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SGP appoints new Sustainability Lead to drive ESG goals


2nd December 2022

Stephen George + Partners (SGP) has appointed Simon Matthews as the AJ100 practice’s new Sustainability Lead. Simon is already a member of SGP’s Social Responsibility Group and one of the leads for SGP’s Better Buildings programme, a free interactive toolkit to introduce primary school children to the importance of building sustainably.

Simon’s developing role of Sustainability Lead will now focus on four key areas:

– Net Zero

– Social responsibility

– Knowledge sharing

– Engagement with clients

Explains Simon: “I see these elements flowing seamlessly into each other. At SGP, we have received accreditation with Planet Mark for our own carbon reduction efforts and are committed to continuing our pursuit of Net Zero. We actively promote social responsibility as a core value of the company through internal focus groups and external community programmes. With these in place, we are sharing our sustainability knowledge within the company and externally, particularly engaging with clients and challenging them, where appropriate, to expand their own sustainability ambitions. I firmly believe that engagement and communication are the forces that will drive SGP’s sustainability and ESG programme, and help us achieve our Net Zero aims.”

Simon has identified three broad stages to achieving SGP’s sustainability goals: Awareness – Activity – Results. Since gaining Planet Mark accreditation in 2019, SGP has applied time and resources to raising awareness of sustainability across the practice, by developing initiatives such as the Chair and Share discussion forums and supporting the growth of the Building Group. Now focus moves for the coming year is to increasing activity around sustainability, encompassing engagement with clients, further adoption of sustainability principles on projects, and integration of ESG considerations into the teams’ workflows.

Continues Simon: “I trust the third stage, the results, will follow. Experience shows us that building a sustainable and resilient environment is vital for present and future generations. We developed SGP’s education programmes, SGP + You and Better Buildings, because as architects, we have a priceless opportunity to excite the passion to embed sustainable thinking in, literally, the fabric of our built environment. Construction is responsible for some 40% of global CO2 emissions and we at SGP have the knowledge and experience to be a partner and critical (in both senses of word) contributor in helping our clients deliver low carbon solutions.”

In recognition of their journey to date, SGP is delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist in two categories in the prestigious Planet Mark awards, which recognise companies and individuals that have gone above and beyond in finding more sustainable solutions. SGP has won a place in the final three in the Community Engagement section for its Better Buildings Programme and for Simon himself in the Game Changer category. The Awards, sponsored by Prologis, will take place on Thursday 19 January 2023.