DANIEL PALMER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT CHEVRON GREEN SERVICES

Daniel joined Chevron Green Services in 2022 following an 8-year tenure as the Asset Manager for National Highways. Following the completion of a Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, Daniel has achieved Fellow Membership of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation for his contributions to the industry.

 

What is your role within Chevron Green Services?

My role as Business Development Manager is varied from working on bids and tenders, to client support and advice, to ensuring projects and maintenance activities are delivered with maintenance in mind. It’s important to CGS that we’re offering solutions with longevity and maintenance front and centre, so supporting clients to design or adapt projects to include that way of thinking is an important part of my role. I’m also privileged to have opportunities to work with our teams on research and development projects alongside organisations such as Grown in Britain, supporting how the industry captures asset data.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Personally, I approach sustainability holistically, via each of the three pillars; environmental, social and economic. We always incorporate the three pillars into daily routine tasks and even more so when working on larger projects where our clients have sustainability targets to reach. The way our business operates allows us to have a positive impact on the environmental pillar, from our contributions to biodiversity net gain support and calculations, to the way we utilise our plant and where required, hire in the latest models with lower emissions.

Being part of Chevron Group allows us to be involved with social value projects such as assisting HMP Lindholm with their modules regarding arboricultural training, providing specialist NVQ guidance that inmates and ex-offenders would previously have had difficulty accessing.

The business must also make decisions of economic sense whilst following our core mission statement: ‘To safely create, maintain and care for biodiverse habitats for generations to come’. For me, it’s about changing the approach from thinking about a short-term financial gain to looking at the lifecycle cost of works.

Tell us about Chevron Green Services.

Chevron Green Services has been operating across England and Wales for three decades. We are built on knowledge, respect and appreciation for nature and our planet. We are part of the Chevron Group which gives us scale, where scale matters most. Covering the UK, our sister companies are experts in critical infrastructure safety services. Which means through our Group, we can offer specialist solutions in traffic management, barrier services, fencing, digital technologies, and design services. A caring force for a safer world is the mission that runs through every interaction. A core strength across our group is collaboration, whether that’s with each other, with our clients or with other contractors to complete the job safely.

What types of products and services do you offer?

Our Consultancy division offers a full range of environmental, ecological and arboricultural consultancy services which can be delivered as standalone services to our customers or can be combined with our operations teams for all vegetation management, tree and landscape works. We offer design support to customers from full site scoping assessments, preparation of specifications, and production of bills of quantities.

Our ecologists carry out Biodiversity Net Gain assessments, Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, European Protected Species licence applications and Ecological Clerk of Works. Our experienced team of consultants have strong connections in the industry which enable us to be involved with research and development projects meaning as a company, we are at the forefront of developments within the industry.

Our Operations teams deliver a variety of future focused green infrastructure services. Including vegetation management, arboriculture services, creating and managing planting schemes and asset management.

How passionate are you about sustainability in the rail sector?

Sustainability is key for our business which is supported by the Chevron Group sustainability strategy. Chevron Green Services benefit from the support of our Group ESG team for baselining our activities and supporting our drive towards Net Zero.

There are huge opportunities to enhance the green infrastructure on the rail network. A long narrow asset may seem difficult to create biodiverse habitats, but there are so many efficient and effective options for landscape creation and management that these activities should become day-to-day maintenance activities undertaken across the network. Proactive asset management and planning will be the key to creating biodiverse habitats, understanding the asset condition and proactively planning and implementing interventions. Creating and managing a cyclical works programme will also allow clients to secure and allocate sufficient funding to establish important linear habitats.

When a client comes to you with a particular problem, what’s your process for coming up with a solution, and how closely do you work with clients throughout the projects?

Chevron Green Services are typically brought in to create solutions for our client’s problems. Whether the problem is an urgent European Protected Species or a client not knowing what they want from a site, we always engage with the client early to allow us to understand what they want or envisage the outcome will be from a project.

We work with clients to meet project requirements, understanding any KPIs and support them to deliver these. This can start from producing a specification and bill o quantities, to producing method statements to prevent unnecessary damage to wildlife and undertaking the ecological clerk of works role and finally producing biodiversity net gain calculations. The importance of understanding that proposals put forward by our consultants will need to be approved by individuals outside of our field means we have to be clear with our explanations using visualisations and concept designs where required to reaffirm our message to deliver on the project goals.

