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UKGBC appoints new chief executive

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has appointed industry trailblazer, Smith Mordak, as its incoming Chief Executive.

Mordak will take on the role on 1 June 2023, with a handover from Julie Hirigoyen, who will be standing down after over eight years at the helm.

Over six months, the Board of Trustees conducted a rigorous and extensive search process to find the right person and says Mordak brings a wealth of industry knowledge, deep technical expertise, first-hand insights as a longstanding member of UKGBC, and plenty of fresh ideas to the role, at this critical moment in time, as it continues to drive ambitious transformation across the sector.

Mordak, currently Director of Sustainability and Physics at Buro Happold is an award-winning architect, engineer, curator, and writer, working across disciplines to realise a regenerative economy and built environment.

Their career has centred on creating and implementing strategies for the transition to a healthy, fair and sustainable built environment, and has included leading roles in architecture and engineering firms including Buro Happold, Webb Yates Engineers, and Studio Weave. Mordak is also a driving force behind numerous industry initiatives, including as Board Member for the Journal of City Climate Policy and Economy and The Architecture Foundation, and as a nationally elected Councillor at RIBA. In addition, Mordak is a regular and well-respected thought leader across a range of media including Dezeen, the Architects’ Journal and The Guardian.

Commenting on their new appointment, Mordak said: “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the amazing team, trustees, and membership at UKGBC. I’m looking forward to building on the charity’s extraordinary body of work and Julie’s inimitable legacy. We live in existentially challenging times. Our actions over the next few years will have an outsized impact on the Earth’s ecosystems and on many generations to come. I’m honoured that I’ll be playing my part in this crucial period as part of this powerful, change-making coalition.”

Sunand Prasad, Chair of the Board of Trustees commented: “UKGBC is delighted to appoint Smith Mordak as our new Chief Executive. We look forward to their leadership of the team in this critical period for taking urgent and effective action to limit and reverse environmental degradation. Smith combines a deep, science based and systemic understanding of the climate emergency with a clear sighted, principled and pragmatic approach for what needs to be done in response. From founding an innovative, award-winning design practice to helping a major international consultancy, Smith has consistently shown imagination and determination in achieving change. Along the way they have been active in significant industry initiatives to achieve an equitable and lasting transformation of the built environment to a sustainable and regenerative model.

“I would also like, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, to give heartfelt thanks to Julie Hirigoyen for her eight amazing years as CEO. She has been an outstanding leader, growing consensus around the urgent need for action on the climate and biodiversity crises, building a highly effective and networked organisation equal to its critical mission, as well as steering UKGBC adeptly through times of global crisis. We wish Julie every success in her future endeavours.”

In view of the pivotal moment in time for UKGBC’s mission, as well as a changing political landscape, the Board of Trustees is also taking the opportunity to further strengthen the executive team. Simon McWhirter, current Director of Communications, Policy and Places will move into a Deputy Chief Executive role – with a laser focus across international, national and local policy work.

2023 FMJ and Grundon Recycling and Waste Management Survey

FMJ in conjunction with Grundon Waste Management is pleased to launch the 2023 waste management and recycling survey which examines the ways in which FMs approach their waste management responsibilities.

In this, the sixth year for the annual appraisal, we know there is a greater opportunity than ever for FMs to reappraise their waste and recycling operations and help their organisations meet the growing pressure to achieve ESG goals.

We want to learn how FMs have adapted to the legislative, economic and societal changes of the past year and how they plan to meet the latest waste and recycling targets.

In this survey we’ve posed a series of questions which include insights into FMs’ waste management strategy and targets, how they’re moving towards zero waste targets, and the importance of not just meeting compliance targets but also ESG goals.

The results of the 2023 survey will be published in FMJ magazine and form the basis of a white paper co-written by FMJ and the experts at Grundon on how to approach waste and recycling strategies.

To take part click here.

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