Integral Group Welcomes Principal, Sustainability Consultant Richard Palmer

Integral Group is excited to welcome Richard Palmer as Principal, Sustainability Consultant to its Sydney office.  With over fourteen years’ experience, Richard’s knowledge in sustainable design and procurement extends across the full breadth of the built environment: green buildings, sustainable infrastructure, sustainable precincts and future cities.  Richard’s approach to urban sustainability is from an engineering perspective with a particular specialism in the fields of green building design and planning, and sustainable urban infrastructure. He integrates emerging trends in mobility, digital disruption, smart grids, healthy cities and reconciliation on urban projects.

Inspired by the likes of Alex Steffen, Bill Reed, Janine Benyus and Bill McKibben, each seeking the deep truths in how a better world could work, Richard’s motivation is to shape how the built environment responds to environmental issues. Throughout his career, Richard has sat on the edges of conventional engineering, the margins, and always played for the non-business-as-usual response to the market; filling unconventional roles always seeking the line of value that is under-served by an establishment framework of management.

Recognizing that as a civilization we sit at a tipping point: the balance of urbanization, climate change, biodiversity loss and technology, Richard says “Deep Green Engineering means changing the trajectory of the built environment to balance these challenges effectively; across buildings, utilities, transport infrastructure and public places. It means creative, professional, buildable engineering solutions to the biggest challenges facing human civilization. It means being a modern-day hero and saving the world.

“As the urban economy grapples with major transitions: accelerated urbanization, shift to renewable energy, future mobility and transport and digital technology; I believe boutique, values-based firms like Integral Group are well-positioned to pivot on recent sustainability trends and support clients in new ways to navigate these transitions effectively, to help build a better world.

“Through advisory and planning, through world class design, through innovation grounded in delivery and through innovation, we can change this trajectory of the built environment, providing real solutions to the massive challenges we face.”

In his quest to help shape a better world, Richard is an avid advocate for sustainable urban policy and planning in the industry. He has worked closely with the Green Building Councils in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; most recently as a member of the GBCA Industry Advisory Group. He has supported in-house mentorship programs at his previous employer, as well as programs at NAWIC and Pollinate. Richard has also sat on the board the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in Australia.

Richard supports several media editorial boards, maintains a blog on sustainability, has given two TEDx talks on cities and sustainability, and addressed audiences at various industry climate conferences across Australia, New Zealand and Canada.  His thought leadership on sustainable investment and assurance of non-financial performance coupled with his design and delivery experience pace him at the forefront of sustainability in the built environment.

Working with clients, Richard speaks of his value add, “I can provide insight into how business intersects with these major transitions in the built environment and the major sustainability challenges of our times. I can help communicate the challenges and the range of plausible solutions in a way that makes change accessible. I can help inspire them to reach further than they might have without me.”

Richard views his main areas of focus as:

  1. Leveraging the purchasing power of the built environment to accelerate the transition to renewable energy in the stationary energy sector.
  2. Leveraging our design influence to accelerate the take-up of shared electric vehicles and active transport in the mobility mix of future places.
  3. Actively embedding mechanisms to enhance local biodiversity in built projects.
  4. Building the economic case for sustainability in delivering competitive future cities.

Richard’s experience and market exposure, means he is a unique asset that can both manage and deliver sustainability outcomes at a precinct scale. Andrew Mather says “We are delighted to have Richard Palmer join our team. Richard is well respected in the market and he brings with him a wealth of industry experience”.