Meet edie’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2023: Thomas Verity, SailGP

This 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, Thomas Verity, transition and innovation manager at SailGP.

Meet edie’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2023: Thomas Verity, SailGP

Thomas joined SailGP in 2022, bringing experience from the motorsports and energy industries

More than just a list, edie’s annual 30 Under 30 initiative shines a spotlight on talented sustainability and net-zero professionals – aged under 30 – who are delivering on efforts to build a better future and showing fantastic promise for their future potential.

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the initiative has returned for 2023-4, with the new class having been announced last September.

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.

Our next profile interview is with Thomas Verity, transition and innovation manager at SailGP – an international sailing competition with a vision of becoming the world’s most sustainable and purpose-driven sports entertainment platform.

How I got to where I am now…

“I have loved science and problem-solving since childhood, which led me to study an integrated masters in Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham. From the start, engineering helped cultivate analytical skills, a wide technical toolkit and a process-driven approach to project work. I was lucky enough as part of these studies to undertake a year-long internship working in the energy sector, which helped shape my desire to work on global decarbonisation challenges and shaped my understanding that a technology-first approach is critical to meeting this challenge in slow-moving sectors.

“Upon graduation, I pivoted my career towards driving the technology innovation required to meet the global challenge of decarbonisation whilst working for Liberty Global. This afforded a diverse range of professional experience from deploying innovative power distribution technologies across Virgin Media’s network, to establishing site design and asset maintenance strategies as a design engineer building the Liberty Charge electric vehicle charging network, through into founding a start-up looking to bring a novel renewable energy generation technology to market.

“I pivoted into sport because it has such a global platform to affect change. I applied my passion for engineering and previous experience in technology as a sustainability manager at Formula E, the world’s premier electric motorsport. There, I was responsible for helping deliver and develop the business-wide sustainability strategy.

“I then built on this foundation within sports sustainability in a more specific application of my expertise through my current role as SailGP’s Transition & Innovation Manager, focusing on the transition of SailGP’s operations to be 100% powered by clean energy. My current role holds a variety of responsibilities from technology and strategy, testing and development; working both internally and externally to develop solutions that can shape progress in the path to net-zero for both SailGP and the wider marine industry.”

My biggest career achievement to date has been…

“Attending and speaking at COP28 on challenges and opportunities in the decarbonisation of both the sport and marine industries.

“It was an amazing opportunity to not only share industry-specific experience and learnings, but to understand the role of my work in the wider climate conversation and how industry sustainability efforts need to be standardised, coordinated and interconnected cross-sectors.”

The biggest challenge I have encountered has been…

“Growing a business sustainably.

“Change of this nature is hard generally but operational change specifically is particularly challenging. Mapping the key decision stakeholders, consultation and management in any transformational project has been key to its success.Also, traditional business metrics do not holistically account for the wider benefit of projects.

“Another big part of this challenge is ensuring that technology decisions are data-driven. In the world of emerging ‘clean’ technologies, being able to analyse impact with limited historic data and cut through the hype around certain technologies – considering lifecycle emissions and impact – is not easy. Building a network of experts, being engaged in industry conversations and continually actively learning has been key to help aid this.”

If I had to describe my generation in a word or phrase, I would say…


A successful 2024 for me looks like….

“Continuing to push the boundaries of innovation and sustainability in sport, and see technology transfer of initiatives into the wider marine sector.”

Outside of my job, I enjoy…

“More sport! Playing and watching takes up most of my free time, and I’ve recently taken up running trail marathons.

“Having grown up in rural East Yorkshire with great access to nature, I find myself doing everything possible to get outdoors, exploring, hiking and camping where possible. It’s extremely reassuring to see the bigger picture of how my work can help protect the environments I enjoy so much.”

My ‘Mission Possible’ message to business leaders is…

Collaborate. Too much progression in sustainability is stifled because of competitive interests. Working together with businesses in similar challenge areas, in an open and collaborative way, will accelerate progression to meeting these challenges more so than working privately in silos. See the bigger picture!”

My advice to young people entering my profession today is…

“Be dynamic – sustainability professionals have to wear a LOT of different hats and undertake a wide variety of roles as part of their day job, often overcoming management resistance and financial constraints to drive change along the way. You will need to be proactive and flexible in your execution of your role, and also in finding ways to succeed across different stakeholder groups.”

The full 30 Under 30 Class of 2023 membership is detailed here

Nominations for the next edie 30 Under 30 class will open in July 2024. Subscribe to our daily email newsletters to make sure you don’t miss your chance to apply.

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