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Anthropy23 Panel Discussion: Breaking down sustainability obstacles

With external pressures, many organizations have set ambitious sustainability goals. But few actually know how to action them. At this year’s Anthropy, Daggerwing Group Senior Principal, Andy Rugeroni, sat down with Phillippa Ross, Service Line Director at Atkins, and Andrew Shelley, Director of Operations at Simply Washrooms, a Certified B Corp, to discuss how organizations are navigating sustainable change, and what we can learn from leaders who are doing change right.

Watch the full presentation here:


This transcript was automatically generated with artificial intelligence. It’s in the queue to go through a review with human eyes!

00:00:00:00 – 00:00:32:23

Thank you for coming or choosing to come to our session today. I’m Andy from Daggerwing Group we’re a global change consultancy and we’re going to talk today around how businesses can better operationalize their sustainability ambitions and strategies. I’m one of two lovely panelists with me, Andrew Shelley and Dr. Ross. I’ll give them a full introduction in a little bit.

00:00:32:24 – 00:00:58:02

But yeah, I just want to say thank you for being here and hopefully we can make this an interactive and enjoyable session for everyone. But before we get into it, I just wanted to sort of then sort of lay the groundwork for why this is important. Fans of organizations really can be at the forefront of resolving a lot of the issues that the UK and the world faces today.

00:00:58:04 – 00:01:36:22

You’ve got kind of inflation, the cost of living crisis, you’ve got the threat to the environment, all of these things. By the sheer scale and size of businesses, there’s 5.5 million business private businesses in the UK today. They can make a huge impact whether to the negative or to the positive on all of these issues. And as the next slide says, if we’re able to to to work together to figure out how large, medium and small organizations can get better, operationalizing the great strategies and ambitions that they have, you can make a real difference to some of these key issues.

00:01:36:24 – 00:02:08:09

Imagine if they were, you know, en masse and organizations were changing their talent acquisition strategy and the impact that might have on social inequality in different areas of the UK, or that they were successfully able to partner with their supply chain to minimize the impact on local environments. All of these things together en masse, not just the start ups And the other is how do we really focus on helping businesses, small businesses, medium businesses transform themselves over the long term?

00:02:08:11 – 00:02:35:07

And that’s really what we want to do today to to explore that with the so a lot of energy. And I think we found in all of October last year that in all the work we’ve been doing over the the last few years, that a lot of businesses have been focused, focusing as you like, a laser on the why and the what of their sustainability strategy, what they want to transform to more targets.

00:02:35:07 – 00:03:00:16

They want to meet, why they’re doing that and how that that that reflect reaffirming what their purpose is. Yet over there on on the right hand side is probably the most important word of all three of them, which is how are you going to do it? How do we unpick that gray area around the how these can be transformation programs that can potentially be multiple decades in length?

00:03:00:18 – 00:03:31:00

You know, what can organizations do to build on that that change journey and be effective around that? And really, we’re going to use a report that we’ve commissioned, which I’ll go into in a little moment, and the experiences of that and Andrew and their businesses to to unpick that. So we really wanted to put some some data or some real facts around this how off these small medium businesses doing operationalizing their sustainability strategy.

00:03:31:02 – 00:03:48:16

And we’ve got our money where our mouth was and went to PR and commissioned a report upon this and I will give you the details, download that report to the end. So we now have what we were pretty sure was happening anecdotally. We now have the facts to back it up around how organizations are doing on this transformation journey.

00:03:48:18 – 00:04:19:08

I will use some of the data points from this study as a jumping off point for for discussion. The study really we tried to make it as as universally applicable as possible large, medium and small businesses. If you look, you can see the split they’re trying to do to get it as much as we could out of the executive and senior management and and get to the employee base and can speak to those as well and really try to make it viable.

00:04:19:10 – 00:04:47:20

The big takeaway. So if you don’t want to bother reading the report, I can just tell you the main outcomes in a few seconds is that companies are struggling to bring this to light, which is not not necessarily something that it was. You might have not not thought, but why? I think a couple of things that came out which really explore that, that this requires a fundamentally different approach to any other transformation that people are undertaking.

00:04:47:22 – 00:05:22:03

There are commonalities with other types of transformation, but really this is a special case. The complexity of it has been greatly underestimated. It uniquely impacts each part of the business and it requires a holistic, systemic approach to change. And these are some of the things that have been nuggets that we’re going to dig into now. The report, one of the key facts that the report brought out was the only one in four could be defined as leaders in operationalizing sustainability.

00:05:22:05 – 00:05:48:16

Now, you think that would be great? But these are the companies that say they’re making significant progress and they’re on track. I’m going to hit this. It’s the converse side when you think about it for a moment, that is high and there’s three quarters who aren’t on the on the next slide that the that the vast majority are struggling and they don’t think they’re necessarily going to hit the targets that they’re outlined, which is actually quite a scary thought if you if you think about it.

00:05:48:18 – 00:06:17:24

So that brings us up to what we we want to talk about with Andrew. But let me do a readouts, a little bit of an introduction to them, to them both before we get into it. We’ve got a really interesting discussion potentially on our hands here. So it works for Athens real estate. That’s a 36,000 employee business working on huge infrastructure projects sort of all around the world.

00:06:18:01 – 00:06:46:13

And Andrew works or simply washrooms, which is a small business is 5050 person strong. So how do how are these two businesses approaching this and what difference in more than what they’re doing? I think they’re both leading the way in how they’re approaching some of these things. But let me let me introduce Doctor Dr. Nick Ross first. He’s a service line director for the Valuing a Sustainable Future Service Line.

