Sustainability Fortnight: Career Stories with Sustainable UCL
By Joe O'Brien, on 3 March 2020
As part of UCL Careers Sustainability Fortnight our colleagues at Sustainable UCL are sharing their career stories, motivations and top tips. Inspired? Check out our full events programme and learn more about careers in sustainability
Written by Eve Nelson, Plastic Removal Project Manager at Iceland Food Ltd
What does your role consist of?
I’ve been working at Iceland as the Plastic Removal Project Manager for a little over six months. It’s a new position, and I’m responsible for project management to deliver Iceland’s pledge to remove plastic from its own label products by the end of 2023. My job is hugely varied, but my three main focuses are organising and managing our supplier working groups, where we collaborate with approximately 100 suppliers, tracking our packaging data, and reporting and communicating our progress for internal and external purposes. Before working at Iceland, I worked for Sustainable UCL as the Sustainability Projects Officer, helping to devise UCL’s Sustainability Strategy 2019-2024.
What got you interested in sustainability?
I’ve always been passionate about nature and the environment. I used to have a scrapbook about saving the planet when I was a child, and my grandparents still have the stickers I made them about switching light bulbs off when I was very young! This interest led me to study Biology at university, and it was through work experience in my first year that I realised it was possible to work in sustainability as a career.
What tips would you give to someone interested in this field?
I would say follow what you are passionate about and take every opportunity. Improving your knowledge through study (look out for free courses and webinars) and keeping up to date with sustainability news can help you keep abreast of the latest developments – it’s a fast-moving industry! It’s also a very broad field, and work experience and volunteering are great ways to learn about different types of jobs in sustainability – you can learn a lot from even shadowing someone for a day. Talking to people in the industry is also invaluable, for example at events or over the phone, both for learning about different roles and for building a network for future opportunities and guidance. It’s a very open and collaborative sector.
Thank you to Eve and Sustainable UCL for sharing their career stories.
For remaining Sustainability Fortnight events, see here.