Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Chris Landsburgh, Wills Bros Ltd

This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Wills Bros Ltd's environmental and sustainability manager Chris Landsburgh.

Chris joined Wills Bros Ltd in 2018 and has quickly risen up the ranks to lead his own team

Chris joined Wills Bros Ltd in 2018 and has quickly risen up the ranks to lead his own team

The future of business leadership starts right here. Earlier this year, edie unveiled the second cohort of members of its 30 Under 30 initiative – a group of bright and ambitious rising sustainability and energy stars from across the UK.

After being nominated by their colleagues and impressing judges from Global Action Plan and the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS), this cohort of youthful visionaries now benefit from an unrivalled opportunity to connect with one another and co-develop solutions to some of the most pressing environmental and social challenges of our time.

In this weekly series, we will be sharing their stories and successes beyond the group, giving edie readers insight into the minds of those who will be leading the charge in creating the low-carbon, resource-efficient economies of the future.

This week, it's the turn of Chris Landsburgh, who leads the environmental, carbon and sustainability team at civil engineering contractor Wills Bros Ltd. 

How I got to where I am now:

“I've been working for about ten years in the environmental engineering sector and I now manage a very motivated team of environmental and sustainability professionals at Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd.

“Following an undergraduate degree in environmental management and planning, I achieved a graduate position at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in Watford, London. Here I gained insight into a variety of engineering projects worldwide, each looking to push the boundaries of best practice in terms of sustainability. These included projects in the Arab Emirates, Eastern Europe and Malaysia, and some closer to home, like Crossrail and HS2.

“Whilst at the BRE, I worked on developing standards and regulations for carbon, energy and the overall sustainability of assets. I was also involved in structural and concrete material engineering as well as acoustics, water and air tightness testing. I was very lucky to learn from many of the industry’s leading experts about the technical aspects of engineering and the opportunities for embedding energy conservation and sustainability within engineering.

“With the skills from my degree and experience from the BRE, and completing a master's degree in civil engineering, I gained a position at Wills Bros Civil Engineering, now leading the Environmental, Carbon and Sustainability team. Since arriving at Wills Bros, I have been surrounded by a knowledgeable and motivational team who wish to excel in delivering sustainable and resilient infrastructure. 

“This driven, collaborative and sustainable setting has allowed Wills Bros to deliver many successful civil engineering projects in the UK, whilst becoming the first UN Certified Carbon Neutral Contractor in the world. We’ve also been shortlisted for several edie 2020 and 2021 awards.”

My biggest career achievement to date has been:

“Becoming a Chartered Environmentalist with IEMA and the Society for the Environment.

“This globally recognised career achievement has unlocked a multitude of opportunities for me, including promotion to my current position, being appointed as an Institution of Civil Engineers' President Future Leader; winning the Newcomer Chartered Environmentalist of the Year with the Society for the Environment, and being part of the team who updated industry’s Infrastructure Carbon Review.”

If I had to describe my generation in one word or phrase, I would say:

“Agile.”

A successful year in 2020-21 for me looks like:

“My year has started with three C’s - collaboration, carbon reduction and Covid-19. A successful year to me would see growth in the first two areas and see the world moving forward leaving the third behind us.”

Outside of my career, I enjoy:

“Spending time with family and keeping fit with the gym. It’s challenging at the moment because of coronavirus.”

My ‘Mission Possible’ message for business is:

“Seek opportunity in adversity, collaborate with others and plan for the unpredictable. 

“Regardless of nation, sector, age, gender or race, we are all currently fighting a common enemy. Whilst looking at how we can cope with this adversity, we should consider whether an opportunity exists to transform ourselves and our businesses. It's time to take a step back, reflect on current challenges and progress sustainably. To do this we need to collaborate as an industry to fortify businesses for both a net-zero future and any future adversity.”

My key piece of advice for any young professionals entering my industry today is:

“It’s a quick-moving industry, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. No question is a stupid one. You’ll learn from asking them, and you don't need to be an expert at everything. 

“There is an ancient proverb that says 'he who asks questions remains a fool for five minutes. He who does not remains a fool forever’.”

The full Class of 2020 membership is detailed here

To stay in the loop for 2021 nominations for the 30 Under 30, email edieleaders@fav-house.com.

edie Staff



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