Sazal from our Circular Economy and Lifecyle Thinking team recently shared with us his story of how he got into sustainability and what led him to Edge.
What led you to pursue a career in sustainability?
My interest in sustainability was sparked while I was doing my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering. I learnt that human activities are responsible for the majority of environmental problems. After graduating, I started working in a chlorine plant. While my core responsibilities were related to process engineering, I also emphasised adopting methods and protocols that were eco-friendly.
From there, I went onto work in a range of industry and academic projects where my interest in sustainability continued to grow.
I moved to The University of Newcastle in 2009 and worked in various environmental-related projects. Major areas of my work at the university included developing eco-friendly polymers from waste refrigerants and the development of ventilation air methane abatement technology.
I then moved to RMIT University in 2017 and began developing sustainable technologies which focused on reducing/eliminating environmental issues. I worked predominantly with various wastes including biosolids, paunch wastes, plastic wastes and biomass wastes.
My long career in various areas has shaped me as a sustainability professional.
What drew you to Edge?
While I was involved in developing sustainability technologies at RMIT University, I decided that sustainability consulting would be my next career move. I had heard a lot about the exciting projects Edge delivers. Around that time, Dr Vaibhav Gaikwad joined Edge Environment and I must say, he was the primary influencer for me to consider a career at Edge. In 2020, I made it my goal to secure a role at Edge. Finally, an opportunity came up in early 2021 that aligned with my career interests, skill-set as well as my experience and I joined the team.
What sort of work do you do at Edge?
Sustainability is a vast area and my primary contribution at Edge is in Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). So far, I have completed projects on Organisational LCA (known as O-LCA, based on GHG protocols), LCA for Waste-to-Energy projects (based on Australian Renewable Energy Agency or ARENA LCA guidelines), packaging LCA and Environmental Product Declaration (EPDs) at Edge. I am also developing LCA based excel tools to assist organisations with their needs and provide training to my clients for them to use these tools.
What do you enjoy most about working in sustainability?
Climate change is no longer a hoax. It is a fact and we have no choice but accept that climate change has been happening. My work on LCAs and EPDs are helping organisations directly understand the environmental impacts of their activities and their products as well as what actions they can take to reduce the environmental burdens. I also work with my colleagues to develop sustainability strategies and communication for various organisations. This is quite a fulfilling experience and I feel proud to be part of the journey in achieving a more sustainable world.