April 27, 2020
What draws people to work at UL? We spoke with Matthew Wright, new business development manager for the Building and Life Safety Technologies team in Australia, to find out.
What drew you to UL?
I have been familiar with UL for many years and worked regularly with the BLST team in the U.S. and with local UL representatives in this region. I’ve spent my professional career involved in delivering community safety outcomes and have always considered that UL’s values and objectives aligned with mine. I have long admired UL’s strong commitment to safety, informed by science and underlined by high ethical standards across a diverse number of industries and safety problems. UL does not compromise on its commitment to act with consistent rigor and integrity.
There is a unique opportunity for UL to harness its global reach and invest in local initiatives to support the building and life safety technologies industry in Australia and New Zealand. I’m excited to lead this work and establish an increased local profile and recognition of what UL can bring to the market to support customers and the community.
What are UL’s customers looking for?
The building and construction industry in Australia and New Zealand is under scrutiny from consumers, government and other key stakeholders who have lost confidence in the industry's ability to deliver compliant and safe outcomes. High profile local incidents have revealed numerous shortfalls, exposed poor practice and uncovered a lack of documented evidence for products and applications.
Insurers have significantly increased premiums or deserted the market, and consumers have become more conservative, impacting investment. Restoring confidence in the industry is a top priority. Customers will be looking toward UL to provide them with independent and rigorous certification of their products. Additionally, many products in the Australian and New Zealand market are imported so international manufacturers and suppliers look to UL to provide certification that their products satisfy local regulations and standards. UL’s global footprint makes it uniquely positioned to offer this service as a package with other certifications and will now have a local point of contact to navigate requirements and communicate with key stakeholders.
What does UL offer to customers?
UL’s history, capacity and reputation places the organization in a strong position to undertake research to solve policy and technical problems. For example, the 2019/2020 bushfire season raised questions of buildings impacts on community resilience and suggested new areas of research to inform policy settings. Increased use of technologies such as portable devices and energy storage systems all introduce new fire and electrical risks that demand solutions. In this current climate of reflection, review and change regarding safety expectations, UL can assist to solve or influence appropriate outcomes.
Australia and New Zealand need strong and respected leaders to re-establish appropriate industry practices, impact the safety agenda and support good practice. UL can play a significant role in resetting the local landscape for all the right reasons. The saying of “prove by test and state the facts” couldn’t be more in demand right now. Trust is the first step in restoring confidence and UL can bring that trust.
Matthew Wright supports our service offerings and growth across Australia and New Zealand.