Taking the environmental lead at Ground Control
Ground Control is very pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Bawtree as Environmental Lead, working with our HSQE team. In this critically important role, Chris has a broad and strategic focus on the environmental direction Ground Control takes.
Chris’ new role will continue our commitment to our core purpose – Caring for our Environment – and with our mission is to help the UK become a carbon-neutral country by 2050. The role isn’t confined purely to strategy and will also encompass areas such as training our people on environmental safety and best practice, managing and reducing our carbon footprint and environmental compliance.
Chris has been with Ground Control for more than 20 years, has seen the company grow and focus on its desire to be an environmental leader and has now decided to take a leading role in our environmental strategy. He also serves as a Board Member for the Evergreen Fund, our £5 million Impact Venture Fund dedicated to environmental initiatives and carbon sequestration.
Chris’s appointment ties in with a number of environmental commitments that need to be delivered over the next five years such as planting a million trees, continuing the conversion of the passenger fleet to electric vehicles, and adopting electric plant and machinery for our field teams. He’ll be looking at expanding commercial partnerships with existing clients and leverage our unrivalled skill and expertise in the planning, planting and maintaining of trees to help meet their bespoke sustainability goals. Where clients don’t have their own land, Chris will develop an exciting new service and establish a network of landowners to create woodland projects, enabling clients to plant trees.
While the market has competitors that provide tree planting, our ability to offer a full range of services – sourcing the land, designing the project, obtaining grant funding, and performing the on-going maintenance and management of the trees puts us in a unique position.
Another key area Chris will be involved in is the Evergreen Fund’s commitment to spend £100,000 on tree planting projects. He’s been talking to a number of organisations and not-for-profit groups and has identified three suitable programs. The first of these is focused on replacing 2,020 trees in ash dieback areas and then providing protection services when the new trees begin to grow. The program should be ready to begin in the autumn – watch this space!
Chris has worked in the Landscape industry for over 25 years, predominantly in the construction sector. He is a Chartered Landscape Architect whose career has developed from consultancy through to Construction Director with Ground Control from 2002 to 2015. In his Director role, he led the division from £0.5 million revenue to over £20 million. He has been instrumental in a number of acquisitions and led the associated integration programs.
Chris is passionate about trees and woodlands and now leads Ground Control’s Woodland Creation business alongside his role as Environmental lead. His ambition is to increase the UK’s woodland cover in partnership with clients and landowners, making a positive contribution to the fight against climate change.
Chris is a father of two with a BSc in Landscape Design from the University of Sheffield and a PG Diploma in Forestry from the University of Bangor.
Chris Bawtree leads the 2018/2019, planting of 22,893 native hardwood trees on nine hectares of former farmland in Billericay, Essex to create Little Cowbridge Wood, a multi functional woodland providing a wide range of benefits.