The rise in carbon literacy: Sustainability Director Hero Bennett speaks to New London Architecture

11 January 2023

Net zero, retrofit, Passivhaus, and the rise in carbon literacy were among the topics discussed by Hero Bennett in a recent interview with New London Architecture.

Hero spoke to NLA for their ‘Five minutes with’ feature, following her promotion to the role of Sustainability Director last year.

In the interview, she explains how the approach to sustainability in the built environment has changed in the past few years, and the growing public awareness of environmental issues.

“I think generally the industry is shifting towards more retrofit, and we're seeing clients really seeing the benefits. They're being pushed for lower energy in so many different ways; in relation to their finances, in relation to their stakeholders, their energy bills, and operating costs.


“But also, there is greater awareness of issues like embodied carbon, and now, increasingly, water consumption. So while rainwater harvesting was very fashionable 15 years ago, actually, then people realized it required a lot of maintenance, and many clients were not really equipped to do that. There's a real shift now in terms of an awareness of water being a real issue, again. Quite an interesting change.”

The interview also touches on the future of the net zero carbon movement.

“I am optimistic things have really, really changed in the last few years; we do need a real change in terms of the regulatory framework that we're working within. That is the one thing that I think is holding us back – we need that certainty. There is private money coming forward for meeting the net zero carbon transition, but it needs to be supported by governments having some certainty over some of those targets. So: while they've reaffirmed the targets, what we really need now is some pragmatic and practical goals for the near term.”

You can read the full interview on the NLA website: Five minutes with... Hero Bennett - New London Architecture.