Geosyntec Expands Client Service in Australia with Zoic Acquisition

Geosyntec is excited to announce that Zoic has joined Geosyntec. The acquisition will enhance the ability for clients in the region to work with local Australian experts with increased access to a global network of technical leaders.

“This is an exciting moment for both our companies and our practitioners,” said Peter Zeeb, Ph.D., P.G., President & CEO of Geosyntec. “With the addition of the Australian technical experts who have made Zoic successful, Geosyntec gains resources that strengthen our core practices and bring expertise in the management of environmental issues of special concern to clients across Australia.”

David Reynolds, Ph.D., P.Eng., a Senior Principal Engineer based in Sydney added, “We are unifying two strong companies to grow in the direction we both want to grow. Our combined team will have a greater diversity of viewpoints, opinions, and approaches that will help us address complex client issues together. Geosyntec and Zoic share values of flexibility, teamwork and mentoring, respect, and a commitment to collaboration that helps our teams thrive.”

“Our vision was to grow the company and scope of our services across Australia and found Geosyntec’s collaborative spirit and dedication to client service a natural fit with our own approach to solving our clients’ environmental challenges and fostering relationships,” said Kylie Lloyd, Founder, and Managing Director of Zoic Environmental.

Fellow Director Rebeka Hall added, “By joining Geosyntec, we have increased the diversity of services we can offer to our clients across Australia and Asia Pacific.  We are excited to bring innovative solutions and work on groundbreaking projects across a range of technical practice areas.”

From March 1, 2021, Zoic Environmental Pty Ltd. will operate as Zoic, a Geosyntec Company. Zoic’s team includes technical specialists, experienced consultants and support staff with a reputation for excellence in the areas of land contamination assessment; hazardous ground gas management (vapour intrusion); soil and groundwater remediation; human health risk assessment; water resources; sustainability; compliance and strategic advice and litigation support.

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Guidance for Assessing and Managing Water Quality in Temporary Waters

Great to see the release of new guidance for Assessing and Managing Water Quality in Temporary Waters. This complements the ANZG (2018) Water Quality Management Framework, with a specific focus on temporary waters, defined as: temporary streams and standing waters, intermittent (including seasonal) waters, and ephemeral (including episodic) waters. 

The legal and practical side of modern slavery: Zoic and Bartier Perry joint seminar

The NSW Government might still question the need of the NSW Modern Slavery Act, but in the Australian business and human rights community there is a growing momentum for articulating the relationship between business’ supply chains and operations, and their embedded negative human rights impacts. And while there is a rising number of guidelines and human rights due diligence tools, there is still a gap between their applicability to address the legal requirements, and the assurance these tools provide to eliminate modern slavery in a company’s supply chain.

As a response to these concerns, Zoic and Bartier Perry joined forces to present a seminar on 14 November 2019. This presentation was born out of a recognition that businesses are increasingly seeking to comply with the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) and responsible sourcing principles, while trying to avoid duplication in efforts with the use of overlapping approaches.

Jason Sprague (Bartier Perry) focused on the legal face of the Commonwealth MSA and its compliance, the requirements and strategies for fulfilling them, as well as its impacts and consequences for breaching the Act.

Carsten Primdal (Zoic) shared his experience in China and Asia to explain how to understand, measure and report on what happens in the supply chain, as well as when traditional human rights due diligence might be insufficient. He used anecdotes and short video clips from factories in Asia to highlight his key points and provided practicals tips to improve compliance of supply chains with human rights principles.

These two narratives noted that for doing business with integrity, businesses need to tackle gaps in their operating methods and set up accurate changes optimise their social footprint. These changes must address the critical modern slavery risks and social issues both direct and indirect, and both upstream and downstream of their operations. The extent of actions to address modern slavery risks in a company vary according to where the company is [in the modern slavery “journey”]; some might start with policies, codes and contracts, others focus on developing their remediation approach, others intensify the role of audits in their supply chain. Regardless of the actions taken, businesses must consider how any changes are embedded into their processes, how internal and external stakeholders actually understand them and how they integrate these changes into their human rights due diligence.

As 2019 comes to an end, the MSA has reminded us that businesses face strategic but critical challenges: the changing expectations from society of business’ role beyond profit, and the need for businesses to craft a strategy that responds to the impacts of their operations which is quickly reshaping their competitive environment. In this context, Carsten reminded us of three essential and interconnected messages; 1) within the human rights due diligence- a risk based approach it is essential for businesses to address modern slavery, 2) despite the complexity of supply chains the focus should be on people and the harm to people, and finally, 3) to look deeper: while things might appear ‘acceptable’ on the surface, it is important to be aware of potential flags that indicate we should look deeper into our supply chains.

Zoic and Bartier Perry aim for this presentation to have tangible impacts that generate social value.