BE-ST strengthens leadership team to drive zero carbon ambition

Douglas Morrison. (Photo © Andy Buchanan)

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BUILT Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) has named Douglas Morrison as its new deputy CEO, supporting the innovation centre’s commitment to accelerating sustainable transformation across the built environment.

The newly created leadership position reflects BE-ST’s increasingly important role in the transition to zero carbon across the construction and built environment ecosystem, with a new dedicated decarbonisation mission unveiled earlier this year.

Douglas will enable the BE-ST team to deliver impact through its ambitious transformation programmes, offering strategic direction to help the sector implement sustainable construction practices at the speed needed to tackle climate change.

The new position builds on a string of recent appointments across the BE-ST team and headcount growth of around 20%, with the expansion reflecting the scale of the decarbonisation challenge, as well as the increasing impact of the innovation centre across the sector. Recent appointments include Sara Edmonds, one of the UK’s leading voices on climate action in the built environment.

Having joined BE-ST as director of operations and future skills in 2020, Douglas became impact director in 2021. He has a wide range of experience in the construction and education sectors, having previously spent 16 years with City of Glasgow College following an apprenticeship in stonemasonry. 

Douglas remains active across both sectors with board and ambassadorial positions at South Lanarkshire College, Skills Development Scotland (Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan Group), the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Construction Leadership Forum, and Circular Glasgow. He is also a fellow of the Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange and a member of the Young Academy of Scotland.  

Commenting on his new role, Douglas Morrison said: “Over the past year, BE-ST has matured and evolved to position itself firmly at the heart of a more sustainable built environment. My new role is a part of that too, signalling investment in our wider ambition and helping us to broaden and deepen the level of support we can offer the sector to support decarbonisation.”

“I’m passionate about addressing skills gaps, promoting diversity and tackling the wider climate agenda, which play into all of BE-ST’s programmes of activity. As part of a progressive, impact-driven leadership team, our aim is to inspire and encourage stakeholders across every area of the sector to deliver change.” 

“This is exciting chapter for BE-ST and I look forward to helping to build a purposeful, mission-led centre of excellence that can empower and encourage the entire built environment to adopt new, zero carbon processes, materials and ways of working.”

As deputy CEO, Douglas will drive the team at BE-ST to deliver core programmes and Accelerate to Zero, BE-ST’s roadmap to a zero carbon built environment by 2045. He will also support the CLF’s Construction Accord, a new shared vision between the public sector and the industry to improve outcomes for businesses and employees across the sector, including procurement and supply chain practices as well as focusing on sustainability, digital transformation and diversity.

Andy Outram, chair of BE-ST, added: “Douglas has played a significant role in BE-ST’s recent evolution and, as deputy CEO, he will further contribute to the overarching mission to accelerate zero carbon transformation. Douglas is one of the most exciting, forward thinking, inspiring leaders not only in the sector but across Scotland more widely, and indeed the UK. He is exactly the type of progressive leader needed to address the serious issues we are tackling today.”

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