In celebration of the School’s 10 Year Anniversary, throughout June, we will be publishing a series of Q&As conducted with Partners of the School. For this, we asked each Partner to reflect on the past decade of sustainability in the UK Built Environment industry.
For the third edition of our ‘Reflections From…’ series, we spoke with Raj Neelakantan, the Procurement Operations Manager for Cadent Gas Ltd.
How would you describe the sustainability state of the built environment industry before the School was launched in 2012?
“Sustainability was previously seen as a chore and tick-box exercise by many with varying degrees of understanding, action and take-up across the industry. There were numerous examples of people ‘talking the talk’ but having little to show by way of tangible progress.
There was also a skewed perspective towards environmental sustainability, with economic and social angles often overlooked. Sustainability was also seen as an unwelcome cost of time and resource but had to be done to win business.”
What impact has the School had on the built environment industry during this last decade?
“The School and its vast array of carefully curated subject matter have vastly improved the industry’s awareness of sustainability. Companies – large and small – have been given the opportunity to take various initiatives to a higher level and this leaves little room for any organisation to use lack of resources as an excuse for lagging. The Partner & Member format has gone a long way towards promoting awareness, participation and interest in the field.”
How has the School enabled the industry to drive positive sustainable change?
“The School has given depth and breadth to the many facets of sustainability and enabled a complex and rapidly changing situation, especially on the environmental front, to be managed effectively by the School’s Partners and Members. The Bronze– Silver – Gold membership progression combined with tailored development plans and analytics have enabled what was previously a woolly subject to be underpinned by effective metrics, actions and results. This puts organisations on the path of a holistic approach towards people, planet and profits.
There is also true collaboration on display with the many benefitting from synergetic improvements between the companies actively working with the School to develop content.”
Connect with Raj Neelakantan on LinkedIn.
Learn more about Cadent Gas on their website.