My Business: Alex Greenwood, Carbon Energy Team Lead for Energy at Mott MacDonald

Carbon Management Team Lead for Energy Alex Greenwood takes Energy Focus behind the scenes at Mott MacDonald.

Alex Greenwood

Can you tell us a little about Mott MacDonald?

Mott MacDonald is an employee-owned engineering, development and management consultancy, with nearly 20,000 people across the world. We plan, design, deliver and care for the infrastructure that society depends on – energy, transport, water and buildings. We apply digital innovation and technical excellence to improve outcomes for clients, society and the environment.

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How is a day in your role?

I am the Team Lead for Carbon Management in our Energy unit.

We work on a variety of client projects, including greenhouse gas inventories, whole-life carbon assessment for infrastructure, setting net-zero strategies and impact assessments. My role varies from day to day, depending on the projects I’m working on. I enjoy the diversity of my role, having to switch gears from reviewing reports on decarbonisation pathways to getting into the detail of a carbon footprint calculation. I work closely with my team, which spans three different time zones. We collaborate virtually to deliver projects for clients across the globe.

Mott Macdonald office London_CREDIT-Alamy

What are your daily challenges?

One of the biggest challenges we still face in 2024 is justifying the value of carbon management in complex infrastructure projects, especially balancing carbon reduction with other drivers such as construction cost and delivery time. Thankfully, the necessity for carbon management services is facing less scrutiny. Yet, challenges persist in how we help deliver real action on decarbonisation amid budget constraints and shifting political landscapes, when effective carbon reduction is still sometimes seen as optional. In such instances, having a supportive network to exchange experiences and ideas proves invaluable.

What’s your favourite part of working at Mott MacDonald?

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The most rewarding aspect is undoubtedly my team. Collaborating with brilliant and passionate people is an enriching experience, allowing me to absorb valuable insights and knowledge. Moreover, being involved in nurturing the next cohort of consultants, equipped with qualifications in carbon management – which didn’t exist when I began my career – is immensely gratifying.

Mott MacDonald fosters an inclusive environment where everyone’s views are valued. I remember being pleasantly surprised in my first week, as introductory meetings were arranged with senior leaders who were keen to know my background and career aspirations.

What has been your greatest achievement as a Mott MacDonald employee?

Working on Mott MacDonald’s internal net-zero strategy, including defining what we mean by ‘net zero’. We set out options and recommendations for moving from carbon neutral to net zero and identified the implications for our organisation. I supported the submission of our Science-Based Targets initiative for corporate climate action and was proud to see our certification in April 2023.

Net zero and carbon neutral

What has changed since your first day at Mott MacDonald?

When I moved to Mott MacDonald to work on carbon management, I was nervous about how varied my role would be. I started in the Energy unit in a small team of carbon management consultants. We’ve grown a lot since then: I now manage a team of consultants across Europe, as well as Colombia. We have a network of company climate mitigation and adaptation professionals who provide expertise in a wide range of specialities. Our work has evolved from simple carbon footprinting projects to more extensive strategic assessments and carbon management for large infrastructure projects.

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