Sometimes our clients come to us not really knowing what they want or what would be most useful for them at a particular point in time. Our professional and honest approach is grounded in integrity. If you don’t need what you’re asking for, we’ll tell you.

Our open and collaborative way of operating means that we have clients returning to us time and again as they know we provide a safe pair of hands.

What are your plans going forward to ensure Chevron Green Services are still around for years to come?

Chevron Green Services will continue to deliver works to the highest quality whilst building on our reputation of excellent customer service. Enhancing our existing relationships whilst engaging with new clients is critical to our success. We’ll continue to use our expert knowledge whilst collaborating with experts outside of our industries to bring new working methods into transportation to ensure we are leading the way within this important sector.

To ensure the success of the business, we will continue to diversify into new sectors, growing into these through our existing client relationships and integrating our teams into contracts, projects and client organisations. This collaborative approach with our clients will pass on our knowledge and understanding of the environmental requirements to ensure the success of their projects.

What’s next for Chevron Green Services?

Chevron Green Services are always looking to innovate, to develop and to secure additional work that we believe in, and we care about delivering. We are taking our expertise, gained within three decades of highways work and are transferring this knowledge into other sectors. Our team of ecologists and environmentalists have already taken this knowledge forward into the rail and defence sectors and we will look to do the same with our operational delivery teams. The support we have from Chevron Group will allow us to grow, develop and innovate as a business.

Our mission to safely create, maintain and care for biodiverse habitats for generations to come means that we always have an eye on the long-term. We want to enable our clients to conserve the habitats they own for as long as possible.

What are some of the biggest challenges this sector currently faces?

One of the biggest challenges is the cost of projects. Many projects are awarded on price where the most economically advantageous price for the work is awarded to that bidder. This is particularly notable with Tier 1 to Tier 2 procurement activities. Where forward thinking companies are trying to reduce their impact, implementing sustainable procurement policies and therefore may increase the price of work delivery, this puts the company at a disadvantage where cost is the deciding factor. It’s a straightforward solution though, carbon emissions, sustainability and the whole life cost of projects needs to be considered at design and ECI states of a project.

Changing behaviours and ways of doing business means we can improve as an industry and drive sustainable targets at the forefront of every project. Safety plays a big part in this too, if a project is devised with maintenance and longevity in mind, there are often safety benefits too. For example, in the use of biodegradable tree guards, they reduce the need for return visits to remove the guards in years to come once the tree is established. This not only removes the carbon associated with the return trip, but with no return trip, we are removing the need for someone to be working in a safety-critical environment.

Do you think the rail industry could be greener and what is your organisations green strategy?

It’s always possible to be greener, whether that’s offsetting your carbon emissions, using low emission plant or vehicles or diverting waste from landfill. There are always additional small steps or changes organisations can take or make. There are opportunities to reduce the impact of our industry on the environment and improve our surroundings. Retrofitting green roofs on station buildings would be a fantastic opportunity to reduce the impact of water into positive drainage as well as increase local biodiversity in generally non-diverse environments.

The Chevron Group aim to decarbonise by design, initially avoiding carbon intensive activities, then by reducing the number of these activities where possible. Thirdly, we’ll replace the high-usage activities with low carbon energy sources and finally will offset where emissions cannot be eliminated.

How can we make the rail industry a place people want to work in?

The rail industry, like any part of the transportation industry, is a constantly evolving sector. With new innovations for working methods, new technologies developing to improve the way we survey and understand our asset and state of the art development projects, existing and potential employees should be excited to work in the industry.

However, with other technologies developing outside of the industry, it is key to engage people at a young age whilst also making the rail industry enticing for people looking for a career change. This can be achieved through engagement with schools and colleges to allow young people to understand the opportunities available to them as they are so broad within the rail industry.

I started within the transportation industry at a young age and didn’t know the wide offering of career prospects available to young people, therefore it is key to show these so people can understand where their career could progress to.

The younger generations care deeply about the environment and the impact society has on the planet. Being able to demonstrate that the rail industry is concerned about the environment and is making positive changes to the way it operates will also help in enticing new people into the industry. If we as an industry can show that we are working to reduce climate change and create biodiverse habitats, then we will be in a good position moving forward.

 

Tel: 0330 174 4386
Email: info@ChevronGS.com
Visit: www.chevrongs.com