Does our industry plan on leaving a legacy?
“In our industry, we don’t often talk much about brand values. Our organisations tend to be defined by the things that we do, the bridges we build and the tarmac we put on roads. It could be part of the reason that the industry finds it hard to shake off its sometime narrow focus on project delivery and price.
But take a step back and look at the impact the industry has on the UK economy and the quality of life of its citizens. The industry has over 2.5m people working to create and maintain assets that typically have a long lifespan. The decisions and actions we take have far reaching implications. Like it or not, we are all leaving a legacy of some kind, and we have a degree of choice over whether or not that legacy is a positive one.
As an industry, it could be argued that we need to get to a state where it is natural for us to take a broader view and consider sustainability for future generations. It isn’t just about creating a building to a specification but considering how it will feel to live in, work in or use that building in thirty, forty or more years’ time.
Leaving a legacy also means using the massive pool of expertise, skills and resources the industry possesses to help organisations that support our communities.
One of the projects Osborne carried out was the two storey extension of the Demelza Hospice make a real difference, in this case to the lives of seriously ill children and their families.
As an industry- the way we engage with communities, helps us to understand the impact, we have on their lives, for example, how our projects may affect them.
Developments, and even the social value delivered alongside them, shouldn’t be imposed with a sense of ‘we know best what you need.’ We need to deeply understand what is needed, through honest conversations and engagement.
Our approach also helps our workforce to gain the satisfaction of knowing they are engaged in meaningful work which will make a difference to how people feel and live.
Our focus on sustainability and legacy is leading our business increasingly towards better construction methods and more sustainable facilities management. This is a legacy we can be proud of.”
Mike Todd is Lead Business Development Manager for Infrastructure at Osborne.