Q: What would you say are current “trends” when it comes to organizations adopting green strategies or principles?
A: Not a trend but a common denominator is the basic tenet that clients will adopt green strategies when there is a compelling story. Chapters in that story include impact to their bottom line, affordability, cost savings, IRR, improved workplace environments. Organizations are realizing the importance of sustainability and many firms are have created a Sustainability Officer role within their firm to provide leadership, expertise, guidance and intelligence on sustainability issues across the broad spectrum of operating a business. At the outset of the internet revolution we saw the role of a CIO be introduced. We now have the Chief Sustainability Officer. This is definitely a growing trend.
Q: How have recent legislation or corporate/federal mandates changed the way your organization addresses environmental issues?
A: Recent funding opportunities such as the ARRA are spurring interest with clients and in turn rejuvenating interest in new solutions. Innovation thrives in times of turmoil.
Q: What green / sustainability-related project are you working on now that you are most proud of?
Lessons learned were invaluable. The question “can form follow performance, be relevant and inform design?” A resounding YES is the answer. The experience is now being applied to other challenges such as existing buildings which is a very exciting opportunity.
A: All large firms are challenged by the complexities of organization, effective knowledge sharing and implementation. All these challenges need to be addressed with a simple pragmatic approach that stands the test of time. In terms of advancing sustainability a reference point could be a question to help validate a decision e.g. is what we are doing sustainable? Keep it simple and look for solutions with multiple benefits.
A: Progress can be made with deliberate steps to effect change based on solid principles. Independent will has a role to play when attempting change. Three things you need to do:
1. Never, ever, ever give up. Keep the ball in motion.
2. Know what you want.
3. Fear not what you don’t know.
A: Nature, just look outside!