People News

Our People: Katherine Adair.


Supporting sustainable policy development in the South West.

Katherine joined us in 2017 and works in our Bristol office as a Senior Sustainability Consultant.

I have always been interested…

…in the environment in some way or another. As a kid I always loved being outside surrounded by nature.

I first learnt about climate change and environmental degradation in secondary school. It shocked me how easy it is to damage our world. This is when I knew I wanted to play my part in preserving it.

When I started at university…

…my main interest was marine biology and conservation. At the University of Plymouth I read for a BSc in Environmental Science and an MSc in Sustainable Environmental Management. We looked at a range of topics including water quality, ecology, climate change, and waste management etc. I had grand ambitions to live out my dreams on a tropical archipelago saving critically endangered wildlife!

While completing my education…

…my interests certainly widened, and I became more aware of the broader sustainability issues facing our planet and society. I then decided that I wanted to branch out into sustainability in a broader way. So, just over three years ago I applied to the Graduate Programme here at Hoare Lea and I haven’t looked back since.

My role spans several areas…

…but the two I’m most passionate about are the circular economy and health and wellbeing.

Manufacturing accounts for a significant proportion of our emissions and the built environment accounts for around 60% of all materials used in the UK! There needs a fundamental shift from a linear model of make, use, dispose, to a circular model where the economy functions through re-using the materials we currently have.

I also enjoy seeing the influence that the built environment can have on individual’s health and wellbeing. Now, more than ever, it’s a high priority. Air quality, good daylight, access to nature and flexible living all play a part.

I do a lot of work with the WELL building standard, supporting its implementation on projects. The aim is to show that good design and management can provide multiple benefits for all stakeholders.

I’m now going on secondment…

…to the UK Green Building Council as their Local Network Coordinator for Bristol and the South West. I’ll being doing this part-time alongside my usual role.

It’s a fantastic opportunity and excited to get started.

My role will focus on engaging with key stakeholders in the region to facilitate discussion and policy development in areas such as net zero carbon, social value, circular economy and much more.

In my spare time…

…I tend to spend a lot of time walking (rain or shine!). The north Devonshire beaches and south west coastal path are personal favourites.

I’m also two and a half years into a long-term project to reform our very neurotic but very fluffy and well-intentioned rescue border collie, Kobe.