Sam from our New Zealand team shares with us what it was like to move into sustainability consulting and how focussing on people is central to Edge.
What led you to pursue a career in sustainability?
Over my half a decade in sustainability, what I have observed is that everyone’s journey to a sustainability career is different. For me, it was the opportunity to work on New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project – City Rail Link – and one where sustainability was a key pillar in the successful delivery of the project.
What I realised quickly was that it was the diversity of experiences and knowledge that are key to delivering sustainability outcomes – and that is really all about the people. Getting to work with passionate people is really the thing that motivates me to be a successful sustainability practitioner.
The other thing about sustainability is that it is complex and messy – and I could see how my roots in design thinking and engineering could be used to help to simplfiy things and allow people to find their ways through all the messiness!
What drew you to Edge?
Like I said before, it is always about the people for me. And the people I met from Edge came across as passionate + pragmatic and genuine about their connections with clients. This is my first time consulting, so I was a bit nervous. But when I saw that it was all about being a kind person and being trusted by clients to provide advice and insights, my nervousness disappeared and I am now fully immersed in the world of consulting and love it.
What sort of work do you do at Edge?
I am a sustainability practitioner through and through. This means I bring my experience of working in infrastructure projects and understanding of how to shape people to integrate sustainability into their work, into how I guide our clients to do the same.
A lot of my work is focused on supporting clients and building their capabilities along the way to deliver the ambitious sustainability agenda that is baked into many of the infrastrucure projects underway in Victoria, Australia. The portfolio that I oversee is worth around $0.5billion dollars and the sustainability requirements run the full gambit from sustainable procurement and leadership through to climate risk, ecology and resource efficiency, and then through the reporting and storytelling. Bringing the great work to life and sharing it with others is something I really enjoy.
What do you enjoy most about working in sustainability?
It is the diversity of the people I get to work with – both within Edge and with our clients. The diversity of thinking and perspectives. One thing I have come to really appreciate as a sustainability practitioner is that it really is a collective effort and requires many people to come together and push for change.
What puts a spring in my step is being able to work with people who are passionate about creating change and shaking things up, and to helping our clients see that sustainability is everyone’s job and can integrated into what they do.