Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: George Barrett, John Lewis Partnership
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: George Barrett, sustainability manager for the circular economy at John Lewis Partnership.
The future of business leadership starts right here. Earlier this year, edie unveiled the second cohort of members of its 30 Under 30 initiative – a group of bright and ambitious rising sustainability and energy stars from across the UK.
After being nominated by their colleagues and impressing judges from Global Action Plan and the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS), this cohort of youthful visionaries now benefit from an unrivalled opportunity to connect with one another and co-develop solutions to some of the most pressing environmental and social challenges of our time.
In this weekly series, we will be sharing their stories and successes beyond the group, giving edie readers insight into the minds of those who will be leading the charge in creating the low-carbon, resource-efficient economies of the future.
This week, it's the turn of George Barrett, who joined the cohort as John Lewis Partnership's assistant sustainability and responsible sourcing manager and has since been promoted to sustainability manager for the circular economy.
How I got to where I am now:
“I studied geography as my undergraduate and then decided I wanted to pursue a master’s in international development. After graduated, I joined a small sustainability consultancy.
“My next role was in Primark’s ethical trade and sustainability team, where I spent two very enjoyable years before joining the John Lewis Partnership. I’m delighted to be looking after our circular economy work."
My biggest career achievement to date has been:
“It sounds cliché, but every day is a new chance to achieve in this profession.
“My biggest achievement is being surrounded by people that inspire, motivate and challenge me to be better every day.”
The biggest challenge I have encountered along the way is:
“Shifting internal culture.
“People generally prefer to maintain their routines and habits, so it takes time to change the way people view and do things. That said, this is also a huge opportunity.
If I had to describe my generation in one word or phrase, I would say:
A successful 2020-21 for me looks like:
“Staying resilient, staying motivated and helping those around me stay positive.”
Outside of my career, I enjoy:
“Playing five-a-side football and running long-distance. I’ve sadly had a couple of running events I was looking forward to getting cancelled because of Covid-19 but I’m going to keep training.”
My ‘Mission Possible’ message for business is:
“Don’t shy away from the big questions.
“Also, it’s important to make corporate responsibility an intrinsic part of business.”
My key piece of advice for any young professionals entering my industry today is:
“Don’t fix yourself to a linear path – you may find that your passions and interests become clearer or change over time, and that’s okay. There are lots of different ways to get started in this space and to progress your career.”
The full Class of 2020 membership is detailed here.
To stay in the loop for 2021 nominations for the 30 Under 30, email firstname.lastname@example.org.