Investment: ‘Future of Infrastructure’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Infrastructure.

The piece explores how rising interest in responsible investment, which considers environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors , has transformed the conversation in the infrastructure sector. For major projects seeking funding it pays to get ESG right – in fact, getting it wrong can prove highly problematic, maybe even fatal.  Whilst the importance of the new criteria might be clear in principle, the issue for infrastructure is understanding what actually constitutes ESG in practice. Positive engagement with the issues calls for more than just a box-ticking exercise, if values are to be truly aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To read the article in full, complete with expert insights, comment and analysis, please click the following link:

‘Infrastructure investors making ESG a priority’.

The full 16-page Future of Infastructure report is available to view/download here.

Collaboration: ‘Suppy Chain Innovation’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as the opening piece to a special Raconteur report on Supply Chain Innovation.

The article discusses how being faster, better and cheaper than the competition requires colleagues, partners and stakeholders across an entire supply chain to work together and collaborate. With supply chain management finally having made its way into the strategic arena of the Board Room, such collaboration is even more crucial to achieving joined-up sustainability goals which call for a more systemic approach. It is also key to attracting and retaining valuable talent in a competitive marketplace. Innovation is not, however, all about the tech. Whilst modern digital kit such as drones and robots might  be grabbing headlines and catapulting supply chain issues on to the front page, the shift is as much cultural as it is technological. Technology is undoubtedly vital, but much of it is behind the scenes and, in the short term, often more likely to take the form of process-oriented software than gadget-laden hardware. When it comes to responsible sourcing and ethical labour, digital innovation is also both an enabler and a potential disruptor, as supply chain visibility is empowering public scrutiny, at the same time as it is supporting transparency in brands and business. By clicking the following link, you can read the full article , which explores, in depth and with insight from a range of expert commentators, exactly how and why:

‘Collaboration is key for supply chain innovation’.

The full 20-page Supply Chain Innovation report is available to view/download here.

Circularity: The word snowballing down from Davos

New writing… My latest piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – looks at the mood going into Davos and the messages coming out. Located high in the Swiss Alps, Davos is the exclusive venue for the influential annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). It is where thought-leaders and heavy-hitters from the worlds of politics, economics, business, celebrity and media gather together every January to debate the state of the planet and the big issues, most notably clmate change. Heading into this year’s get-together, the pressure was rising on the international community, particularly in light of the latest IPCC report and sluggish response by national governments to turn talk into action on global warming targets set out in the Paris Agreement. The good news was that the circular economy proved a big story at the summit, with the launch of the Circularity Gap Report 2019 (see video above) truly establishing and evidencing the link with climate change. (Full disclosure: I personally am listed as one of the Contributing Authors on the report.) To learn why a 1.5°C world has to be more than 9% circular, please visit The Hub via the link here and read about ‘Circularity: the word snowballing down from Davos

Skills & Employment: ‘Future of Engineering’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Engineering.

Demand for engineering skills in the UK could mean onboarding as many as 265,000 new recruits a year through to 2024, equivalent to the population of Plymouth, every 12 months. That is a lot of engineers. However, locked in the grip of a choking skills shortage right now, the engineering sector faces tough questions about how best to attract those new recruits and equip them for lifelong employment. What combination of soft skills and hard technical proficiency will prove a good fit in the modern working environment? Are UK universities and colleges providing graduates and leavers with the necessary mix? Are employers helping an ageing workforce adapt to the demands of an increasingly digital job spec? Could more be done to assist experienced engineers with transferable skillsets transition from declining industries into new markets? Is the Apprenticeship Levy a stealth tax, or a boon? For expert insights into what skills engineers of the future might need, you can read the full article here:

‘Soft Skills and Hard Truths in Employment’.

The full 16-page Future of Engineering report is available to view/download here.

Circularity: ‘Future of Construction’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Construction.

BAMB is on a mission: its goal is a systemic shift in sustainable building; its focus, construction waste and material consumption. As the name implies, Buildings as Material Banks (BAMB) reimagines a building as a dynamic repository of value, where tradable material assets can be deposited, data tracked, transferred and withdrawn. Three major changes support the BAMB vision for circular transition: change in design culture, value definition and collaboration. The question is, can a relatively traditional industry such as construction truly embrace the systemic change called for by a circular economy? What would such a shift mean in terms of technology, but more imporantly culture? Furthermore, how might it play out worldwide – across global development markets maturing at different speeds, with different histories of urbanisation? Getting down to project particulars, the article also includes a case study of an inner-city school in Swansea, Wales, which has just set new industry standards, achieving 99.87 per cent diversion from landfill. You can read more about both the scale of the material challenge and the exciting opportunities to close the circularity gap, here:

‘BAMB: Could this be the future for sustainable building?’.

The full 16-page Future of Construction & Development report is available to view/download here.

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