Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Peter Statham, Carlsberg Group
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: Peter Statham, sustainability manager for Carlsberg Group and CMBC.
The future of business leadership starts right here. Last 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 benefits 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 Peter Statham, sustainability manager for Carlsberg and, also, the newly-created Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC), created through a merger in 2020.
How I got to where I am now:
“Since school, I’ve been interested in, and increasingly concerned about, the impact that people have on the planet. This led me to study geography at Exeter Uni, and then a Master’s in sustainable development.
“Through my studies, I began to understand that businesses have a huge role to play in averting the climate and ecological crises, through investing, engaging consumers, and developing solutions.
“So I went into consultancy, working with multinational brands across various sectors – from telecoms and banking to pet food and home furnishings. It was a great grounding – learning about the different industries and the issues they face.
“When the job at Carlsberg came up I couldn’t resist! I joined as Sustainability Manager for the UK business, which soon changed to a dual role split between the UK and Carlsberg Group. This is the best of both – giving me an insight to other markets and the development of the strategy at a global level, while also working next to a brewery and implementing our sustainability plans on the ground.”
My biggest career achievement to date has been:
“What I’m most excited about is the change in perception towards sustainability being viewed as a huge commercial benefit.
“Obviously I can’t claim all the credit for this – it’s part of a broader change in society – but over the last couple of years I’ve focused on supporting our commercial teams in sharing our work and the ambitious plans in our sustainability programme, Together Towards ZERO. This has created lots of interesting discussions with our customers, suppliers and partners, leading to innovative projects and even winning new customers. Sustainability is becoming more central to our brand plans too, with Carlsberg announcing a partnership with WWF and Estrella Damm focusing on protecting our oceans.
“It’s an exciting time to be in sustainability, and by continually demonstrating its commercial benefits, we can strengthen the case for increased focus and investment to meet our targets. “
The biggest challenge I have encountered along the way is:
“Embedding sustainability to make it a key consideration in every decision.
“Top-level engagement is a crucial first step to set the targets and direction. But creating accountability, where every individual understands how they can contribute and why it’s important, is far more difficult. Especially in a newly formed business of over 2,000 people and eight breweries growing from just two when I started. That’s my focus now, as we form a new joint venture in the UK – Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company.
If I had to describe my generation in one word or phrase, I would say:
A successful 2020-21 for me looks like:
“Embedding sustainability to be a core part of the approach for Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, where everyone is playing their part to create a better beer company for the planet.”
Outside of my career, I enjoy:
“Being outside. Whether that’s canoeing, biking, walking, or just being stood over the BBQ (with a beer, of course).
“Lockdown has also created more time for hobbies that I hadn’t done in a while – like homebrewing (though I’m still no threat to my employer)”
My ‘Mission Possible’ message for business is:
“Every individual and organisation has a role to play, and we’re all aiming for the same thing – a more sustainable future.
“We can achieve this faster and with greater impact when we work together. Sustainability as a point of competition is great because it drives innovation and investment which speeds up the pace of change. But it’s important that we learn from and work with one another towards a more sustainable future.”
My key piece of advice for any young professionals entering my industry today is:
“My job would be impossible without an understanding of how the business works and what’s involved in sourcing, brewing and selling beer. Think more broadly than just sustainability, to the industry or sector that you want to work in. Build your experience there, gaining an understanding of how it operates and the issues it faces. Then apply this targeted knowledge to create a more sustainable business.”
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.