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Dr Olli Jones new chair of Climate Action group

Constructing Excellence North East has appointed Dr Olli Jones, Head of Sustainability – North East, at Cundall, onto its board and as chair of its Climate Action group.

Established in March 2021, the Climate Action group, brings together representatives from across the construction sector to drive forward a sustainable future. It shares lessons learnt and best practice, reviewing guidance, commitments and legislation and helping to shape policy at a regional and national level.

The group actively promotes pioneering climate action across the North East construction sector, through the OneVoice, North East England construction strategy. It also supports the work of Net Zero North East and Net Zero Tees Valley.

Organisations engaged with the Climate Action group include AECOM, Cundall, Equans, Esh Group, Gleeds, Green Leaf Engineering, RE:GEN Group, Ryder Architecture, Sir Robert McAlpine, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Believe Housing and Thirteen Group.

Dr Olli Jones, said: “The aim of the group is to drive engagement and show genuine leadership within the built environment that can help set an example nationally, supporting companies and individuals from all areas of the construction sector realise a more sustainable future for people, communities and the planet.

“We have a lot of large businesses grappling to understand what to do to remain viable and meet industry sustainability standards. We are all working towards tight timescales with limited resources and a lot of the challenges can be made smaller and more manageable by sharing knowledge and lessons learned, this is something the group will assist with.

“Many businesses have, rightly, joined pledges to improve sustainability but the implementation, at a practical level, needs to happen and many struggle to know what to do next. There is so much information out there it can be confusing and feel overwhelming to know where to begin.

“We have businesses in our region shaping global and national sustainability policy and implementation. Those of us further down the line are able to share our knowledge, helping the entire supply chain and the Climate Action Group is the forum that helps to facilitate the dissemination of lessons learned, so we can all move forward that bit quicker.”

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive, Constructing Excellence North East, said: “Dr Olli is a true champion of the construction industry, recognised for his expertise and ability to make the complex simple, not just regionally but nationally and internationally. He brings a plethora of assets and knowledge, which will bolster the impact the Climate Action group is achieving within the region to assist businesses with sustainability challenges.

“The North East has always been, and will continue to be, not just a hot bed but the birthplace of world changing innovations. We have many construction and technology businesses that are world leading in terms of decarbonisation and green tech. There is a real opportunity to help nurture, promote and grow these future stars, to really show the world what our region is capable of. Focussing and investing in sustainability will, in turn, demonstrate we are a region and country that has a plan worth investing in. Progressive action like that of our group will bring more interest and investment into the North East which is, ultimately, what we all want to see. Everyone is invited to come join us, to contribute to a greener, healthier more commercially successful region.”

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