmes will become e-learnings. As such, and in line with our strategic ambitions, this will also drive further efficiencies in our processes.
In 2021, we will proudly celebrate 140 years in business. We are grateful to our dedicated and smart colleagues all over the world who have helped bring us to this milestone. As we create new combinations of expertise, more and more exciting developments are emerging and we make more progress in our goal of making life on this planet a little better and more enjoyable for all, Enhancing Society Together.
Celebrating 140 years of Royal HaskoningDHV and how we’ve successfully been connecting people to Enhance Society Together.
Amersfoort, the Netherlands
March 8, 2021