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.
Introducing our Sustainable Procurement Consultant for Action Sustainability, Mellita D’Silva.
My relationship starts with the Supply Chain Sustainability School back in 2015 when I became a student and started to learn more about sustainability through their webinars and e-learning material. At the time I was a procurement manager on the Tideway East project and interested in pursuing a career in sustainable procurement.
Having learned a lot via the School, this led me to being promoted as Supply Chain Assurance & Sustainability Coordinator on the HS2 Enabling Works Area South project. That was my pilot project wherein coordinating with the legacy team, I was able to embed their requirements – EDI, SEE, environmental, community engagement and investment, into the procurement process.
I was looking for a career move that involved giving back and teaching others what I have learned over so many years of my career. When this job was advertised at Action Sustainability, I knew it had my name written all over it. The good thing is that in hosting and running workshops and webinars for the School, I get to give back to my ‘students’.
Normal? What’s that?! Ha! A typical work week would be a few meetings, preparing and delivering workshops, project management. Consultancy is very different from my previous job and that took some getting used to.
I start the day by preparing for client meetings, tweaking any workshops based on participant needs, catching up with colleagues to run ideas and content past them. I like a bit of research work too and when time permits, I help my colleague Robyn with tidying up and adding new resources to our online library within the School.
They are an SME, which I’ve never worked for before. The team is like a family.
We work in a matrix style wherein you can work on two or all aspects of the business – Action Sustainability (consultancy), the Supply Chain Sustainability School, and the Sustainability Tool. The business lets you grow and develop in the direction that you’d like to shape your career in. They listen to us and take our suggestions on board.
WHO is more like it 😊. I get to work with Helen Carter, who was and still is my role model in the sustainable procurement space. I was in awe of her when I joined initially, now we talk cake and chocolate most days! Along with discussing work tasks.
Action Sustainability are very transparent as a company and that is seen in our team days and the way they communicate. Everyone helps each other to grow by sharing knowledge, making the time to help with queries, supporting new comers settle in well. We genuinely want to help other businesses better their sustainable procurement practices.
The external factors which are outside our control – we’ve all been through it recently; COVID, Brexit, the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The effects this has had on procurement and supply chains is immense.
You can talk about BES 6001, FSC, PEFC, Responsibly Sourced etc. but procurement Managers are struggling to get the goods due to these external events, so most often sustainability criteria can take a back seat. Material and labour shortages mean that we might end up procuring from anywhere with little time for due diligence, and that is a dangerous position to be in.