Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Lucie Peralta Agass, OVO Energy
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: Lucie Peralta Agass, senior sustainability manager at OVO Energy.
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 Lucie Peralta Agass, senior sustainability manager at major energy challenger brand OVO Energy.
How I got to where I am now:
"While studying for an undergraduate philosophy degree with a focus on moral philosophy and environmental ethics I became more aware of sustainability challenges facing society. This realisation drove me to join a charity which was working to solve environmental and social problems after graduating.
"After a few years in the charity sector, I decided to develop my technical sustainability knowledge further and enrolled in a master's programme in environment and international development at LSE.
"After my master's, I joined Deloitte’s sustainability consulting team, which kick-started my career in corporate sustainability. The role helped me develop core skills and provided exposure to a wide range of sustainability areas, organisations and sectors. I was fortunate to work on a number of client projects in the energy sector which opened my eyes to the important and exciting role that the sector has to play in the low carbon transition.
"I jumped at the chance to join OVO Energy in 2018 as the second member of a newly formed sustainability team. I knew it would be both a great challenge and an opportunity - the job involved working in a fast-paced business and helping to build the sustainability programme from scratch."
My biggest career achievement to date has been:
"Contributing to OVO’s first sustainability strategy, Plan Zero. This involved completing OVO’s first materiality assessment and extensive stakeholder engagement. I was responsible for OVO’s first Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon footprint and setting our science-based net-zero targets, which underpin the strategy."
The biggest challenge I have encountered along the way is:
"Engaging individuals. I believe that many people want to be part of the solution, but they don’t always have the means or know-how. Businesses have a huge challenge to bring customers along on the sustainability journey and to develop accessible, sustainable products that can help to make sustainability mainstream.
"But it's also a huge opportunity. Solving sustainability challenges will require governments, businesses and individual citizens to play their part."
If I had to describe my generation in one word or phrase, I would say:
A successful 2020-21 for me looks like:
"Contributing to OVO’s efforts to build back better. For me personally, this involves continuing to embed OVO’s Plan Zero strategy across the business - particularly within the recently acquired SSE Energy Services business. We are also currently gathering OVO’s baseline 2020 Plan Zero data as we plan to publish our first Plan Zero progress report in 2021.
"2020 has been a very challenging year. However, the pandemic hasn’t changed the fact that threats such as the climate crisis and biodiversity crisis continue to accelerate."
Outside of my career, I enjoy:
"Spending time outdoors and in nature, especially hiking in the mountains and swimming in the sea.
"During lockdown, I enjoyed spending time learning how to garden, including growing a herb garden, which to my surprise is still alive and well. I’ve also been using the extra time at home to learn Spanish.
"Also, I volunteered with the food waste charity FoodCycle for five years and I plan to get back involved with the charity once the coronavirus measures have eased."
My ‘Mission Possible’ message for business is:
"Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. With urgent challenges like the climate crisis, there is no time to lose. Striving for unrealistic perfection could stall action. I think it is important to strike a balance between perfection and pragmatism and to accept that there might be an element of building the plane as you fly."
My key piece of advice for any young professionals entering my industry today is:
"Remember why you are doing this. Working in sustainability often involves knocking on doors that look like they’re never going to open and it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. In those moments I find it helpful to take a step back and remember why I’m doing this and why it matters. With a little perseverance, those doors will start to open."
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.