Mark Bawtree has joined Akila as Head of Global Sales & ESG. With 18 years of executive experience working with cutting-edge renewable technologies for decarbonizing the world, Mark is committed to supporting clients in achieving carbon reduction targets and ESG goals.
We sat down with Mark to talk about his understanding of ESG and his mission to make buildings and cities better for the people and the environment.
How did you get involved in the world of ESG?
It was very much grassroots and, in hindsight, a natural progression with the requirements in the market. I was handling clients looking at Green Building Certifications, IoT building monitoring, sustainable materials and Energy Auditing. Many times my clients had a lot of great ideas and projects around sustainability, but no real overall strategy and visibility on what they really should be striving towards. So we started to ‘audit’ their activities, creating a GAP analysis to enable the key stakeholders to visualize what was happening across the organization in line with their peers and international standard of scopes. We could then support our clients in setting targets and creating short, medium and long-term plans for the implementation of actions to achieve them.
What’s your mission at Akila?
To keep it simple my mission is to educate and support all our clients in the power of data for enabling informed decision making, creating cost savings, and achieving decarbonization targets for their buildings.
What have you learned from your past work that could be applied to Akila?
I have 18 years of technical sales for sustainable and renewable cutting-edge technologies, primarily looking at helping my clients to solve problems, which many times combined educating and close development to provide the solution needed to achieve their targets. I believe all of these aspects enable me to support solutions-based sales using the Akila system to reduce the impact of buildings on the environment.
For you, what is the most exciting thing about digital twin, and Akila specifically?
Apart from a Digital twin looking cool, what blew me away when I was first introduced to Akila was how cross-functional the platform which makes it incredibly powerful when tied into real-time performance and control of the building. This allows Akila to run a wide range of simulations to look at a targeted solution for improvements in the operations of each building. Then once implemented in the physical building either through automated control or improved operational performance Akila can show the impact of those changes either in cost savings and/or carbon reduction.
What is the biggest misunderstanding about ESG? And what would you tell people to correct it?
The general belief is that ESG is incredibly complicated as it touches so many aspects of an organization, and it can seem that way, as not one solution fits all. In fact, it is actually very straightforward. It just requires organizations to start on their journey by initially establishing a framework around their existing ESG activities and identifying what they want to achieve with a structured strategy with short to long-term goals.
With people spending 90% of their time indoors, one of the simplest short-term goals for decarbonization and energy reduction is to fully understand how an organization’s buildings operate to be able to optimize the operations and improve thermal comfort levels.
What’s on top of your agenda in the coming months?
Well, I have definitely jumped into the deep end here, which while scary is very exciting at the same time. So due to the number of competencies of the Akila system, I believe the coming months for me to really build my, the team’s and our client’s understanding of all the benefits of the Akila system and how the system can support our ESG goals not just at the beginning, but throughout the whole journey of decarbonization.