It takes a highly talented and diverse team to be able to deliver everything we do across our consultancy, Sustainability Tool, and Supply Chain Sustainability School – and so, we wanted to introduce you to the people behind the scenes who inspire sustainable business every day.
In 2018, the start-up I was working at had steered it’s mission away from sustainability so I decided it was time to move on to a new challenge, one aligned with my values. A client who had worked with Action Sustainability introduced me to Ian Heptonstall. He kindly accepted to meet for a coffee to give me guidance on my next career move.
Within the first few minutes of the conversation, I knew that given the opportunity I’d want to work for this company. Ian’s ethos and the vision he described for the business really resonated with me. During that conversation, we also found out we both played for the same local rugby club – a few years apart though. I’m sure that mutual passion played a big role in helping me step my foot in the door.
I’m now Head of Product for the Sustainability Tool, a reporting and performance management software solution. On a typical day, I start by catching up with the software developers and give feedback on the new features they’re building. I’ll then have a couple of sales demos with the heads of sustainability and supply chain at some of the UK’s leading infrastructure and construction businesses.
We’ll brainstorm ways on how to best implement reporting and performance management programmes across their businesses and supply chains. This is a chance for me to hear what problems customers have and how we can help them.
Once the sales tasks are complete, I usually catch up with the client-facing team members of the Sustainability to help solve any problems they’re facing. We often use those opportunities to exchange ideas about how the product should evolve. Our focus is always to find novel ways of streamlining sustainability data collection and simplifying the data analysis.
Our purpose is to help clients easily identify problem areas and take action on them. Finally, I tend to finish my day with admin and HR tasks such as invoicing and recruitment. It’s great to have such variety in a role, and a great bunch of colleagues to share the day with.
Action Sustainability is a company that genuinely cares about your wellbeing and setting us up to achieve our best. I’ve never seen a small business put so much effort and resource into ensuring its employees are happy about coming to work. I think this is truly unique and hope it will inspire others to follow suit. I also realise we’re in a privileged position to influence the sustainability strategy of so many businesses across the UK.
It’s been extremely rewarding to see the Sustainability Tool grow from it’s first client in 2019. The team has worked really hard to build this software solution from scratch and now it’s embedded across some of the largest construction and infrastructure projects in the UK. We’re now driving sustainability improvements across thousands of businesses and so we know our job matters.
It’s difficult to prioritise so many crucial problems that are intertwined by nature. However, I tend to tell clients they can’t solve all the issues in the world and need to identify which are more important and material to them. All businesses that take sustainability seriously though see climate change as an imminent threat.
It’s going to take a paradigm shift for the global community to achieve climate policy targets, and avoid the worst global warming scenarios. We really need to up the pace on change and implement solutions on a systemic level. I work at Action Sustainability because I know this is a business where I’m encouraged to think at that scale.