NEWS / Blog / How has climate changed your role?


27 OCT 2021


Tom Worthington on the ACE Emerging Professionals' project exploring how Net Zero has changed careers


fter what feels like the world’s longest introduction, COP26 is now only days away. This is a critical decade for climate change and the outcomes of the conference in Glasgow are vital if we are to meet global Net Zero ambitions.

The upcoming conference has shone the spotlight on my area of work, sustainability, and with colleagues from ACE’s Emerging Professionals, we agreed that there was a great opportunity to use this interest to inspire others to become more engaged in our industry.

With this in mind, we approached 25 industry professionals and asked them the simple question of how climate change has already impacted on their career. The varied testimonials range from graduates all the way to managing directors. They work for ACE members, clients, in technology or in academia and their responses reveal how our collective move to Net Zero has already positively influenced their day-to-day work. 

Climate Changing the Built Environment pulls all of these testimonials together and demonstrates how people from all professional backgrounds are contributing to meeting this challenge, while highlighting the broad skillsets that are being used to tackle the climate crisis.

We wanted to shine a light on the incredible work of a fantastic group of passionate professionals, who are all working towards achieving Net Zero in very different ways. Tom Worthington, project leader

It is also an excellent way of raising the profile of the ongoing decarbonisation work that is already underway and which sometimes get lost in the all the noise and hot air around climate. I’m very proud that we were able to provide a positive platform for all the professionals who all – rightly – value the hugely important work they are doing.

Far too often in the mainstream media, the narrative is a negative one that not enough is being done. We wanted to shine a light on the incredible work of a fantastic group of passionate professionals, who are all working towards achieving Net Zero in very different ways. For this reason, the report comes across as a breath of fresh air in a crowded space.

We also wanted to inspire others to want to do more and use the report to demonstrate to recent university leavers and those looking for a career with purpose, that the built environment is full of great opportunities for them. Our sector is full of great minds and problem solvers working for organisations that want to make the world a better place.

We should be proud of all the work we have done to date in this space, and I hope that Climate Changing the Built Environment allows, in our own small way to pay tribute to what we’ve already achieved, while inspiring others to join us as we seek the solutions to society’s biggest challenge to date, how to deliver a Net Zero future.

 Tom Worthington is Sustainability and Carbon Consultant at Atkins and project-leader for the ACE Emerging Professionals project, Climate Changing the Built Environment.

Tom Worthington

Tom Worthington

Climate Changing the Built Environment lead

Tom is also sustainability and carbon consultant at Atkins.


Climate Changing the Built Environment

October 2021

Ahead of COP26, group for next generation of leaders considers how Net Zero is inspiring career choices.