What drew you to a career in sustainability?As a young boy I was passionate about wild animals and conservation. I worked for WWF for 13 years before leaving to set up the UK Green Building Council, to campaign for a more sustainable built environment.
Why is sustainability so important to Lendlease?Lendlease’s vision is ‘to create the best places’, and that means places that will meet the needs of people now and far into the future. We are committed to doing business in a way that minimises negative impacts on the environment and maximises benefits for local people and the communities we work with.
What is the biggest misconception about sustainability?That it’s very complicated and very expensive. It can cost slightly more, but if it’s factored into design from the start, it doesn’t have to be and can save a lot more money over the life of a building.
For businesses wanting to be more sustainable, what are the challenges?Making it fundamental to the way they do business – too often it can’t be a tokenistic activity. At Lendlease our commitment to sustainability goes all the way back to our roots and our founder’s vision – that’s something not many organisations can draw on.
What’s next for Lendlease?We are really ramping up our ambition to deliver projects that offer both meaningful and measurable social impact. We will also be doing more to focus on the way in which our buildings and places perform in use, so that we are confident that we are providing real benefits to our customers and making a difference in areas such as climate change mitigation by conserving energy.
What keeps you busy outside work?I row Celtic Longboats, sing whenever I get an excuse to and take long walks with my family and our dogs.
Do you try to live sustainably at home?Yes. When we refurbished our old house, my local builder thought it was hilarious that I insisted on insulating our walls with sheep’s wool.
What small changes can people make day-to-day to become more sustainable?Small differences can amount to a big impact, like eating less meat, putting a jumper on instead of turning the heating up, or choosing to use public transport or walking or cycling. It can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing too.
To read more about how we act sustainably download Sustainable Futures here.