Responsible Business, UK
With a deep-rooted passion for environmental sustainability since childhood, Giulia Jones brings her energy and ambitious drive to advance clients’ sustainability targets in her role as sustainability manager. In her constant pursuit to create better environments, Giulia is helping a growing portfolio of clients to implement new initiatives to drive sustainability and decarbonisation agendas.
- How did you get into what you do?
I have always been interested in environmental impacts from a young age. I was deeply moved by a high-profile documentary I watched on climate change when I was nine years old, that cemented my passion to pursue a path in sustainability. During my placement year, while studying for my degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, I secured work within the energy sector. I got involved in research projects on wave and tidal energy, as well as wind and solar schemes. It was an excellent learning experience and any questions I may have had about my future were erased.
The experience further fuelled my ambition for environmental change, and my dream of working in London became a reality when I got accepted on to Mace’s graduate scheme in 2016.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
I began as a graduate trainee project manager working in the private sector team. I had incredible opportunities for client interactions within my first month of joining and quickly developed knowledge in programme management, quality control, cost management and budgeting. Several months in, I was promoted to assistant project manager.
As I developed in the role, I knew that I wanted to align my personal passion for sustainability with impactful change for clients. So, thanks to my transferable skills and the amazing experience I had gained while at university, I reached out to Mace’s Responsible Business team, and when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance to join. Less than a year in, I became Sustainability Manager and since then I’ve had opportunities to expand my sustainability pathway and show my commitment to improving health and wellness in buildings by becoming a WELL adviser.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
- I’m committed to doing purpose driven work, so this role suits me well. It provides great variety and is extremely rewarding being part of a team where you can support clients in realising their sustainability ambitions. Having exposure to working on construction projects so early on in my training scheme was invaluable. In my consultative role, I can draw on those experiences and use the knowledge gained from a variety of projects, to advise on bids and client projects.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
- I am involved in projects advising clients on WELL standards, a subject close to my heart. It was being onsite for projects that brought to my attention the importance of the built environment on your health – after advising on three to four projects as a WELL assessor, it felt natural to pursue my WELL certification, completing it early on in 2020. Winning a project where we had advised on WELL standards for a global FMCG player, was not only exciting but a great milestone accomplished. I always wanted to influence positive environmental change and help drive a sustainability agenda, so to put ourselves in a position where we would be supporting the client in delivering their vision was incredibly fulfilling.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- I would say it’s being able to share your client’s vision – translating their needs and technical requirements requires an understanding of people and drawing out what’s vitally important to the project, so great communication is key. For the WELL aspects of the role, having an appreciation and passion for improving health in workplaces certainly helps to support client delivery.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- A knowledge of the built environment, along with transferable skills is very useful. Having a strategic mindset is a great approach to take. While you can pick up a lot of the technical skills, being able to think strategically and understand the business drivers and adapt in this fast-evolving field, is essential. I firmly believe that as consultants, we must dare to challenge. Only through healthy debate can you arrive at what’s best for the client.
- What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years
- I would love to continue my journey in Mace’s Responsible Business team and expand our reach across our global hubs. I’d like to be in a strategic advisory position where I look after client portfolios supporting on delivery with their decarbonisation goals.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
- After leaving school, I was keen to see if my passion for sustainability, environmental change, and improving communities was sound enough to base my career on. To find out, I volunteered for a month-long programme in Uganda, working on a building refurbishment to create an extra classroom for a primary school. A year later, I volunteered on a construction project in Zambia, to dig the foundation for a hospital. Needless to say, both schemes contributed to my fondness for this industry and affirmed it was for me.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
- I loved theatre and drama at school so I would have loved performing in the theatre on the West End.
“I firmly believe that as consultants, we must dare to challenge. Only through healthy debate can you arrive at what’s best for the client. ”