This month has seen the retirement of a building products industry icon – Ross Davies from BlueScope. Ross is a man who understands more than most the impact of small actions that create ripple effects across a whole industry.
Having started out studying Volcanology (reflecting his Kiwi younger days) and then transitioning into sales of products ranging from MSG to steel, he dedicated much of his later professional life to sustainability in the built environment.
Ross values relationships and networks – he knows the impact of good people working together for a high cause. A humble, kind, respectful and gentle man who has great knowledge and passion, he didn’t shirk away from the tough issues.
Instead, Ross has worked consistently to advocate for change, sometimes in small steps and sometimes large, but always forwards. He has worked within BlueScope and also across the Australian building products industry through the Building Products Innovation Council (BPIC) and the world steel industry through the World Steel Association and a new initiative known as Responsiblesteel.
Responsiblesteel is an emerging steel stewardship initiative, similar in concept to timber’s FSC, which is today headquartered in Europe. What is most remarkable is that in its early days, Responsiblesteel could have been described as being headquartered in a significant pile of paper on Ross’s desk. Its creation and the life it has now gained are largely the result of Ross’s work, alongside his steel industry partners Phil Ridgeway (Liberty OneSteel) and Andrew Marjoribanks (Australian Steel Institute).
Ross has been a staunch supporter of the GBCA for many years. He has contributed countless hours to the development of Green Star and advocacy for better building products for a more sustainable built environment in Australia. We are indebted to him for his generosity and leadership, and fair-minded approach to what can be a competitive industry.
Sustainability in Australian manufacturing can be a tough gig, with many factors that make that journey a steep hill to climb. But as Ross exits BlueScope you can see that the tide has turned, with recent announcements of a commitment to renewable energy for steelmaking one of many strides forward for the manufacturer.
Ross has dropped many pebbles of change in the waters of sustainability in Australia and the world. As he leans back to take life easier, the ripples that he created have become waves that will continue to extend and transform the built environment for decades to come.
Thank you Ross for your leadership, collaboration and support.
We will miss your input.