00:06:46:13 – 00:07:25:18

And at King’s Real Estate, it’s a design, engineering and project management organization that connects people with data and technology to transform the world’s infrastructure and energy systems. It’s built over 20 years experience across sustainability, environment and international development sectors. She’s a chartered engineer, and in 2020 she was awarded the accolade of being in the top 50 women in Sustainability in the UK by Wise, and she’s worked on projects all over the globe, UK, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and officially is Director of Operations at Simply Washrooms, simply with nine people certified in February this year.

00:07:25:20 – 00:07:51:17

It’s the first company in the world in workplace hygiene and washroom services to receive that accreditation, so no mean feat. They provide a range of premium quality, sustainable products and services from an eco friendly air purification and freshening to sanitary hygiene units, hand dryers, dispensing service and waste management. So, Andrew, that operation starts. He’s really got a passion for driving sustainable change.

00:07:51:19 – 00:08:20:02

A staunch advocate of the biblical principles. And really his role is about not just managing operational efficiency in the business, but instilling that culture of sustainable team and bringing it to life. So there’s the introductions over our first topic that I’d like us to to talk about is 63% of all respondents agreed that implementing sustainability requires a fundamentally different approach.

00:08:20:04 – 00:08:56:00

And I’ll come to to pick first. Did your organization take a radically different approach when considering this challenge? So I think the difference for us with sustainable attitude was really the breadth and depth of the challenge is not implementing one single change program, but it’s really fundamentally changing the way we do business, but also the way we work with clients, how we design things for clients and what that meant was we had to look at a different a different type of approach.

00:08:56:02 – 00:09:20:13

We had to change the way we made decisions. So traditionally return on investment, we had to look a lot longer time horizons. And actually one of the things we found was we had to do it to win some clients to be taking the same approach. How the procurement systems valued things like sustainability within the valuation process and how we could take them along with that.

00:09:20:15 – 00:09:53:02

The Dasgupta report for the Economics of Biodiversity concludes that we need to look at have a different way of valuing some of our natural resources, how we support our work and our clients, but to build that into our processes on a daily basis, that’s business as usual. And one of the things we have done that’s quite different and shop around, we’re working with some of our competitors, so in collaboration with McDonald’s and Jacobs.

00:09:53:02 – 00:10:32:19

So it’s about big competitors. We’re working with Balfour Beatty, who’s a big target, those to just have a baseline, different KPIs, different sustainability objectives. Okay, guys, will we agree to build into all our projects and programs that we do with them? So that is quite a challenge for us. And I think collaboration is really key here, is to think outside the box and without working in different ways with different people, whether that’s within organizational outside of our organization, we’re not going to achieve the kind of things change that we need to address this problem to allow such a huge organization.

00:10:32:21 – 00:10:59:14

I think that’s super interesting, the fact that you’ve almost kind of gone outside your business for four allies that you would normally be competing in because the think the kind of the objective is so large that that is probably quite uncomfortable for leadership in the first instance. So it wasn’t comfortable in theory, but actually what we found was the people, both brands, competitors, having the same issues, they’re having the same challenges.

00:10:59:16 – 00:11:27:15

They want to build things where they want to build sustainability from system with into bits of programs. But actually the confines of the procurement processes sometimes wouldn’t allow that things such as purely on cost of inputs and not really on the outcomes. And we really want to change the narrative. So we’re thinking about how projects and programs changing outcomes as opposed to measuring how much time we can build.

00:11:27:17 – 00:11:51:21

And what about new energy added. That is simply a project I think challenges in cities are quite significantly different. I think tell on the side of your business, you’re just going to probably come at this from a slightly different angle and in a way, I think we were lucky because from our kind of inception we had this kind of almost daily hope that kind of running through the business of that we wanted to be a sustainable business.

00:11:51:21 – 00:12:23:09

We wanted to do things slightly differently, and I think we wanted to try and differentiate ourselves from the market. But then I think we also got to a point where it became, you know, significantly, you know, very sort of a clear thing for us from a commercial point of view that our clients were demanding this. And actually so so kind of in terms of our background, we work in that kind of commercial real estate world and we are looking after, you know, something like 4000 business buildings in central London, for example, and lots of people sort of own around those buildings are looking down the supply chain.

00:12:23:09 – 00:12:39:07

Now, companies like us to try to understand actually what impacts we’re having in terms of the service launch, which are different. So it was so it was we kind of it was something that we was it was on the horizon and it was something that’s been driven from a client perspective. So actually that was kind of a great incentive for us.

00:12:39:07 – 00:12:55:12

It wasn’t something that we just woke up one morning thinking this would be a great thing for us to kind of embark on. So that gave us real focus, I think, from again, when you were trying to I think, you know, sometimes running sort of smaller businesses, you’re juggling lots of spinning lots of plates at the same time.

00:12:55:14 – 00:13:21:05

And actually there are some fundamental things that you want to get right every single month of the year because you’ve got teams of people relying with you and you’ve got kind of quite diverse roles. So for us, I think it structuring this focus. So we, we people suited us really nicely because actually it gave us the a very clear kind of parameter and some kind of key metrics to work towards and actually some operational processes to follow.

00:13:21:06 – 00:13:39:06

I think that was the hardest thing. Like we never want to be actually how we get there is the challenge and actually, well, from day to day for department department, what did we need to change to kind of get there? So I think the structure thing was a big thing. And also looking outside of the business that we bought external support to do this.

00:13:39:06 – 00:14:08:17

So we employed a need of some other external support. So actually we identified very quickly. This was built on our expertise of also, although we had a great passion for it on operationally, we were all up for making those changes, actually being guided on some of those changes. This was kind of super helpful for us because it meant that when you were pointing in the right direction and when you say you then put in place a structure, was that was that roles or just a way of a way of thinking or or approaching it?

