Leading the change: Insights and goals from our new Head of Sustainability, Laura Craft

We are happy to present Laura Craft as our new Head of Sustainability, marking an important step in our commitment to unique, smarter, sustainable buildings.

Laura brings a fresh perspective to our sustainability efforts, drawing on over a decade of expertise in façade engineering, building envelope physics, and circular construction. Her worldwide experience, having worked in Australia, Asia, and Europe, uniquely qualifies her to lead our ambitious team forward.

We believe that her experience, paired with her integrated and collaborative approach, will boost Staticus’ already ongoing sustainability initiatives. In this latest interview, Laura explains her vision for her new role, the reasoning behind her decision to join Staticus, and what excites her the most about leading sustainability efforts.

Hello, Laura. What is your initial role, and how do you plan to make it your own?

My role at Staticus is Head of Sustainability.

Staticus has an ambitious sustainability strategy and is constantly innovating to meet its objectives. Building on a strong foundation, I plan to push the sustainability agenda and ensure that Staticus continues to meet and exceed its goals.

I will bring 10 years of consulting experience from a leading international engineering company to my new position. I’ve worked in Australia, Asia, and Europe, and my technical expertise includes façade engineering and system design, building envelope physics, sustainable building design, and circular construction. In my role as Head of Sustainability, I will implement an integrated and collaborative approach, drawing from my multidisciplinary and international experience.

Why did you choose Staticus? What makes it a unique place to work?

I was first drawn to Staticus for its innovation in sustainability, digital transformation, and research and development (R&D) activities.

Secondly, Staticus stood out (in the industry) as one of the first European façade contractors to clearly define and publicly announce its sustainability strategy. However, meeting the team at Staticus solidified my decision.

During my recruitment process, I met with Aušra Vankevičiūtė, Staticus’ CEO, Aulikki Sonntag, Staticus’ CBDO, Justina Telyčėnė, Staticus’ CPO, and Jolita Gudynaite, People Business Partner. In a traditionally male-dominated industry, the representation of women is important to me, particularly in executive positions.

Aušra is fostering innovation through her authentic approach to leadership. Her transparent and collaborative process sets and delivers ambitious strategies while maintaining the business’s resilience. And Aulikki, whom I will be reporting to, has a strong technical background and an innate ability to identify gaps in the market. She responds by challenging the current status quo and is the driving force behind the many innovative solutions at Staticus. I’m looking forward to learning a lot from these strong leaders.

What excites you the most about your role?

What I am most excited about in my new role is the implementation of sustainable façade construction.

As an industry, we have a clear and quantifiable understanding of our environmental impact and our role in climate change. We also have an awareness of where we need to be to minimise this impact and drastically reduce carbon emissions. Now, we need to take action.

There is an urgent need to change the way we design, procure, install, and operate façade systems. Staticus’ Hybrid Unitised Façade (HUF) system is a prime example of the action that is needed within the industry. This system demonstrates a commitment to not only research and innovation but also to developing and implementing solutions that address actual client and market needs.

We can have big ideas, but real change will not happen unless there is industry action. I’m delighted Staticus has the drive and means to effect change in the industry, not just in R&D but through practical solutions. This is the aspect of my role that I am most excited about.

What opportunities do you foresee, particularly in the market?

Transitioning the industry to facilitate circular construction is a well-known means to reduce non-renewable resource consumption, embodied carbon emissions, and construction and demolition waste. However, the market for reclaiming and recycling materials, as well as integrating biobased material alternatives, remains relatively untapped.

New players in the market are necessary to close the loop to support material reclaim and reuse, which presents a big opportunity. That’s why Staticus is focused on lifecycle product management, and the Staticus Care project attempts to identify market gaps and investigate new materials, service offerings, technologies, and processes to support a circular economy.

To ensure that we bring about meaningful industry change, we must continually collaborate. That’s why partnerships are at the core of all of Staticus’ sustainability goals. We are committed to developing long-term connections with our clients, partners, and suppliers.

At one end, Staticus collaborates with educational institutions and research organisations to produce new, long-lasting solutions; at the other end, we must continue to work with our supply chain to successfully execute these new ideas. Transparency and data management are critical to this, and there are significant developments needed in this area.

What personal aspirations do you have as you take on this role?

In 2022, Staticus first published its Corporate Sustainability Strategy, defining five focus areas: transparency, partnerships, innovation in design and delivery, climate protection, and sustainable organisation.

My ambition is to build on the strong, sustainable foundation laid by the Staticus team, ensuring successful implementation and striving for each “North Star.” My goal is not only to ensure that Staticus satisfies the market’s ever-changing sustainability agenda but also to keep our position ahead of the curve by providing new, sustainable solutions for our clients.

So, whether it’s the front end with research and innovation or the back end with supply chain execution, there needs to be an important shift in transparency and data management. And I believe there is a huge possibility for innovation throughout these processes.

Could you share a bit about your life outside of work?

I am an Australian who currently lives in Denmark. I love to travel and seek out new experiences, countries, and ways of living. Previous employment allowed me to live and work in Sydney, Hong Kong, Berlin, and Copenhagen, and I am excited to spend more time in Vilnius.

The majority of my free time is spent pursuing my creative interests. I come from an architecture background and am usually working on a few projects at once. Before relocating to Europe, my husband and I designed and built an off-the-grid cabin in Australia. Currently, I am refurbishing some vintage Danish armchairs.

As an Australian, I enjoy getting outside and spending time in nature. I am happiest by the seaside or in the mountains, running or on a hiking trail.