Profile of Paul Draycott

Paul Draycott

Vice-President, Environmental Global Business Unit and Corporate Counsel Morrison Hershfield Limited, Uxbridge, ON

Paul Draycott’s green career is one excellent example of how professional success in a green career depends on multi-disciplinary skill development.

Currently, Paul is the Vice-President, Environmental Global Business Unit and Corporate Counsel at Morrison Hersfield Limited. In this role of leadership and accountability, he is responsible for the world-wide delivery of his firm’s suite of environmental consulting and engineering services.
This includes maintaining high-level roles on various environmental projects, such as providing senior project management, technical advisory and peer review services on larger, complex assignments.

Additionally, Paul also oversees the firm’s domestic and international compliance with Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery legislation for his company’s consulting and engineering services abroad. This involves ensuring that the firm’s staff are trained to operate all facets of the business in strict compliance with this legislation, while also implementing an audit program that continually monitors compliance.

Embracing the need for continual change and learning has always been crucial to Paul’s past career success and prominent present job title. He observes: “I believe that contemporary people’s career paths present the opportunity for continual change. My own path has evolved from a purely technical environmental focus through to a multi-disciplinary professional planning and scientific focus to where I am today in a senior executive role requiring a strong leadership focus, both internally with the firm and externally with our clients.”

He adds, “I have remained fairly steadfast within the umbrella of an environmental career over thirty plus years, notwithstanding the addition of a legal career in the midst; however, beneath the surface are many small changes that have led to new areas of expertise, meeting and working with new colleagues and clients, and working on an array of exciting and challenging projects.”

While Paul has built many of his skills through formal education and training, he has also developed a wealth of knowledge from his day-to-day work. According to Paul, “One of the biggest opportunities I have been involved with is leading the development of standards and specifications that will be used by other professionals in the design and construction of aquatic compensation solutions on Ontario road projects. This is also one of the most challenging projects I have been involved with, as my work will be scrutinized by all those required to use the standards and specifications. Having the opportunity to effect change in the industry is a humbling milestone.”

Many of these opportunities to learn and grow professionally are characteristic in environmental work. With more companies adopting sustainability into their practices and products, green professionals are increasingly expected to expand their existing skills and apply their environmental expertise to diverse areas. According to Paul, “I see a growing population of environmental professionals that are multi-disciplinary. They have skills in more than one aspect of the profession or combined with other professions. The environmental professional needs to be part technical expert, part planner, part strategist, part engineer, , and an excellent communicator.”

When it comes to upcoming changes in environmental work, Paul anticipates an exciting future. In his view, “We will see the expansion of solution development for green or sustainable infrastructure, as well as emerging technologies and strategies addressing issues such as climate change and energy demand. I expect that the industry will take more of a prominent leadership role in this regard, guiding planning, policy and strategy development.”