There are currently 35 staff working at CFP. But what are all these people doing? What drives them and what are the secret downsides of their job? In this interview series, our employees give you a look behind the scenes. From driver to developer and from consultant to back office manager.
Gertjan – Consultant
Gertjan Vons has been working at CFP as a consultant for over a year now. In this job, he is often on the road and helps various companies to become more sustainable by means of energy advice, BREEAM and WELL.
What does an average working day look like for you?
Every working day starts with a stand-up meeting. Here, everyone explains briefly what they are doing and any requests for help are made. Then I get to work on various projects. For example, I am currently advising a large housing corporation on the construction of houses without mains gas. Different applications are possible with different technical systems. I advise on which applications are most suitable in their case and work out different scenarios.
In the daily stand-up meeting, you can quickly and easily suggest something to colleagues. In total, the stand-up takes only five minutes a day, so you don’t really have to clear your schedule for it
– Gertjan Vons, Consultant at CFP
Can you name a project you’re really proud of?
You bet. For me, the World Port Centre stands out. As part of this project, I carried out a study with colleagues on making sustainability visible and I am currently considering the implementation of the measures with various experts. Examples include discussions with ecologists and security experts, but also condition measurements on the building itself. And in the end, of course, the World Port Centre must become the most sustainable building in the Netherlands. Or maybe the most sustainable port in the world, who knows.
What can customers call you for in the weekend?
I really enjoy coming up with quick and pragmatic solutions to an acute problem. A customer recently wanted to rent out a large part of a building, but the tenant considered sustainability to be very important. At times like that we need to move fast. I then immediately set to work with a colleague and carried out a WELL and BREEAM quick scan, with which I could outline the sustainability of the building. Okay, technically this wasn’t in the weekend, but the landlord called on Monday and the delivery followed three days later. So that meant putting in some extra effort.
So you like a challenge with time pressure. When was the last time you were really stressed?
Ha ha, that definitely occurs sometimes. I think the last time involved a WELL quick scan. There was so much more to it than I initially thought, so that I briefly lost the plot.
And how did you solve it?
In the end, I called in two colleagues and we systematically reviewed all the measures. That’s how we managed to still get it done on time. That’s what I like about CFP: all my colleagues are prepared to help each other and get their heads down in the evening if necessary.
Colleagues helping each other for a good cause, how would you describe the team atmosphere?
Like a sports team, we all do our utmost on the field and drink a beer together afterwards. We also have a ‘pizza session’ once a month. This is an evening (with pizza of course) during which we tackle a subject and work on it. Even when we discussed the new NTA 8800 energy requirements there was still a pleasant atmosphere, despite the tough subject matter.
Would you recommend CFP as an employer to others? And if so, why?
So far, I am really enjoying my time here, so I can definitely recommend CFP as an employer. For me, it’s all about the diversity of activities. You are involved from A to Z in making buildings more sustainable. It starts with mapping out the current energy performance. You will then be closely involved in the planning and implementation of the measures. I also like the speed with which I can develop new services and processes.
Can you give an example?
You bet. We recently met with a customer who wanted something that we weren’t yet doing. In this case, the customer wanted to include the sustainability measures we recommended in a Multi-year Maintenance Plan, but the customer did not have such a plan. We drew that up. We then included this solution in the online tools, so that in future everyone can use this solution.
Another example: a leading bank wanted to provide a large number of houses with energy labels. At low cost of course, with the greatest possible impact. We then looked at how we could efficiently label similar housing complexes and got down to work for them.
In conclusion: What makes your job unique?
The freedom you get to follow your own plan. If you identify an opportunity, you can simply go for it. This allows you to develop yourself and your own interests within the company.