Meet edie’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Marta Perricone, Unilever
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: Unilever's global supply chain manager Marta Perricone.
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 Marta Perricone, Unilever’s global supply chain manager for food and refreshments, who was recently promoted after more than two years in the sustainable manufacturing team.
How I got to where I am now:
“With a bit of luck and following the right people!
“I was fortunate enough to do an amazing industrial placement experience with Unilever, where I met my mentor and the most influential person in my career so far. I’ve never looked for the word ‘sustainability’ in a job title but for roles that could challenge the way I think and make me grow as a person, as well as leaders that could coach me and inspire me to do my best every day. And it happens to be that the past two and half years have been in the area of environmental management, which has been one of my biggest passions since I was a little girl and my parents would force me into beach cleanups.
“But I’ve done many other jobs prior to this and what I’ve learnt is that you can bring sustainability to any role, from customer service to running a production line. In fact, the only way we are really going to create change is for more people without ‘sustainability’ in their job titles to work on this. All it requires is for someone to be passionate about doing things right and to challenge the status quo.”
My biggest career achievement to date has been:
“Helping to deliver Unilever’s zero non-hazardous waste to landfill achievement! Unilever’s manufacturing footprint is very varied from a technology point of view (soaps to ice creams, stock cubes to toilet blocks) and a geographical one, making the target particularly challenging but very worth achieving. I worked on the programme as an industrial placement student. This was my very first job, and I’m proud to be responsible for a global movement that is still considered industry-leading.”
The biggest challenge I have encountered along the way is:
“Accepting that being directionally right is often better than being precisely wrong. I’ve always loved being precise but what we need right now is for many people to do their best rather than for one person to do everything perfectly.”
If I had to describe my generation in one word or phrase, I would say:
A successful 2020-21 for me looks like:
“Managing to motivate people to reduce their food waste footprint, professionally, as well as managing to stay and feel close to my family whilst the vaccine gets rolled out, personally.”
Outside of my career, I enjoy:
“Running and sailing, reading and learning Dutch.”
My ‘Mission Possible’ message for business is:
“The time is now and we all need to play a role, no matter how small we are compared to the industry as a whole.”
My key piece of advice for any young professionals entering my industry today is:
“You don’t need to be in the sustainability team to make a difference. Follow your passion, be true to yourself and always play to your strengths. Ensure that you are always learning. Also, remember that it’s okay to reject a few things and change roles whilst you’re still learning what you like.”
The full Class of 2020 membership is detailed here.
To stay in the loop for 2021 nominations for the 30 Under 30, email email@example.com.
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