Net Zero Week Spotlight: Ali Ratcliffe

22 July, 2021


What is your role at Pick Everard and how long have you been here?

I’m currently fulfilling two very different roles; heading up the London sustainability team and leading on a significant publicly funded commission targeting near zero operational carbon, reduced embodied carbon & BREEAM Outstanding.  It’s a constant juggle but will be worth it in the end to have been such an instrumental part of the design!


What inspired you to specialise in sustainability after your architecture degree?

I would be lying if I said I was inspired – I didn’t enjoy the arty side of architecture so wanted to focus on science based design which funnelled me into renewable energy in the built environment. The rest is history…


What have you learned as you’ve progressed in your career?

 I’ve learned that a can do attitude opens doors! Opportunities come to those who put in the extra mile or provide that little bit extra for a person whether that be a colleague or client.


What is your proudest accomplishment so far in your career?

We are working with the MoJ on four new prisons, supporting them in achieving their target of a net zero carbon estate and I’m proud to be leading on the design commission, driving to meet their sustainability objectives.


Why is embedding sustainability into all our activities in the built environment so important?

We need to be embedding sustainability now so that we can allow for incremental change on our net zero journey; if we leave it any later the implementation will have to be dramatic and incomprehensible in scale.  The small changes we make from now will mean we’re on the right path to the government’s 2050 net zero targets.


What does the construction industry need to do in order to make meaningful changes for a net zero carbon future?

The construction industry needs to maintain momentum, it needs to continue to ‘talk the talk’ but also progress ‘walking the walk’.  We now need to deliver what we have all been talking about for the last few years.


Why should the younger generation look towards a career in sustainability services, and where should they start?

A good place to start would be being passionate about sustainability and the drive to succeed.  There is no greater opportunity in the construction industry to have a meaningful impact at this moment in time so it’s one of the few areas of growth within construction where we can all meaningfully contribute.



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