Luke Landers FICRS - Energy and Sustainability Manager, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS FT

Recognised by edie as one their '30 under 30' for 2019, and now as an ICRS Fellow, Luke's career in CRS has gotten off to a great start. From a flegdling interest in climate change, he's now working across a multitude of sustainability impacts in an NHS setting, in which resilience, communication and an analytical mindset are crucial.


How did you get into CRS, and why?

Learning about the impacts of climate change, in my Georgaphy A-level, made me want to be part of a solution. I became determined to deliver environmental improvements and have a positive impact on the world. Alongside trying to do the right thing, I could also see that a career in CRS was going to offer job opportunities in the long term; it was a real no-brainer.  

Describe a typical day in your current role.

It's very cliché but no two days are the same. You will be working towards the same end goal but what you've got to tackle can be very different.

Recently I've had a single day during which I've worked on such a range of topics: solar arrays & pigeons, EU ETS compliance, budget management, all whilst also working to devise a long term strategy for the Trust.

Where do you see room for personal development over the next five years? 

I would love to further develop my leadership skills - ideally I will have a job role where I am able to manage a team of CRS professionals.


Why did you join ICRS?

Joining ICRS is a very public way of showing your commitment to sustainability and is a great way to reflect the hard work you put into the sector. Becoming a Fellow was my preferred option as it demonstrates my level of experience and capabilities. Last but not least, ICRS provides an excellent opportunity to network with other CRS professionals. Learning from others has been really useful in a number of projects I've implemented, so I look forward to sharing approaches with other ICRS members.


If you didn’t work in CRS, what would you do? 

A driver in Formula E!


What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your role?

Favourite - delivering a project, from idea to implementation. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to see the benefits of your work and know you have helped make a difference.

Least favourite – dealing with utility companies. Their billing processes and tariffs are confusing and disputes often take too long to resolve.


What makes your sector unique from a CRS perspective?

Everything within the NHS is understandably focused upon patient care. With the stakes being so high, it can sometimes mean that staying in operation takes priority over efficiency or CRS concerns. Added to this high intense environment, is the requirement to ensure public funds are spent in right manner. This combination of pressures gives rise to a really complex but rewarding sector to work within. What could be more rewarding than saving lives and the environment!


What do you think are the most important skills for working in CRS?

  1. Resilience - it's important to remain strong and focused even when others don't share your enthusiasm for CRS initiatives. There might be doubts or challenges s to a project but remaining determined to implement an idea is the only way to succeed.
  2. Analytical mindset - there'll be opportunities in many aspects of an organisation. Being able to sift through the "noise" to identify those that will deliver the best outcomes will help you prioritise. CRS can at times feel like an overwhelming topic, so to remain sane you need to figure out where it's best to spend your effort.
  3. Good communicator - there'll be a long list of stakeholders who you regularly engage with. Being able to get across complex ideas in an understandable manner is a really useful skill. It's also important not to forget to listen to others too.


What advice would you give to others on getting into CRS?

Do it! Get involved and see where your interests take you. There’s such a variety of topics and job roles within CRS; there is something for everyone.

If you’re looking for initial CRS experience check out your local environmental groups. There will no doubt be lots of volunteering opportunities where you can help out. You can give something back to the local community but also show your commitment to the environment. It’s a win-win.


Interested to learn more about Luke? Find him here on LinkedIn.