Green Construction Careers: James Dawson
As part of our series celebrating Green Careers Week, we spoke to James Dawson, a Go Construct STEM Ambassador and Head of Learning and Development at Keltbray. His work in overseeing and implementing content has been instrumental in raising awareness and helping to promote a culture of sustainable practices across Keltbray.
Can you tell us about your background and how you initially got involved in the construction industry?
James: “My background is Learning and Development, with extensive experience in the construction sectors. In my capacity as the Head of Learning and Development, while I may not have direct involvement in green construction projects, I have overseen the development and successful implementation of engaging sustainable construction content. This content has been instrumental in raising awareness and promoting a culture of sustainable practices across Keltbray.”
Can you share some examples of how your work has helped to shape and promote sustainability in the construction industry?
James: “I have overseen the development of a suite of e-learning modules which we have rolled out across our business via our learning management system. These modules cover a wide range of critical environmental and social sustainability topics, including Air Quality, Biodiversity, Carbon, Communities, Delivering social value on projects, Sustainable Procurement, and Waste Management.
Working closely with our sustainability team, I've ensured that our training programs align with the latest industry standards and best practices in sustainability, equipping our employees with the knowledge and skills required to contribute to green construction projects.
Recently, our department has been responsible for facilitating business-wide workshops, including those focused on Carbon Management. These workshops have played a crucial role in deepening understanding of carbon reduction strategies and their significance in sustainable construction practices.
I have also ensured sustainability is a central element of our graduate program with relevant topics integrated throughout its duration.”
How has the approach to sustainability in construction evolved?
James: “In terms of the evolution of sustainability in construction, I've witnessed a significant shift over the years. Sustainability has become an integral part of all stages of a construction project. Specifically, from a learning and development point of view, I believe that environmental and social impacts were historically overlooked in construction course syllabuses. However, that is no longer the case, and awareness of sustainability in construction topics is increasing, and I believe that the early introduction of this subject to newcomers in the industry is very beneficial.”
Which green construction trends do you predict will gain traction in the coming years?
James: “Looking ahead, I anticipate several green construction trends to gain traction in the coming years. These include a heightened focus on circular economy principles such as urban mining, promotion of reuse above recycling, and recertification of structural elements. My role is well-positioned to support the awareness of these trends by providing relevant learning and development opportunities, especially to individuals new to the construction industry.
I am excited about the positive direction in which the industry is heading and look forward to promoting these essential principles through education and training.”