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Getting to know Chris Ramsbottom, Head of Strategic Projects

Meet the people behind our success as we unveil the stories, passions, and expertise of our dedicated team. Discover how their experience enables us to become a trusted environmental services partner for clients across the UK. This time, let's get to know Chris Ramsbottom, Head of Strategic Projects.

What has been your journey?

My work has always connected me to the environment in some way.

My first job was working as a landscape contractor, starting as a teenager and continuing through university. Landscaping taught me a lot, including shovelling and barrowing skills that still hold up today!

At university, I studied geography and geology, then a postgraduate course on vegetation and soil slope stability, before starting as a Graduate Geo-Environmental Engineer. Over time I focused on contamination and pollution issues, building my experience and reputation for successfully directing increasingly complex and strategically significant pollution projects.

At Adler and Allan, strategic environmental projects typically involve direct work with our customers and regulators on the remediation of complex environmental problems that require the seamless integration of multiple technical services, often across several phases of activity and extended timescales. The key is to agree an overall aim for the project before then developing a detailed plan that’s acceptable to the client and relevant regulatory bodies. My team do that, before then turning their attention to delivering the project to the required standard.

What is the biggest change you've seen in the industry?

Decision-makers are now embracing environmental issues instead of treating them as abnormalities that are only considered when a material problem flares up. This is driven by a much better understanding of the risks and opportunities, the mechanisms for taking action, and evolving regulations.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Every day I’m proud that we make a tangible difference to the environment and all that live and work there. However, two projects are memorable.

Prior to joining Adler and Allan, I spent 5 years project managing all strategic contaminated land consultancy services provided to the 75-hectare Stratford City development, which saw the construction of the London 2012 Olympic Village and the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre.

More recently, I was responsible for the overall environmental recovery strategy that resulted in the successful remediation and restoration of the impact of the Llangennech derailment. This was a once-in-a-generation incident involving the loss of 400,000 litres of diesel and a fire in a highly sensitive environment. The incident was described by the Welsh environmental regulator, Natural Resources Wales, as the most challenging recovery operation since the Sea Empress disaster in 1996.

What excites you about coming to work?

The people and the projects. Each project offers a unique set of challenges, new opportunities to learn, and new solutions to be found. That is only possible with the people I work with, who have a blend of expertise, capability, and personalities that inspire me to do better.

I also aim to influence and inspire others, and I’m lucky to have the opportunity to regularly share my experience with colleagues, clients and the wider industry.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Growing up in Wales, I played a lot of rugby and I’m very happy watching a fast and open game. I’m also a fan of science fiction.

But my core passion is making music, which I’ve been doing for a long time, focusing on dance and electronic styles. Possibly my biggest regret in life is that I will never get to go on Top of The Pops!

What’s next in 2024?

Build upon our first class work in the Adler and Allan strategic projects team to further cement our position as the go-to provider of integrated environmental solutions to our customers and regulators.

With the emergence of contaminants such as PFAS and microplastics, our work to create better environmental outcomes is as important as ever!

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