Joan Ko

Associate Principal | Climate and Sustainability Services – Australasia Leader

Joan embraces Arup's core purpose to help shape a better world and achieves this through designing and scaling up new climate and sustainability services that meet current and emerging needs across Australasia.

As Climate and Sustainability Leader for Australasia, Joan directs Arup’s services in decarbonisation, sustainability, social value, adaptation and resilience, environment and biodiversity, and the circular economy. While many services are long-established, others respond to unsolved challenges. Joan focuses on finding solutions that work and then systematises the methods and processes to benefit clients all over Australasia. 

Examples include turning decarbonisation strategies into action or measuring social impact and resilience as sources of value for decision making. Joan highlights social impact and equity as opportunities for immediate impact and a necessary part of long-term sustainability throughout her work. Joan is particularly interested in strengthening engagement with First Nations knowledge.

With her city scale and precinct-level planning skills, Joan helps senior decision makers understand technical material and critical issues. Joan embraces digital transformation as the basis for new climate and sustainability services, so that clients have immediate access to relevant and targeted data for decision making.

Joan has a natural curiosity, problem-solving mindset, and an interest in many industries. She considers herself both a consultant and coach to her clients, always imparting knowledge so her clients can carry it forward independently. Joan enjoys leading workshops, presentations, training sessions and participating in board meetings.

A member of several governance bodies, Joan considers long-term strategy, risk appetite, stakeholder engagement, and resilience in place. She serves on the Working Heritage and Sustainability Fund Committees, overseeing public entities that are accelerating progress to a low carbon, circular and resilient future for all Victorians. Joan is particularly proud of her involvement in decision-making, imagining, establishing, implementing, and governing sustainability at the Fishermans Bend precinct in Victoria.