Mott MacDonald Leeds

Mott MacDonald colleagues planting trees
Mott MacDonald are a global engineering, management and development consultancy, employing over 18,000 people in 150 countries, including a sizeable presence in Leeds. 
Lisa Littlefair, Cities Lead at Mott MacDonald in Leeds, reflected on the Leeds office's involvement in Business Anchors:

From an early stage it was important to Mott MacDonald to be involved in the Leeds Business Anchors Network and demonstrate our commitment to, and impact within, the city- and importantly identify where we can go further. We highlighted our commitment by hosting the EDI and Youth Pavilion at the 2023 UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in Leeds, with a focus on creating a more inclusive industry and driving more inclusive placemaking.

Places are only great if they succeed for everyone. This is reflected in Mott MacDonald’s Group purpose to deliver sustainable solutions and positive social outcomes within the towns and cities we work in. The behaviours and mindset of an inclusive business anchor are woven into our day-to-day activity. The David Oluwale Memorial Bridge on the River Aire in Leeds, highly commended at the Constructing Excellence Yorkshire and Humber Awards in 2023, is a great example. We collaborated with other local organisations to deliver a landmark piece of infrastructure, acting both as a place of reflection for those remembering the life of David Oluwale and the impact his story had on the City of Leeds, but also as an enhancement to Leeds City Council’s active travel plan and night-time strategy along the River Aire.

Using the Business Anchors Progression Framework

Undertaking the self-assessment process helped us identify several areas where progress could be made against the framework dimensions. This process was a driving force to initiate our #BrilliantNeighbours Programme to show how a socially responsible, people-based business can inspire others to get more involved to address issues such as the climate emergency. We have been working with local school children to encourage them to consider a university pathway in the environmental sector. We held a number of sustainability workshops and trips to see green-blue infrastructure in action at the Brownlee Centre to educate on the benefits of nature based solutions. This was followed by workshops to design their own raingardens. We also have a regular staff litter pick around our office and along the canal and have had a number of tree and hedge planting days with a range of local partners to help create new habitats, reduce soil erosion and store carbon.​

Having successfully piloted this programme in Leeds, it has allowed us to look for opportunities to develop stronger local connections and create long lasting relationships and legacies across our 30 UK office locations. We now have #BrilliantNeighbours activities underway in over 10 cities across the UK including regular beach clean ups in Brighton, developing energy retrofitting solutions for housing estates around our Cambridge office and creating a wellbeing garden at our Reading office including space to grow fruit and vegetables.

Being part of the Leeds Business Anchors Framework has inspired our staff to drive environmental and social positive change within the communities they live and work in, encouraging creativity and innovation, leading to greater staff motivation and retention.


David Oluwale Bridge illuminated at night