Managing waste streams within buildingsPaul, thank you so much for your contribution to Wasted Tales: hopefully you enjoyed the role of Charles in this episode. We know you are an enthusiastic amateur actor, but also a very inspiring lecturer of facilities management at the school for Facility Management. So we are very curious: how did you prepare for the role of Charles?
I first read the script once or twice to get a feel for what the writers’ intentions were and whether the script felt 'natural' to me. Then I read it out loud and started playing with my voice sensing which voice would come closest to the feeling I have when I move into Charles as a character. A bit old, a bit brittle and vulnerable and on the other hand reliable and familiar with his own shortcomings. With that voice I had to make the text more and more my own, search for breaks, inflections etc. The sentences must become self-speaking thoughts in my head.
Within facilities management the facility manager is really a gatekeeper for sustainability within the building/ organization. In which way are the school of FM and facility management students educated in sustainability?
We are working on a new educational and professional profile in which it is even more explicitly discussed than before that we have an obligation with regard to the SDGs. This already applies to each of us but certainly to the field of Facility Management. We support and facilitate organizations in the broadest sense: this includes building design and maintenance, purchasing, energy supply, logistics, catering: all aspects in which there is so much to gain when you look at sustainability. Our students are problem solvers with a good sense of people and organizations: if we can bring the sustainability DNA into our field of education, then our students will soon make a big difference.
We know that many organizations (and facility managers) are aiming to introduce recycled cups in their operations. What is needed to enhance the use of reusable cups within organizations? And what is needed to promote or even to change organizational systems to reduce plastic / non reusable cups?
As the English proverb says: 'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink'. In my opinion, information works only to a limited extent and is especially supportive if you are already inclined to behave differently. Then you look for the rational arguments as an extra support. Create a surrounding in which other behaviour towards reusable cups makes people feel happy. Make use of gamification. Make sure that my reusable cup, like my mobile phone, is the first thing I grab when going to work. And make visible that my behaviour really makes a difference. I don't want a savings card for a free cup of coffee, I want a savings card with which - if I offer my reusable cup - I contribute for example to a good cause such as WWF.
As a ‘newborn’ grandfather - because we understand that you recently welcomed your first grandchild - do you want to share any words of wisdom? Because we know that 'Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children’.
I hope that I can teach my grandchild(ren) a lot about how beautiful, but also how vulnerable our planet is and that we, like everything that lives, are temporary guests here. That we have to take care of our world and leave it better than we found it.
But: I think that as adults we can learn a lot more from our (grand)children! There's a nice story in which a man walked along the coast. The beach was dotted with washed up starfish. A little girl picked up the starfish one by one and threw them back into the sea. "Girl," the passer-by said, "what are you doing?" I'm saving starfish," she replied. "But there are so many of them, that won't make any difference!" The girl continued imperturbable: she picked up a starfish and threw it into the sea.
"For this one, it does" she said.
Working on a better planet? Just do it.