00:14:08:19 – 00:14:30:12

I think it was a bit of both. So we, I think getting a baseline is, is was was very important for us to understand actually where we are as a business. And it was an interesting process of sort of understanding, you know, breaking the key elements down in the business that we have from sustainability, the environment we’ve had governance, we kind of work as clients, those sorts of things.

00:14:30:12 – 00:15:01:17

So where these kind of key areas that we knew we wanted to look at, we had, I guess, our own expectations of how we would score and how we were doing in those areas. Interestingly, some of them came back, we were completely broke. So actually where we thought we were excelling, maybe we could be doing more things. So actually having that type of structure and then being able to drill down significantly into the detail to say that actually if we want to move the needle on kind of a worker’s and our workforce and how they feel about working in a company, actually, what does that mean?

00:15:01:17 – 00:15:18:06

What do we need to do on the ground to actually make those changes? So actually people feel that it’s a great place to work. If it valued our staff retention good, we’re attracting great staff, all those sorts of things. I think from a detailed business perspective, how are we going to do that? So it was about having that structure then.

00:15:18:08 – 00:15:45:21

I think it now takes some testing. I think I think that that moves us nicely On to our second kind of finding, which is around that those wanting for leading organizations will more way more likely than the others to have approached sustainability in a holistic manner and to integrated into that purpose. And that strategy picks up. Is that something that the napkins realities have focused on?

00:15:45:23 – 00:16:09:11

So I think it’s a bit of a mixed bag for us. We did change our purpose this year from a plan to plan, design and able to engineering a better future for planet and its people. So we set the intent of the of on the high highest level of leadership. But we have had to prioritize. There’s so much to be done in this space.

00:16:09:11 – 00:16:39:18

There’s so many topics that we have set up workstreams for different and for different things. So we have an understanding that Zero team and we have a team that’s run by itself. We have people looking at late term materials and would have had a full scope of scope 1 to 3 emissions. And to be honest, I’m not sure how much all those different workstreams talk to each other and really investigate commonalities.

00:16:39:20 – 00:17:05:09

I think when we walked in here. So it’s the behind just silos as part and I’m not sure we’re quite that in that, but we have really recognized that it needs to be done and I’m definitely a big advocate of what we’ve done is we’ve developed some of the core integrator roles. And I think that if you can take an analogy from digital disruptors, I would be a bit more huggy and sustainable as an integrator.

00:17:05:11 – 00:17:36:18

And so I see my new role that is is doing just that is trying to bring people together on a project level so that we’re not that we’re from right from the start of bringing in climate, carbon, environment and engineering into the design and the planning of our project. So is sustainability environmentally like design work? But what we found is that really creates opportunities to maximize the outcome and impacts of our projects.

00:17:36:20 – 00:18:19:16

So one, we’re quite proud of it. You want to have a look. It’s very glamorously named and 2520 ten and there’s a nice video online as well. Seb But part of that sort of developing a motorway junction, we have incorporated into that A is the world’s first heath land bridge and what that does, it connects to areas of biodiversity across each side of the of the motorway, but it also provides recreational facilities for pilots, the walkers and also biodiversity.

00:18:19:16 – 00:18:51:18

So that’s a, it’s a passageway for them, but it’s or an X and base to pass across the road. And also there’s a lot of research to show that nature has huge impacts on mental health and wellbeing. So by doing something as simple as that to really create multiple benefits and so in a holistic way and so really I think this is a really important point, not solving quite that level and but we know it’s important.

00:18:51:20 – 00:19:27:21

Thank you for changing my view of the M25, because I generally view it is the place that hopes, dreams and time goes to die. But I’m very happy that you did it. Is anything from this would resonate with what he’s doing? Yeah, I think so. I think it’s in order to kind of embed that into the business, it’s important that the teams feel part of that process and they feel that there is this, I think, to be honest, benefit in there for everyone because actually what people would like to see is these changes have a positive impact on that.

00:19:27:23 – 00:19:50:07

And one of the things that we focused on very quickly was from the from the team perspective. So kind of internally in our own teams of what can we do differently and what impacts, Because I think as soon as people start to see that positive impact that these changes are happening, because having a big masthead above the door that we’re sustainable, we behave in a certain way is fantastic.

00:19:50:09 – 00:20:11:11

However, you know, the proof is always in the eating. And actually for for teams, if you are enhancing you know, that they’re packages that, you know, if we did some simple things I say simple things we introduced we were looking at what drives the employees and what actually will drive not only kind of growth of the business, but also kind of set behaviors.

00:20:11:13 – 00:20:29:12

And we linked a number of all kind of internal targets around a property asking how we made that offer decision was the profit share scheme will be equitable, It will be the same for every member of the teams at whatever level. If you’re a driver getting out in the middle of the night, going to deliver services into a building.

00:20:29:18 – 00:20:52:03

We were senior manager in the office. That would be the same. You will get the same level of profit share on a quarterly basis and that’s made it, things like that. And those kind of changes that you can make in the business quite quickly do make a huge difference. And suddenly it feels as though for the teams there’s kind of a level playing field and actually that skills that those teams will start to move together on towards a particular purpose.

00:20:52:05 – 00:21:14:12

So you are continue to give that you sort of hardwiring into kind of the performance objectives and the reward. Almost half of what people work with doing to help you bring the strategy to life. So that. Right. Yeah we were and, but, but at the same time, you know, I think kind of of our approach has been trying to complete things as teams and as units and not as individuals.

