Interview with Dusty Gedge
Dusty Gedge, President of the European Federation of Green Roof and Walls Association and
keynote speaker at the 2018 BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards answers our burning questions
Q Dusty, in your talk at the recent
BIG awards you said that you had
been impressed by the enthusiasm
and commitment demonstrated in
this year’s applications. Feedback from
judges also indicated that they were
seeing year-on-year improvements in
the standards of the submissions.
Is this a trend that you are also
seeing in the wider industry?
Considering I have been involved in
biodiversity in the construction industry
for well over 20 years, I am noticing a
real improvement in how the industry
responds to the biodiversity challenge.
10 years ago, a tree and a lawn were
considered good for nature, but looking
through all the shortlisted projects,
there is real meaningful biodiversity
Q Biodiversity has enjoyed a higher
profile within the industry in recent
years. What do you believe has
contributed to this?
There are many factors here. BREEAM
has increased the level of ecological
implementation, along with planning
conditions specific to biodiversity. Also,
a lot of big companies have a Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) approach
that incorporates the delivery of good
projects for biodiversity. And we must
not forget the ‘biodiversity action plan
process’. Governmental organisations
particularly have embedded the delivery
of biodiversity in their processes. This
leads to contractors having to deal
with the issue in a positive manner. An
example here is the Highways Agency.
Q As an environmental advisor, how
do you overcome perceptions and
concerns over the costs of installing
and maintaining such features? Is this
Cost always comes up as an issue, but
mostly the costs are counter-intuitive
and actually lead to cost savings.
The more competent contractors
recognise this. Also, any cost increase is
recognised as value and, thankfully, the
delivery of biodiversity is increasingly
seen as important.
Q What measures are you seeing to ensure
that developments are not only providing
green space, but an environment that
contributes to biodiversity?