Press Release

National Design-Build Firm Clayco Hires Seasoned Strategist Ryan Spies as Inaugural Vice President of Sustainability

CHICAGO – September 14, 2021 – Clayco, a full-service turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm, has hired Ryan Spies as the company’s first vice president of sustainability. In this newly formed role, Spies will develop a holistic strategy to reduce Clayco’s overall carbon footprint, identify sustainable business opportunities for leadership, and oversee sustainability practices and training for the enterprise.

“I’m honored to be selected for this inaugural leadership position at Clayco and look forward to having a more profound impact on the firm’s sustainable practices in the lifecycle of our building processes,” said Spies. “Clayco is uniquely positioned in the built environment to truly deliver on our mantra, ‘beyond these walls,’ through a comprehensive, progressive and industry-leading sustainability strategy. The visionary leadership of the company over the last 37 years has shown that when we tackle the largest challenges, we solve them through innovation and resolve. The climate crisis is the largest challenge of our lifetimes, and we aim to position Clayco as the firm of the future in meeting that challenge head on.”

Spies joins the firm from Saint-Gobain, the largest manufacturer of building products in the world, where he served as director of sustainability, energy and stewardship. There he was responsible for developing strategy and programs to manage energy, water, waste and CO2 reductions in over 130 facilities in North America, including direct work on climate change policy and renewable energy deployment. After various roles in engineering and strategy, Spies has focused on corporate sustainability for the last 10 years for three Fortune 500 companies.

Spies’ position as Clayco’s first vice president of sustainability comes with the charge of implementing the forthcoming sustainability plan that contains the following organizational goals:

  • Discovery and analysis of Clayco’s existing carbon emissions associated with a building’s entire lifecycle, including development, design, construction and operation.
  • Establishing enterprise-wide emissions targets that align with scientific consensus and leading industry practices.
  • Increasing the use of embodied carbon analysis in selecting building materials for all Clayco projects.
  • Explore additions to Clayco’s offerings, including renewable energy construction, electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and resiliency as core lines of business.

“We’re thrilled to add this important position to our leadership team,” said Bob Clark, Clayco’s Executive Chairman and Founder. “Ryan’s vast experience in advancing sustainable practices at the corporate level for Fortune 500s and a building product manufacturer—a fundamental component to our business—positions him well to help Clayco maximize our sustainability efforts. The issues surrounding climate change are more urgent than ever, and we are taking this step to help lead our company and industry in the right direction.”

In 2019, Spies was presented the IETC Award for Leadership in Energy Conservation and Environmental Stewardship, and in 2020 he was recognized as the AEEE Region 1 Energy Manager of the Year. Spies holds an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University. For more information on Clayco’s commitment to sustainability, please visit here.


About Clayco
Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering, and construction firm that safely delivers clients across North America the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. With $3.8 billion in revenue for 2020, Clayco specializes in the “art and science of building,” providing fast track, efficient solutions for industrial, commercial, institutional and residential related building projects. For more information visit www.claycorp.com.