00:21:14:12 – 00:21:29:07

So we it was kind of loosely based on that. So it wasn’t, you know, a particular person’s performance would what would gauge their kind of their renumeration or something. But it meant that if as a unit we moved together in the right direction, then we would do things that we felt was positive. Then everyone would benefit from that.

00:21:29:07 – 00:22:09:03

So I think that’s made a huge difference. And people there’s engagement that people are interested in what we’re doing as a business. So that’s, you know, that’s been interesting. Plus fantastic. I’m sure it’s for both of you first, not not necessarily being plain sailing. And our next kind of topic I want us to dig in to that is the obstacles and kind of the most popular obstacles that people reported was that they were really struggling in measuring the impact or the results of that, that their transformation and really sort of in understanding how the different functions, the change needed to be to be handled differently and have it to have taken it to plan.

00:22:09:05 – 00:22:32:17

And then specifically for the actual, which was a really interesting finding for that that leadership quarter, the leaders in operationalizing sustainability, they they were flagging technology as something that they were really struggling with. So maybe that they were slightly more advanced in in their implementation and they were now looking for tools to make it make it easier, but was struggling to adopt them.

00:22:32:19 – 00:23:04:12

So coming coming to you first again, what were some of the top obstacles that you faced? So I think changing mindsets, getting people to really believe the system as a sustainability to the to their thinking was not a constraint, but actually it was an opportunity and it could be additive to the work that they were doing. And then I think it’s a bit of a two pronged approach also of processes, such a big organization.

00:23:04:14 – 00:23:33:02

We also needed systems to prompt people to be thinking more broadly, to be very challenging the norm and thinking outside the box. So building some of that into our project and getting got big company, there are a million systems and processes and and risk approval processes. You have to go. So how we built that in to our systems and I’m still working on that has been a real challenge.

00:23:33:04 – 00:23:59:17

It’s also been an opportunity for women in systems all over the place, and we’re using that to try and harmonize them as well. And and so all our global offices are working from from one system that has KPIs built in so we can more easily on on what we’re doing with our practices and processes. Because I think the reports, there’s a lot of new reporting requirements coming in and different in different geographies as well.

00:23:59:17 – 00:24:34:12

We need to have systems that are robust enough to be able to do that easily. So we’re not just figuring out how to do that. By the way, I think that some of that a lot more of that said, super interesting. I think the the point around the just in time problems with the systems I think that’s you know super super clever to be able to you know you’re at the point of need rather than relying on the training or influence people are being prompted not just when they’re about to perform the action that can have a real impact.

00:24:34:14 – 00:24:56:22

Yeah, I think I think, you know, this is a huge new area and it’s actually really uncomfortable for a lot of people because it’s not that full technical knowledge base that way to do this in addition to what they’ve done for 20 years. So having that support system there as well means that hopefully we can we can build that into help become business as usual.

00:24:56:22 – 00:25:27:08

And in the next few years. Thanks, Andrea, about some of the obstacles that you’re facing and I think some similar ones. I think first and foremost, I think from a smaller business it was about sharing responsibility. So we found that when we started out on the journey of this kind of sustainability need to have other sort of senior members of the team works with you on not some external support, but actually fundamentally you don’t really make the great changes that you want or the steps forward unless you’ve got a broader team.

00:25:27:08 – 00:25:48:17

And that broader team have different roles, responsibility, working patterns, locations that even the small company locations of work, a lot of them those that school day and actually how do you influence those people and bring them on along with you? One of the things we did was kind of as already mentioned, we looked to kind of group metrics and group objectives.

00:25:48:17 – 00:26:16:13

So we said, you know, as an operational team, as a field service team, these are the things that we want you to really focus on. And that could be really simple things. It could be if you’ve got a fleet of drivers, well, if you can get metrics and data from them around idling vehicles and all these sorts of things, it’s really simple things that actually as a group you can pull back on and set some objectives and actually then as a team that things that not individually but as a group they can sort of work towards.

00:26:16:13 – 00:26:39:09

So I think kind of group sharing of responsibility has been something that’s been good for us of technology still a challenge. So maybe slightly, but we started on the price of this process. I thought we would gather all these data points. We’ll put everything into the system of having the carbon footprint sort of metrics and data, and you kind of then forget that you’ve just got to keep doing that.

00:26:39:09 – 00:27:00:18

So that time goes go the first time. It’s like an ongoing thing of making sure that for us it’s like quarterly data drives for the whole business where we understand actually, you know, our purchasing is, you know, what the impact of those different purchasing decisions we’re making, but we also work with suppliers. So we kind of push some of the responsibility somewhere where we’ve got kind of big enough and strong enough relationships.

00:27:00:18 – 00:27:16:21

We push some of the responsibility to our supply chain and said, Could you supply us the data in this format on a quarterly basis? And we plug it into our system. So, you know, I’m kind of a great believer of trying to do this as little as possible. And some of these things are it’s a big challenge. You can’t get help where you can.

00:27:16:23 – 00:27:39:09

Absolutely. So you try to you know, we’re trying to be we’re busy doing all these other things. So actually, if we can share some of that load, that’s really useful to do. So the supplier suppliers have be great on that. And I think also probably the obvious one which you have mentioned is cost. And when you when you look at the different options available through if you’re making purchasing decisions in your business.

00:27:39:11 – 00:28:01:05

So you know, for us, you know, the purchase of one of our big obstacles and our impacts was around the use of virgin plastics and actually buying non virgin plastic feedstocks was much more expensive, up to 30% more expensive than the Virgin stuff. So it was trying to understand if that’s actually one of our key metrics that we want to move, what’s the impact of that?

