Robert Higgs awarded OBE


HVCA director Robert Higgs has been appointed an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Years Honours list, in recognition of his services to the environment.

Robert Higgs has been a member of the staff of HVCA for 32 years, and was appointed its director in July 1989. In recent years, he has devoted significant effort to shaping and influencing UK policy on the key issues of sustainability and climate change, and in promoting these on the international stage.

In 1992, he was the principal architect and first co-ordinating director of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group, which was conceived as a single voice for engineering specialists in construction, and he remains fully committed to its wide range of representational activities.

He also maintains a close and continuous involvement in the business of Genie Climatique International-Union International de la Couverture et Plomberie, (GCI-UICP), the European body for the environmental control and plumbing sectors.

In the mid 1990s, he produced a blueprint for the restructure and refinancing of GCI (the H&V body) in a successful attempt to render it more effective in representing industry interests at European Union level. This prepared the ground for the subsequent merger with UICP (the plumbing body), which now wields significant influence with the European Commission on environmental issues such as climate change, energy efficiency and the reduction of noxious emissions.

More recently, he has been instrumental in the establishment of the International Alliance of Mechanical Contractors’ Associations (IAMCA), membership of which comprises the HVCA and the Mechanical Contractors’ Associations of Australia, Canada and the USA.

Robert said: “I am delighted to have been chosen for this honour, which I believe reflects the significant contribution to the building engineering services industry made by the HVCA over many years.

“I am very fortunate to be surrounded by extraordinarily talented and committed individuals – both members and staff of the HVCA – who have helped me to lead the Association in its many and varied and activities and I believe that this honour is a tribute to all of them, as much as to me personally.”

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