Luisa Ramos Steiner Mace headshot
Mace People

Luisa Ramos Steiner

Senior Sustainability Manager

Construction, UK

Driven by her ambition to make net zero a priority across the entire built environment, Luisa Ramos Steiner is helping Mace to build a more sustainable world. Introduced to the built environment at an early age, she has developed her expertise in green building with an international education and experience working with private sector clients on high profile projects, like Edge London Bridge, billed London’s greenest office tower once completed.   

How did you get into what you do?

My grandfather and my dad both worked in construction in Florianópolis, Brazil, where I am from and, in school, I was really good at maths and physics. So, when it came to choosing a degree, civil engineering came naturally to me. 

Fortunately, during my engineering studies back home, I was awarded a scholarship by the Brazilian government and got the chance to study and do an internship in the United States. At Pennsylvania State University was where I was first able to focus on sustainable engineering, researching and developing BIM models specifically for energy analysis. Later, to deepen my understanding, I obtained a Masters in Building and Architectural Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in Italy, specialising in sustainable building design and management.

Before joining Mace, I was at Foster + Partners, setting sustainability strategies into some incredible designs for early-stage projects.

Why Mace?

Mace was a perfect match – combining my construction background with a passion for creating a more sustainable built environment. Mace places sustainability at the heart of every project, and so I joined the Responsible Business team within the Construct Engine, where there is continuous scope to apply and expand upon my expertise.

I strongly believe that sustainability can’t simply be added on top of an existing project; it must be a mindset that is present at every level of the company and in every decision during the design and construction process. Even as an outsider looking in, it was clear to me that Mace had sustainability embedded in its culture. I saw the board’s engagement with sustainability and how vocal they are about it; it demonstrated that it’s as big of a priority for the business as it is for me.

How do you redefine the boundaries of ambition?
As a team, we can take sustainability in construction further because of how important it is to Mace. This is exemplified by the fact that we assess procurement options on their carbon intensity as well their cost. 

Our early-engagement approach as a contractor enhances the opportunities and possibilities we have for reducing a project’s carbon footprint and increasing circularity. It’s much more effective to be brought into a project in the design phase as we can involve different stakeholders and experts. Because of this, oftentimes I’m able to support teams to maximize prefabrication, or implement a closed loop scheme. It’s really rewarding to be able to identify new carbon savings and allow project teams to propose even more ambitious sustainability targets.
What motivates you everyday?

The impact I can have on the world; I’m passionate about making a positive difference to the environment through the way we build.

I’m also driven by the opportunity to help others on their journeys. Coming from a different culture, I overcame many obstacles to get to where I am today. I’d like to be an inspiration to others, particularly women in STEM, to showcase what’s possible in my field, empowering people to pursue their aspirations like I have done, and to offer support as I have received, regardless of their starting point. Even though I come from a small island in the south of Brazil, I’ve come this far and have a lot more to achieve.

What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love spending time with my family and friends. Since my family is split between Florianópolis and Amsterdam, we don't get to meet frequently, but we stay connected and make the most of our face-to-face time. I’m also a foodie, and I love traveling and getting to know different cultures, especially through their cuisine.
If you hadn’t got into this line of work, what do you think you might be doing?
If I could go back in time, I might have ended up designing sports cars today. Ever since I was a child, I have had a passion for cars and motorbikes – I knew every detail about them even as a kid (which made my dad very happy)! When I was about ten, my parents brought my sister and me to the São Paulo International Motor Show and I loved it. I still have the Ferrari and Porsche booklets from that visit – these booklets are over 20 years old and probably belong in a museum. 
Luisa Ramos Steiner Mace headshot

“As a team, we can take sustainability in construction further because of how important it is to Mace… Our early-engagement approach enhances the opportunities and possibilities we have for reducing a project’s carbon footprint and increasing circularity.”