00:28:01:05 – 00:28:24:09

And, you know, do we feel confident as a business that we can do that and take our customers on with us? And I think so. There are there are costs, you know, considerations is time considerations as well. And but for us, we very much see this as an investment the same way you would invest in, you know, its infrastructure or fleet infrastructure or whatever that you might need as a business to kind of grow and develop.

00:28:24:11 – 00:28:45:15

We’ve seen this in the same way. And actually for us, you know, over time, I think it’s definitely ahead of time where, you know, we’re in a net positive sort of position or as a result of the investments we’ve done because we’ve actually seen, you know, great feedback from clients, clients giving us a big share of that business, those sorts of things, which were both, you know, the primary goal of these things, but that just kind of sort of spilled out from it.

00:28:45:17 – 00:29:07:06

And did you did you have to spend a lot of sort of time and effort convincing leaders or senior managers around, you know, making that trade off between raising, you know, going to something that’s slightly more expensive or something more costly for your clients in the short term. And then the risk to to that might you know, you might not win that contract because you’re more expensive going to the competitor.

00:29:07:12 – 00:29:40:16

Was that a mindset you had to come and get? Overall? I think we definitely had to get over that. I but I think probably this is applicable to lots of industries, but it was pretty obvious. It’s pretty obvious to us and it has been for a number of years now. But actually these changes are happening and actually if we would go into meetings with other existing clients or potentially new clients and you’d be in sort of a tender situation and they used to be this historic part where a large part of that tend to be you be talking about actually the products and services you deliver and they’ll be waiting towards that.

00:29:40:16 – 00:30:09:03

And actually now that’s a but, you know, for us that’s kind of public conversation which is almost shelved. And actually the thing that’s more important is what’s happening around ESG, what you’re doing around, you know, your sustainability initiatives. And we’re now in this kind of, you know, what we hope is a really strong position to really kind of talk on the assumptions, which, you know, before we had our kind of although we were doing a lot of these things before we put that structure in place and were able to do so, it’s, you know, the you know, we feel we’re in a better position as a business.

00:30:09:03 – 00:30:42:01

We’re kind of doing better things. We’ve got, you know, staff that want to work there, but also we’re now in a commercially competitive kind of point as well. So that’s nice. Yes, fantastic. That’s like a win win. I’m get going on to the next topic. Another one of the finding kind of the came out and says this this guy probably again unsurprising but we now have the actual kind of factual data kind of around this which is there’s this big gap in engagement which widens as you go further down the organization.

00:30:42:03 – 00:31:05:10

So up at the top with the directors and the executives that there was between the kind of the leading cohorts and the rest, that the gap wasn’t that large. But as you went through middle management and into that the employee base that that widened. And so my question to to you, you know, adapting is very, very obvious what a lot of them can do to try and bridge this gap.

00:31:05:10 – 00:31:27:22

And do you recognize that the gap. So I think you’re right that the the leaders leadership set the tone, they set the targets. But actually for that to trickle down, they also have to be seen to be walking the walk, to be making difficult business decisions that are linked to our sustainability objectives. So a couple of things that we put in place to try and do that.

00:31:27:22 – 00:31:52:20

The incentive plans are linked to sustainability targets and to two goals, both for all the senior management. And I think one thing that also means that a good message to the rest of the business was a couple of years ago we sold off oil and gas business and that had a really big impact on, I guess, employee morale and employee feeling about the company.

00:31:52:22 – 00:32:15:04

And I know senior management are always happy to be challenged and discuss some of the markets and some of the challenges we have with working in different areas. The other thing we’ve done, and I’ve have a load of this is in I think taking the analogy to the journey with health and safety. I mean we look at health and safety in the engineering business.

00:32:15:04 – 00:32:42:05

So 50 years ago and it is probably a bit harsh to say it was so nice to have, but now it’s definitely a non-negotiable. And some of the things that we have that have been done so talked about the thinking and thinking incentivization plans to to health and safety, that the stuff we’ve done that was sustainability. Another thing we’ve done that sounds quite subtle is we have at the start every meeting with a four people.

00:32:42:10 – 00:33:03:06

They have a moment and they used to always be held inside of safety moments so they can talk about what’s happening within the company and how we should manage that. We now have a whole suite of that sustainability about these moments and we found a real trigger to be able to discuss some of the issues and to really get engagement with with them, with the workforce.

00:33:03:08 – 00:33:25:15

And I think all of our all of our a lot of our employees, particularly Afghans that be passionate about this, they’ve joined the company because they want to make a difference. They want to be a that said, I think what we need to do is create that environment where they are heard and seen and that that filters up and down.

00:33:25:17 – 00:33:50:00

Then. Yeah, no, that’s a that’s a very interesting I think the the the and the is there an of where your education or awareness need to meet to come into it. You just I’m just thinking that you know in such a large business how did you kind of get people sort of the mindset and awareness around. Yeah I think it’s a good point.

00:33:50:01 – 00:34:13:00

I think there’s a fear of the . Spoke a little bit before people. This isn’t part of their day to day business as usual job, but now it has to be. So we’ve got a whole program of training courses, people who to do the bits in some amount of training and some an optional where they can depend a lot more about some of the sustainable topics.

00:34:13:02 – 00:34:39:23

And that has been really important to give people the confidence to be able to advocate for that within their own circles. That’s great. Thanks. And Andrew, how about how about simply I think we’ve seen, you know, we’ve got teams where there would be some real successes. I think those successes have kind of pulled other members of, you know, departments along with them.

