Laing O’Rourke appoints Rossella Nicolin as head of sustainability

Laing O’Rourke has appointed Rossella Nicolin, pictured, as head of sustainability for its Europe hub.

Laing O’Rourke has appointed Rossella Nicolin as head of sustainability for its Europe Hub. 

Currently structures technical director, Nicolin will transition into her new position during the summer, further strengthening the sustainability team under new Europe Hub MD and CEO-designate, Seamus French.

Nicolin’s appointment comes as the company seeks to accelerate progress towards the goals it set last year and which commit the business to continuing to work on three vital and interconnected elements: climate, people and nature. 

While climate and decarbonistion dominate the sustainability debate, Laing O’Rourke’s strategy also focuses on supporting nature recovery and the need for more people to benefit from the economic activity that the planet’s natural capital enables.

The revised Europe Hub sustainability structure has been put in place to deliver such a systems approach and accelerate the actions required now, and in the coming years.

Reporting to group director, Madeleina Loughrey-Grant, Nicolin will work with Richard Coleman, general manager HSE & Sustainability for the Australia Hub, to realise the company’s global sustainability ambitions, which include:

  • Achieving operational net zero by 2030
  • Becoming a net zero company before 2050
  • Developing universal wellbeing services that set a new industry standard in caring for people
  • Advancing offsite manufacturing-led construction as the catalyst for safe, inclusive, and long-term careers
  • Achieving equal numbers of men and women among its 5,500 global staff by 2033.

Nicolin’s team will include Ruth Voigt, who recently joined the Europe Hub sustainability team as environmental leader from her current role as sustainability leader on the East West Rail Alliance, and Mark Cottam, who continues in his role as social value leader. Both will report to Nicolin, along with Sally Grewcock, who was recently appointed supply chain leader for sustainability.

The new team bring with them experience from projects, plus engineering and technical expertise that will speed the implementation of detailed action plans.

The Europe Hub team will be supported by Samantha Hoe-Richardson, who was appointed last year as an independent advisor to the group on sustainability, and by Mark Cutifani who will join the Laing O’Rourke board as an independent director in September 2022 and will chair the group sustainability committee.

Madeleina Loughrey–Grant, group director, legal, governance and sustainability, said: “I am delighted that Rossella has decided to make the move from the technical function to lead the sustainability function. Her engineering and technical expertise will be extremely valuable to us, as we seek to find solutions to hugely complex and challenging issues. Rossella is passionate about sustainability and will play a key leadership role as we strive to become the recognised leader, delivering sustainable solutions for our people and our clients as we deliver projects in service of humanity.

“Rossella will lead our work to support our clients in the design, construction and operation of greener buildings and infrastructure projects. This requires leadership, collaboration and innovation, and Rossella’s experience will help us go further faster."

Rossella Nicolin, head of sustainability for the Europe hub, said: “I feel privileged to be taking the helm of realising our sustainability ambitions in the Europe Hub. I am a passionate believer that to meet the challenges we face, all organisations must adopt a systems approach that considers climate, people and nature. I’m looking forward to driving the agenda and to leading and supporting our sustainability team, all of whom have tremendous experience and expertise."

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