Episode 4 explores the critical, and at times unenviable, role of policy in production and consumption. Buildings and construction activity represent about 40% of global CO2 emissions. Douglas Morrison shares Scotland’s progressive policies towards a net zero built environment, with some caveats: while the public sector is responsible for 40-50% of construction investment in Scotland, procurement models are still driven by economic value, not outcomes. Today, the design phase generates over 10% of waste and we do not necessarily expect to re-use materials at the end of a building’s life span. By limiting our choices to components that are rated for high performance and designed to reduce waste, we can make a significant impact. Such standardisation is driven by policy, and need not stymie creativity. In Scotland’s unfolding green, inclusive and sustainable growth agenda, there is deliberate alignment across the global SDGs and national, regional, local and sectoral policies. Such a holistic and integrated approach can only take place when government, industry, academia and experts collaborate. If anything, Covid-19 has contributed to this cohesion. At the same time, governments have to be held to account. In Gerald Asbroek’s view, corporations will try to “bend, twist, slide and move” policies, but policymakers and regulators must have teeth. Douglas argues that while consumers are driven by cost, they must embrace their role as global citizens. That includes recognising the impact of construction on the environment, accepting re-purposed materials and assets, decarbonising heat and energy, and pushing back on greenwashing, “a rising trend where businesses are making claims that they cannot substantiate”.
Sonwabise Sebata advocates for policy to be equitable and inclusive in formulation and implementation. That will lead to the prevention of policies that damage people and planet, and also ensure nobody is left behind.
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Director of Operations and Future Skills at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre
Douglas Morrison is the Director of Operations and Future Skills at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre. He is responsible for supporting the construction industry in Scotland to embrace transformational change through the adoption of modern methods of construction, investment in skills, and changes in policy and investment strategies. He holds a master’s degree in Educational Technology and is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) candidate researching gender, habitus, and occupational segregation in the construction industry at the University of Strathclyde. Douglas also acts as a Fellow of the Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange and is a member of the Young Academy of Scotland. Douglas holds several ambassadorial, committee and representative roles with organisations including Scottish Funding Council, Construction Leadership Forum, Circular Glasgow, and the Glasgow Economic Leadership Group.
Founder at Fiera Group Australia
Gerald Asbroek is an experienced building maintenance professional, maintaining a vast array of structures operated by Australia’s largest winemaking group for the first 19 years of his working life. Spending almost 2 decades designing and constructing winemaking operations he assisted in bringing 74 modern wineries throughout Australia and the world come to life. Some of his milestones were taking Australia to France in the form of modular winery designs, built supplied and shipped to France. He lead a hard-working team of men from Australia along with placing his trust in Australian companies such as Ahrens, BHP, James Contracting, Teralba many fellow Australian companies demonstrated what Australia was prepared to do in a historical winemaking region in France.
Senior Manager for Global Policy and Government Affairs, Global Citizen
As the Senior Manager for Global Policy and Government Affairs for Southern and East Africa, Sonwabise identifies, shapes and delivers on new financial and policy commitments in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals across Southern and East Africa, leading on campaign outreaches with governments and policy makers. She delivers on Global Citizen’s policy, advocacy and campaign strategies, and looks after key stakeholder relations in the region. She is a former Diplomat having been posted to the South African High Commission in New Delhi, India and has also worked for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in South Africa. Prior to joining Global Citizen, Sonwabise worked in the tech industry for global companies Refinitiv, Thomson Reuters and Cisco respectively. She has a strong passion for how technology can be used to bridge the global inequality gap.