00:34:40:00 – 00:35:01:00

And I think the, you know, an example for, you know, the we use quite often is that I mentioned that we have this kind of ongoing challenge around virgin plastic consumption within the business. And what we you know, we’ve got a guy, just one of the teams who looked and spoke about reaching into the supply chain and one of our main kind of manufacturers.

00:35:01:00 – 00:35:23:01

So they use a lot of plastic manufacturing and forming and they and you get surprises, right? We spoke to them and they just haven’t considered using recycled plastics in manufacturing for us. And you sort of asked the question why that is. And they said, well, actually people are really cost focused by men. They’re not particularly interested in increasing, you know, base unit costs and these sorts of things.

00:35:23:03 – 00:35:54:05

And we said, well, how about we go out and we source and find some recycled plastic Aquafina from we recycling and we should get into you and you test it for us and they test it if you get it to come back to us. And the result was we’ve got the same outcome in terms of the kind of, you know, the products and, you know, the performance, the products, and you know, that very, very small change for us, you know, reduced all in the first year we were doing that was reduced our virgin plastic consumption by 47%.

00:35:54:07 – 00:36:09:05

And that team that we’re involved in that could see that. And I thought, holy, you know, this is that that’s been a real significant change that we’ve seen that actually from all business. What we were trying to do, you know, the targets we set, you know, we had the feedback from all kind of external help. You set two soft targets.

00:36:09:05 – 00:36:34:16

We know that we just perform really well against those targets. So, you know, we things like that. I think what you see there is real progress. And now that manufacturer has, you know, very recently come to us and said, by the way, we’re now offering that as a bespoke range to all of our customer base. So, you know, we’ve of the air that now is available to our competitors, which is kind of great because actually now, you know, it won’t just be us using kind of a bespoke recycled products.

00:36:34:16 – 00:36:55:23

It’s now the entire market can use those sorts of products. So those sorts of changes we’ve seen actually where people see the changes makes a real difference because nothing still you know that given it’s been adopted by competitors and it’s out there, is that is that kind of be still real pride in your team Roy’s it is and this is something you kind of commented upon.

00:36:56:00 – 00:37:11:23

I think so you know I think you first see it and you think, wow, you know, that’s kind of a change that we’ve made. And I didn’t you know, the manufacturer came to us and kind of said, look, you know, we’re doing this, I think kind of through courtesy that kind of we do pop up process or that kind of journey with them.

00:37:12:00 – 00:37:34:01

Yeah, it makes a difference. And I think the other examples are, you know, this whole process for us has enabled us to do things from a commercial perspective. So we’ve made the decision that we were, you know, we spent a lot of time looking at this kind of supply chain and what impact we could make there. We’ve taken a lot of the data that we’ve been gathering and thought, well, how else can we make use of this?

00:37:34:03 – 00:38:02:22

And we’re now sort of offering to a client side. So from a client perspective, if if a client is working with us, we’re looking after, you know, a portfolio of buildings for them. In Bristol, for example, we can go to them and say, actually, we can give you some bespoke environmental reporting because we’re capturing all that data anyway, why not offer now to, you know, our client base don’t just hold it as are they to say, you know, this is the impact of the services that you know you are hearing from us.

00:38:02:24 – 00:38:20:14

No one else seems to be doing that at the moment in our space. So that’s kind of an interesting thing for us. And from a clients perspective, they really value that because if anyone’s been on this journey, probably one of the most difficult parts is kind of getting into supply chain so that then we’ve kind of done the job for them to some extent.

00:38:20:16 – 00:38:50:12

So I think that’s been that’s been another way. And then, you know, from again internally, the commercial team can see that and actually see actually if we can do that. That’s just a great sales point for talking to our existing client base to make them kind of like stay working with us or kind of attracting new customers. Yeah, it must be super compelling seeing it kind of did it come to fruition, it becoming kind of a real commercial sort of asset or or benefit in terms of the outcomes that you’re getting from from focusing on sustainability?

00:38:50:18 – 00:39:14:07

Yeah. And it’s also I think it’s kind of stage one for us. So we’re kind of showing people now this is, you know, you’re buying from us this service line and these products and this is the end times. Actually, we would prefer this from you because it’s more sustainable and that’s going to take some time. We see that to kind of move the customers over some of that, some of those there are some, you know, kind of cost considerations on the customer side.

00:39:14:09 – 00:39:40:00

But we’re also in a in kind of, you know, the mood at the moment and we’re moving towards kind of very much looking at making those more polluting lines and service lines slightly more cost. It’s actually tax advice for customers to try and, you know, push the behavior that we want to see. Because for us, you know, being able to achieve that means that, you know, overall our overall impact is going to be much better.

00:39:40:02 – 00:40:13:19

I think it’s fantastic. I think the way a lot of what we’ve been saying kind of speaks to the kind of the cultural change journey that both of your businesses are on. Just it’s kind of as a final question before we open up for some questions from them for everyone in the room And what would be your your you know, if you had a magic wand, your one thing or one piece of advice that you would give to people embarking on that this journey think it’s around breaking down silos, working collaboratively and holistically within the organization.

00:40:13:19 – 00:40:43:24

But without working, without with outside organizations, and really thinking deeply about what outcomes we want to have. And next, I think set yourself a really well tested structure in terms of how you’re going to approach this, because, you know, for smaller business, when you do lots of different things, you need to be able to understand where you should focus your time.

00:40:44:01 – 00:41:05:03

And so there are lots of different in that kind of approach. There are lots of different companies out there that offer kind of very free models around this, this type of thing. So you can understand your kind of current impact of having a structure. And it because we’ve seen the you know, we’ve focused on particular areas and you put a lot of effort and energy into them and actually the outcomes that you get might be unexpectedly low.

