Operations Manager, Carbon Leadership Forum
Chad Evans helps to manage budgets, keep projects on track, support HR needs, and optimize systems and processes so that we can all be doing our best work in the most efficient way possible. Chad has a varied professional background that includes sustainable energy financial management and consulting, project, program, and operations management, governance and compliance, and small business management. He is currently in Philadelphia after five months abroad, but Seattle has been home for most of his life.
by Chad Evans
I think back on what initially drew me to the field of sustainability and remember the five acres I grew up on outside of Poulsbo, WA. Except for the small footprint of our home and my mother’s garden it was mostly trees, and tall, old ones at that. During winter storms I would watch them sway in the wind, amazed at thinking how deep their roots must go and their astounding ability to bend and not break. I fell in love with those woods and as life progressed I found myself quietly celebrating environmental conservation in all its forms, asking myself why anyone would want to destroy our greatest gift on this planet. To me, nature – in all its forms – was something to be revered, celebrated, and preserved.
Somewhere along my way I developed a keen interest in renewable energy and found myself reading news blurbs on investments from the Department of Energy, passive housing design, advanced recycling systems, and really anything that had to do with creating a world that I knew could be possible. A world in which we live in harmony with nature, taking only what is needed, and reuse, reallocate, and recycle everything else. I would dive into articles on IFLI’s Living Building Challenge, the evolution of 3D-printed homes, and on the construction of Bosco Verticale in Milan. It was fascinating to me witnessing this shift in how we design and build structures. Parallel to the changing energy landscape, it seemed that the built environment was going through a time of reawakening and change, moving towards a place where the effects of materials sourcing, construction, and building life (and subsequent death) were considered with climate change in mind. Not only that, but these new creations were being undertaken by architects designing for appeal and practical use – buildings that benefitted the planet and pleased the eye.
Eventually my path led me to Bainbridge Graduate Institute where I pursued my MBA in Sustainable Business, with a focus on Sustainable Energy Solutions. I wanted to take part in helping to provide answers to humankind’s greatest threat and in building systems that acknowledged the fragility and immense value of the natural world. In that time I was starting to understand the value I could bring to an organization in my ability to see the big picture – with all its complexity and moving parts – and ensure that systems were working smoothly and efficiently to help everyone do their best in achieving our collective goals. Roles in subsequent organizations further solidified that operational efficiency and process optimization is something that I not only have developed a keen eye for; it’s something I truly enjoy. Helping others never gets old. Knowing that I contributed to making a positive difference in someone’s life – personal or professional – is a true delight and I will work towards that end at every available opportunity. I want my teammates to feel supported, empowered, and able to do what they do best.
As the Operations Manager with CLF I help to manage budgets, facilitate grant and contract proposals, keep projects on track, support HR needs, and the like. I am looking forward to not only furthering my skills in these areas but doing so in the greater context of eliminating embedded carbon in buildings and infrastructure. In time I hope to learn the intricacies of how initial concepts turn into working ideas via partnerships, policies, and collective action. I am so excited for what lies ahead, not only in my role with this organization but for the mission of CLF and its efforts globally. I am honored to be part of this team and to contribute in the work towards a just and thriving future in our built environments and beyond.