Why did you become an environment/sustainability professional?
The turning point for me was when I was at Auto-Smart. I led the company’s implementation of BS 7750 (the forerunner of ISO 14001). It was one of the first organisations to be certified.
What was your first environment/sustainability job?
Although it was not called environmental monitoring then, it was during my time in explosives manufacture when I was involved in the monitoring, testing and analysis of effluents, stack gases and workroom atmospheres. I became much more involved in the environmental field at Auto-Smart and joined EARA – later to become IEMA.
How did you get your first role?
I was aware of the draft BS 7750 and the director of the company encouraged and supported me to become involved in the pilot programme. I found the field of environmental management exciting and it tied in with my own personal interests. I chose then to make it the main focus of my career.
How did you progress your career?
I moved into consultancy and became involved in the European Commission project, Euromanagement-Environment, which was aimed at providing a standard methodology for the implementation of EMAS (the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) for SMEs in the manufacturing sector. I assisted two firms to achieve EMAS registration. Then I moved into the certification/verification field as a specialist and have been fortunate to be involved in certification and EMAS audits across a range of sectors.
What does your current role involve?
The maintenance and development of accredited GHG verification services under the EU emissions trading system (ETS); voluntary schemes (such as ISO 14064-1 and PAS 2050); energy management systems and mandatory carbon reporting submissions.
How has your role changed over the past few years?
Since joining Lucideon CICS, I have been responsible for delivering verification services, which involves contact with accreditation body UKAS and other authorities. The work has also broadened from just carbon management into other fields related to sustainability as the appetite for that type of verification has grown.
What’s the best part of your work?
I enjoy the whole process from delivery of verification services, training, development, mentoring of GHG auditors and delivery of training courses. I enjoy developing products and seeing them through to UKAS accreditation.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Meeting the deadline for ETS reporting is always on my mind because there is only a three-month window for companies to finalise their annual emissions reports and submit them for final verification.
What was the last development/training course/event you attended?
I attended the Sustainability Best Practice Exchange event in Harrogate in April 2016.
What did you bring back to your job?
A better understanding of the potential effect on organisations of the changes to future UK carbon legislation as a result of the Budget earlier this year.
What is/are the most important skill(s) for your role and why?
A clear understanding of the requirements of various GHG legislation, standards and guidance documents, as well as the needs and expectations of the various interested parties because these have to be incorporated into our procedures and GHG auditor practices.
Where do you see the environment/sustainability profession going?
The profession has already changed so much since I started, when environmental/sustainability aspects were almost a ‘bolt on’ to their core business activities. Nowadays, they have become an integral part of the way companies do business and their set strategic goals.
Where would like to be in five years?
I enjoy the role I have, but relish the ongoing challenges that have taken me into new schemes, varied organisations and to some exciting overseas locations.
What advice would you give to someone entering the profession?
Be clear on your audience’s needs and expectations and use that to your advantage when putting forward your case for environmental improvements.
How do you use IEMA’s environmental skills map?
I use this as a check on my professional development and as a guide when recruiting staff.
MIEMA, CEnv, principal auditor, chartered chemist and chartered quality professional, greenhouse gas lead auditor, lead assessor for ISO 14001 and 50001, and an EMAS (the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) verifier
2008 to date - Assurance Services Manager, Lucideon CICS
1998 to 2008 - Environmental Specialist, BSI
1996 to 1998 - Management Services Executive, Business Environment Association
1990 to 1996 - Quality and Environmental Manager, Auto-Smart
1975 to 1990 - Laboratory Technician, Explosives and Chemicals Products