Head of Sustainability, Willmott Dixon Interiors
I work for Willmott Dixon Interiors. We rejuvenate existing building stock, which you could argue, in many respects, is the epitome of sustainable development.
The Group has a long-term strategy for sustainable business and my role is to help implement this strategy across a wide range of functions – pre-construction, compliance, community, supply chain, environment and operations. It has to be one of the most varied roles within the organisation.
I studied Environmental Science at Birmingham University. From there I started my first job, working for a consultancy, and my experience in construction was mostly in major civil engineering and infrastructure. I worked on the M25 and was part of the team that helped to build the new station on Blackfriars Bridge in London.
I’m a ‘bigger picture’ person and like to think outside the box – embedding sustainable principles within a business certainly lends itself to this way of thinking!
I like the fact that, as Head of Sustainability, I can help the business embed these principles, across all functions and at all levels.
Sustainability is important for Willmott Dixon. ‘Sustainability’ means to keep going, to carry on, to sustain. Every business in its right mind wants to keep going. The question is why ‘sustainability’ is important for our business. What has changed over the years is our ability to understand what affects our long-term sustainability – everything from quality, health and safety, material scarcity, training, people and price.
Willmott Dixon recognises this, and so has embarked on a journey towards sustainability, which involves every single person within our organisation.
I’ve been lucky enough to represent our business on industry steering groups, developed some of our internal management systems, supported our preconstruction team with some very significant wins, and slowly but surely shared good practice across our business to help improve the way we do things.
My immediate goal is to continue learning and developing my own knowledge of sustainability in construction. That happens almost daily at the moment and I’ve got a lot to learn from the people around me. When the time is right I hope to take more of a leading role within our industry, perhaps helping to advise or even influence our key decision makers. Chief Sustainability Officer on the Willmott Dixon Holdings Board has a certain ring to it.