Mott MacDonald senior sustainability consultant Joanne Crawshaw says the company has implemented various initiatives and mandatory staff-awareness training to meet clients’ growing demands for green buildings How does Mott MacDonald approach the issue of sustainability? Thoughtful integration of sustainability principles within architectural design is fundamental to the delivery of a building or infrastructure project. Sustainability […]
Mott MacDonald senior sustainability consultant Joanne Crawshaw says the company has implemented various initiatives and mandatory staff-awareness training to meet clients’ growing demands for green buildings
How does Mott MacDonald approach the issue of sustainability?
Thoughtful integration of sustainability principles within architectural design is fundamental to the delivery of a building or infrastructure project.
Sustainability does not necessarily have to be a visible component of a project; however, features within a project that have a visible function can support awareness raising and present a developer with an opportunity to make a clear statement about their commitment towards a ‘greener’- built environment. Given that so many opportunities for integrating sustainability within projects lies within architectural design, Mott MacDonald’s sustainability specialists and engineers continue to work in close collaboration with architects to ensure these opportunities are fully realised.
Can you give an example of successful collaborations on past projects?
The Manchester Civil Justice Centre, UK, officially opened in March 2008, it fulfils its brief to provide a sustainable building of civic generosity and European significance. The brief demanded comfortable conditions, plentiful daylight, natural ventilation and for courts and consultation rooms; acoustic privacy. Building orientation, massing, shading and engineering systems were key elements in achieving these requirements.
Are environmental considerations provided to clients as an add-on service or part of the package?
We have developed our Integrated Design and Sustainability – INDUS – approach that treats sustainability not as an add-on, but as a balance between economic, environmental and social goals, and takes account of our clients’ sustainability policies and aims, as well as the needs of other stakeholders.
INDUS and the tools that support it provide a practical way to integrate the complex drivers that impact on any major development, and to design an outcome that meets the needs of our clients, the community and the planet.
How do clients typically respond to the mention of sustainability?
Clients are generally becoming more aware of the need for their projects to demonstrate strong commitments towards improved sustainable performance. Many have adopted a corporate sustainability policy, but are looking for advice on how to implement it in their day-to-day activities. There is also recognition that although early integration of sustainability into the master planning and design process is essential, we are seeing that clients are becoming mindful of the need for sustainability to be a continuum — not only throughout all stages of design, but throughout construction, operation and maintenance of their assets.
Due to the increasing awareness, clients tend to be enthusiastic about their projects being more sustainable and are encouraged to achieve a more sustainable end by recognising the short- and long-term benefits of integrating sustainability measures within their projects.
How does Mott MacDonald ensure its workforce is knowledgeable on sustainability and energy efficiencies?
Because of our size and skills, Mott MacDonald has a highly-influential role in our customers activities. They look to us to demonstrate how changes can be made to infrastructure, systems and lifestyles that will reduce the resources we consume, the waste we produce and the harm we do to the environment and communities. In support of our own and our customers activities, Mott MacDonald adopted a Group Sustainability Policy and appointed a group board director who is responsible for the policy and its implementation. There is also a group sustainability champion with the brief to drive forward Mott MacDonald’s sustainability agenda, addressing our operations and services.
The group publishes an annual Corporate Responsibility Review; a key section of Which summarises our performance and track record over the year.
Do you offer an in-house training programme to staff?
A notable achievement for Mott MacDonald has been the implementation of mandatory sustainability training for all staff, which has been rolled out across our global operations covering some 140 countries and 15,000 staff.
Awareness-raising posters and other publicity materials have been developed and are on display in all offices to encourage sustainable behaviour in the office (switching off lights and IT equipment when not needed etc.) and to provide quick technical prompts on steps that can be taken for more sustainable projects.
These initiatives mentioned are generally sector specific, such as for water engineering, building services, or oil and gas engineering.
Why is it important to offer ongoing sustainability awareness programmes to employees?
It is imperative that staff remain knowledgeable on sustainability issues both in terms of their day-to-day activities and the influence they can have in delivering sustainable projects for our customers. In response to this, a sustainability taskforce comprising representatives from each business unit meets monthly, helping to measure our carbon footprint, raise awareness of sustainability among staff, and collating our track record of projects with a strong sustainability theme.
In addition, agendas for board meetings at all levels of the company now include sustainability as an agenda item; reports are prepared both on internal operations and office management and on our services and projects for clients. Office managers are responsible for the preparation of Local Environmental Practice Plans for each office. These are revised each year, and include reporting on use of energy, water, waste and CO2 emissions. This information is used to calculate Mott MacDonalds global carbon footprint, which we are actively reducing year on year.