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Take steps towards sustainability, start now


Today David Lindsay our Head of Procurement in our Property Management team headed to the Green Zone at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. Here David tells us what he has taken away from today’s event.

What was the most interesting discussion you attended today at COP26’s Green Zone and why?

Scott Foster, the director of Sustainable Energy at the UN spoke on a panel titled “Commercial Buildings: A real asset in addressing climate change?” He spoke about the need to change the approach to energy. He pointed out that while energy is sold as kWh there is no real motivation to change the model, whereas when the environment of the building is the service provided, the heating, cooling, and humidity, then there is a greater connection to the sustainability and energy reduction that is needed to achieve the goals. That and he used one of my favourite poems “the road not taken” by Robert Frost as an analogy for the journey ahead – we need to choose the less-travelled way to find the answers – relying on incremental changes in what has always been done won’t get us there in time.

Was there a single quote or fact that really stood out to you?

I think it was the repetition of the concept/statistic that my colleague Andres Guzman mentioned earlier this week at the Climate Action Sustainability Innovation Forum panel, that 80% of the buildings which will be standing in 2050 have already been built and there is a need to recognise the challenge in retrofitting and decarbonising the existing building stock to support the net zero targets. We need to recognise that both the buildings and the systems within them are key to achieving our goals and involve the whole supply chain from manufacturers of efficient systems, through maintenance and operation, to power supply to minimise the building footprint and drive towards net zero.

What do you think our clients should take away from today’s conference?

Just start doing something! As a few speakers noted, the right answer hasn’t been found for every building in every scenario, but taking that first step and continually reviewing your direction and progress is key to beginning the journey to net zero. 

How will your work change because of what you’ve heard today? 

We will continue to work with the supply chain to partner with companies who are aligned with our clients’ goals of achieving net zero. This is encompassed in our whole procurement process already, from supplier selection through sustainability and social value duties in our agreements, to specific SLAs which measure carbon footprint. We will work with the supply chain to identify and implement key initiatives to support the reduction of the carbon footprint for our clients.


About the author:

David Lindsay is a senior supply chain leader with global expertise in strategic sourcing and process improvement.

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David Lindsay

Head of Procurement

Investment Property Management


Senior supply chain leader with global expertise in strategic sourcing, process improvement, category management, supplier relationship management, continuous improvement, risk & project management.

Excellent track record in delivering sustainable increased value through whole life cost reduction, supply chain development, contract negotiation & improvement activities.

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