Leading Voices in Global Sustainability
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10 Questions to Change The World
How do you think climate change and the global sustainability agenda will
impact your industry over the next 3-5 years?
I set up Hubbub as an environmental charity seeking to collaborate with businesses helping them to create impactful campaigns with their consumers and employees. Over the past eight years, I have seen a remarkable change in corporate ambition with sustainability gradually shifting from the preserve of a usually marginalised CSR team to core business planning. This change will accelerate over the next 3-5 years driven by increasingly robust scientific evidence, a need to create a resilient business, more external legislation and greater expectations from the public, customers and employees.
What is one ‘sustainability hack’ you’d recommend to an organisation wanting
to transform into a more sustainable operation?
Many businesses have set bold ambitious carbon targets which can feel very distant and abstract to customers and employees. They can also struggle to provide authentic evidence that they are effectively progressing towards their targets.
I have seen a remarkable change in corporate ambition with sustainability gradually shifting from the preserve of a usually marginalised CSR team to core business planning.
Hubbub has demonstrated that proactively engaging with customers and employees involving them in the implementation of their sustainability strategy brings the long-term ambitions to life creating authentic stories and tangible evidence of change.
Why have you embraced sustainability in your professional career?
Over 30 years ago I was working at Friends of the Earth who released one of the first reports on the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ highlighting the threat of global warming. I also saw the power of environmental campaigning successfully phasing out CFCs to protect the ozone level. Since then I have followed the science demonstrating that our current path is not sustainable and have understood the massive social implications that this creates. Given this background there was only one path open to me which was to do all that I could to show that there is a route to a more sustainable and just future which would have significant societal benefit.
What are some of the wins you have achieved in your career to date?
I seek to build on my previous experience with the aim of creating something that delivers even greater levels of change
I am proud to have set up three highly successful environmental enterprises which have delivered impact and provided many employees with opportunities to grow and learn. More recently it has been rewarding to have overseen the creation of two campaigns: The Community Fridge Network and Community Calling which have not only helped the environment but have provided people with essential support helping them to cope with the impacts of COVID and the cost of living squeeze.
What do you want to have achieved before you retire?
I am currently working on the establishment of a new enterprise which I hope will remove some of the barriers that make it difficult for people to take environmental action in their everyday lives. For every new enterprise I seek to build on my previous experience with the aim of creating something that delivers even greater levels of change – having set up Hubbub that could prove a challenge this time.
What advice would you give for organisations looking to start or advance on their sustainability journey?
I am the last person to provide career advice but I have increasingly realised that it is important to follow your heart and be brave. Being stuck in a role which is unfulfilling or doesn’t sit well with your values is ultimately exhausting and whilst change may feel risky it is often the way to a more rewarding role.
Who do you go to for inspiration in this space?
I am not a great reader of management books or a listener to inspirational podcasts. Instead I get my drive for change through the conversations I have had over the years with people seeking to get the most from their lives regardless of circumstance. Listening to residents of Oldham having to deal with the blight of fly-tipping near their home or households struggling to pay their energy bills or provide their families with healthy food is what inspires me to do what I can to change things.
Instead I get my drive for change through the conversations I have had over the years with people seeking to get the most from their lives regardless of circumstance.
- Trewin Restorick -
How do you offset your own footprint?
As I have got older my life has been increasingly simplified. I am impossible to buy presents for because I simply don’t want to clutter my life with stuff. My home has solar water and energy systems, we have a highly efficient wormery/compost system, I batch cook family meals to reduce waste and most journeys are made by bicycle and foot. It all sounds a bit pious but I find it rewarding and it keeps me healthy
What is your one ‘guilty / non-eco’ pleasure? (that you can’t live without)
On the flip side, we haven’t yet made it to a vegetarian diet although we have cut out virtually all red meat. We are flying abroad this year with the children as a release from Covid and we do own a family car which is a hybrid.
If you had to choose one person, organisation or community to lead the world in sustainability, who would it be and why?
I believe that the only way that we can have a more sustainable world is through collaboration between every section of society. We have seen the danger of egomaniac leaders, I think a different model is required.
"If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it. In my lifetime I have witnessed a terrible decline. In yours you could - and should - see a wonderful recovery.”
- Sir David Attenborough