00:41:05:03 – 00:41:29:17

They didn’t give you the results you wanted where you could make some changes over in a different area that maybe isn’t an area that is as shining for something that looks as as interesting and actually has some really impacts in terms of kind of your overall position. It’s a sustainable business. So for me, for us it was about having a structure in place and from that structure we could actually, you know, what we all need to do is, you know, operationally, what does that actually mean?

00:41:29:19 – 00:41:51:07

What does that mean day to day? What do we need to do slightly differently translating into the habits and the actions in everyone’s everyone’s role? Well, thank you both for that. I hope that everyone enjoyed that discussion. Then just can you open is there any any questions you have for our panelists and so couple, many thank you both for your insight.

00:41:51:09 – 00:42:16:05

And one, just one thing, if you get on a bit more, how are you working with lots more examples specifically on what you’re doing? And the other one, it’s just I was intrigued by this moment. You mentioned you said, are you setting these sort of from the top where you can take one of these five moments today, talk about sort of a meeting with you just so to start the first one.

00:42:16:05 – 00:42:50:21

Yeah, so and so we worked with competitors and Balfour Beatty to form, I guess, a template for what we wanted to be monitored and tracked through. If we are working with them through the projects we work with them on. So things like Common Idea and I and nature of collaboration. So I was setting how to measure them as well so that all projects have let’s try to level the playing field so that we can, we can still be competitive within those areas.

00:42:51:01 – 00:43:21:04

But those areas are something that we agree will be powerful projects and programs. So rather than measuring, it’s about the it around the measurement and trying to create a Yeah, I guess a kind of of a baseline. So these are the things that should, should be within projects and programs. So we’re competing on that for the kind of level playing field, making sure that included in those kind of cutting corners on the moments that come from both ends.

00:43:21:06 – 00:44:02:16

So we have this stack of moments we can up to them, but they can also be anything that someone’s read about a podcast that they’ve heard, something that they’ve experienced with it in that room and within work, outside of work. So they have these things from thinking about the energy, from stored emails that that used to something around the best, best, some challenges they had or they could be about some of the things they’ve realized have a huge carbon footprint within within their life and how they find this stuff.

00:44:02:16 – 00:44:27:11

So it can be built to be anything around sustainability. And as men and the staff are meeting to sort of break down some barriers to start discussion and they can be controversial. We talk about and war in Ukraine was something that we’ve had a moment and you can choose whether you like them to the bank. The other big news or you want to get past it led any ideas or solutions for.

00:44:27:13 – 00:44:56:22

And so just so that’s a name, I think the take on this book, for example, a So I think certainly in terms and some of the newer diversity stuff actually has been really impactful. We’ve now set up a whole network and diversity because being a big engineering consultancy, it turns out though, so I needed to speak with a lot of people.

00:44:56:22 – 00:45:23:16

They pleaded over and so so that’s been a huge thing around menopause was full of problem, moments that started to realize that that’s a huge has a huge impact on our business and in and support groups and coffee volumes to discuss that and how it distance and yeah small moments ladies and gentlemen anyone else who got a question.

00:45:23:16 – 00:45:52:10

Yes question Part of running is a high quality. You’ve got a supply chain and you were looking at place. Did it change suppliers products when you do things? Yeah, we you’re kind of encouraged to go obviously back as far as as as you possibly can. And that’s interesting. So I think you said the other things that he wasn’t even aware of, you know, that actually you work with a manufacturer actually components coming from somewhere else and the components are coming from somewhere else.

00:45:52:10 – 00:46:12:02

So it is a bit of a, you know, like you pulling on a yarn or the job you are wrapping or something. But yes. And so from that perspective, there’s a lot involved. I think what we did, we started off by looking at with the first our first company, it was looking at 80, 80% of spending in the business that we sent to our festival.

00:46:12:02 – 00:46:31:10

We look at all suppliers that make up 80% of the spend will start the biggest suppliers of those suppliers. We then work with around them, signing up to a kind of ethical code of conduct departments and code of conduct. So actually we started to make sure that they were meeting certain criteria with us around kind of their behavior.

00:46:31:12 – 00:47:02:18

You know, if they’re outside of the UK, what particular rights pilot they paying their staff, etc.. So it was making sure that, you know, we kind of, you know, and luckily that didn’t actually for us cut out any suppliers. It didn’t sort of taking one out of the equation. But the other thing which it did was we that kind of process of being very forensic in your business and actually by minute, often because something that you do, we actually identified that there were multiple suppliers in certain service lines, but actually we probably didn’t meet.

00:47:02:18 – 00:47:23:09

And actually it’s harder to manage when you’ve got, you know, people, bonds, lots of different prices and that actually impact to those products. Even if they seem pretty similar, they might be slightly different for different reasons to be where they are and the transport profiles to bring them in to you. So yeah, we slimmed down the number of suppliers in certain areas.

00:47:23:11 – 00:47:45:22

That meant that, you know, kind of unintentionally, we also had some benefits there in terms of kind of outcome. It’s scale of fine with some people and but yeah, I was just about like in order so actually 80% of the current spend let’s make sure we got all of those people covered And then we’ve got into kind of the smaller the smallest parts of the plastic and any other questions from panelists.

00:47:45:24 – 00:48:23:08

But that’s to accelerate this to create some level playing conditions. Do you think the new standards set by the government to say bodies? That’s definitely so and that there’s huge drivers to change stuff. So for instance, the energy legislation and standards that are going to come in so I’m open for construction. We need to have 10 to 7 biodiversity net gains which will now be relaxed.

00:48:23:10 – 00:48:49:14

That’s going to have a huge impact solely on how our clients work. And then this sort of stuff that you’re going to see, I mean, 7100 is kind of across mining. If it wasn’t for Shell’s list of listed companies pushing, but they may not take it seriously because if this legislation is going to take it to a whole level being talked about, and I think it needs both.

00:48:49:14 – 00:49:28:21

I think it needs and is such a big challenge and needs investor pressure here. Carbon is is the Hulk has been the one that has been pushed the most. And that is because that both investment pressure and so new EU legislation and targets coming in, they’re also voluntary disclosure. So science based targets initiatives actually there’s the peer pressure and and so for people to sign up to that and I think the setting up, I think you probably signed up for that without really fully understanding what that meant to our business and having a really robust plus transition plan in place.

00:49:28:23 – 00:49:55:24

But because we’ve done that, we’ve had to do it, we’ve had to do it quickly and we’ve had to invest in doing so. It’s been a good depression. And what about you and jump on that, Would more legislation sort of, you know, think how within in your industry or but I think from a legislation very difficult is that when you’re trying to have something which is kind of fair and applicable to different types of business sizes.

00:49:56:01 – 00:50:15:12

I think one of the one of the things which has been very good for us is kind of accountability. So, you know, accountability from, you know, from a pressure from a client’s perspective in the market actually changing. I think that will change. I think most businesses are going to you know, it won’t be legislation for lots of people because they’ll move on this journey themselves, because the market will dictate it.

00:50:15:12 – 00:50:48:20

Actually, you’ll become uncompetitive if you’re not doing that. And so I think that’s one thing that will happen. And I think for us as well. The other thing is being very open and public about the targets you’re setting and how you’re performing against those targets. I think one of the one of the biggest mistakes I think we would have we could could have made, which we have, is if you, you know, set those internal targets, they sit there on the shelf and you kind of then you think about them two months before that, you go in and you realize, you know, we did them, but you’re not really accountable to any one of them yourselves.

00:50:48:22 – 00:51:09:18

Is that really going to have meaningful change? So, you know, committing sort of committing to, you know, publicly putting those out and in the public domain know every 12 months for us to think that report where we’re talking about the targets we set, the ones we’ve hit, the ones we haven’t had reason to have any mitigation reasons behind why we’re struggling in some areas, because they’re all those things.

00:51:09:18 – 00:51:26:04

I think the businesses need to understand that it can’t always be perfect. So you set yourself these targets and then you get into them operationally. You know, for whatever reason, it could be technology, it could be changes in your business that actually means you can’t actually achieve those things. So, you know, if you’re not doing that, how are you going to move something else?

00:51:26:06 – 00:51:44:13

You know, maybe you do have control. And so you’re saying kind of that the transparency is is a driver, that it needs to have a little bit of flexibility because it’s a bit of a complex journey businesses are trying to navigate. So it can’t be just just black and white of the whole time. Yeah, and simple things, you know, for us, you know, fleet is a big thing.

00:51:44:13 – 00:52:05:13

So a ton of use of vehicles and driving things, delivering things to places and being able to practically do that at the moment, you know, completely electrified is a massive challenge for us in terms the distances weights of vehicles and just that some complex technology, you know, in terms of the limitations of the technology, which means that we just we are struggling to get to that target.

00:52:05:13 – 00:52:21:01

So we’re inching towards where we want to be. But as a you know, what we have to then focus on as a business will over that is something else which we can influence. We’re going to work very hard for that and are going to tell that story openly to people so they understand where we are in terms of kind of have more than just.

00:52:21:01 – 00:53:02:10

Right. Thank you. And any other questions? No one else. Yes, I just said so the question was about having a detector technology system kind of saying how is the single system in place and and how how or if that’s working for you. Yeah. So we had recently closed resulted in the steel space assessment. And and what we found is we have a 50 geographies each having a slightly different procurement system.

00:53:02:10 – 00:53:35:12

They report different things and structured in a different way. And so one of the things that will really help is to report some of some of our footwork. So procurement, we used to estimate lots of different things within the scope. Scope three emissions. I mean, one system that we’re all working and in the same way, if you put into the state system, we really hope that reporting, the kind of other side of it is some of business management systems.

00:53:35:16 – 00:54:09:17

So before the move, reporting on finance every month on this project was but trying to incorporate things like carbon into those some into lakes and later some of the other sustainability parameters into the the reporting systems will really help us understand such a large organization, what we’re doing and aggregate that up because we have pockets of brilliance that I’ll be doing that in a place that is both an amazing look but is back consistent across the whole conversation.

00:54:09:22 – 00:54:35:17

And I’m not quite sure where that thing happened but the live on the jack and thank you for that. So I think I’ve I’ve been given the given the time I make it in the wrap it I want to give our panelists a big panel but first Tony he and then put the report side up on the top of the screen.

00:54:35:19 – 00:54:54:13

And if you’d like to read the report, then the next slide here has a of a QR code of all leave up for you. We love you to read the data, show people the data, talk to them about and just, you know, maybe we can all tackle some of the problems together. Thank you, everyone. Enjoy the rest of the day and maybe see you around.

Andy is a Senior Principal and a member of the global leadership team at Daggerwing Group. In his role, Andy serves as a source of strategic counsel to Executives of many of the world’s largest companies facing major business transformation challenges – from mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs, to enterprise-level changes to culture, ways of working, and operating models. A specialist in the people side of change, Andy brings almost 20 years of experience helping drive Executive Alignment, leadership change readiness, and effective employee engagement to ensure change happens and sticks. Andy is an active speaker, thought leadership writer, and catalyst for service innovation within Daggerwing. In his spare time, he is on a quest to try every cheese the UK produces.