Where are they now? Catching up with more edie 30 Under 30 alumni
With applications for edie’s new 30 Under 30 class now open, we catch up with ten of the rising sustainability stars who took part in our first class.
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.
30 Under 30 brings individuals who are changing the course of climate action together for networking, mentoring, workshopping and more.
After a two-year hiatus, the programme is returning for 2023 and applications are open until Friday 11 August. You can find full details on how to apply here.
The edie team has taken some time in between reading your applications to catch up with our original 30 Under 30 cohort – the Class of 2019.
In this second part of a three-part series, we outline the career successes and the future plans of ten more of our class members.
Agnes joined the Class as a digital analyst at Auto Trader. Environmental work was not the core focus of her day-to-day role, but she worked tirelessly to advocate for better education among the staff base and more robust governance structures to oversee an improved strategic approach.
She is now a senior sustainability manager at TLT LLP, a commercial law firm with offices across the UK. Agnes describes her goal as inspiring companies to “break free from the traditional growth narrative to explore a better, more human-centric system.”
Agnes’ 30 U 30 highlight: Building confidence. Agnes says: “As I don’t have a ‘traditional’ sustainability university degree it took the recognition by edie to call myself a leader and expert in sustainability… sometimes, you need a little boost to help you realise and unlock your potential!”
Crista was a sustainability marketing and communications manager within the travel and tourism sector in 2019.
In the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the industry was hit by lockdown restrictions, she founded her own sustainability storytelling consultancy. This led to her securing a role at Ecologi, where she now works as the head of sustainability marketing.
Crista tells edie that she “is sure” that she will always be a sustainability storyteller. She now wants to turn her attention to telling fewer but better stories, translating big global challenges into actionable steps that enable connections between people and nature.
Crista’s 30 U 30 highlight: Meeting coaches, mentors and new friends. She said: “This programme brought so many collaborations, but also friendships with lots of value and plenty of heart-to-heart conversations about careers.”
Like Crista, Henry’s industry – catering and food-to-go – was heavily impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns. He joined the class as the sustainability manager at BaxterStorey and Benugo.
He left BaxterStorey and Benugo in the latter half of 2020 and was offered a role as environment and energy manager at Arriva Rail London. After almost three years in this role, he joined Virgin Media O2 this summer as the telecoms giant’s senior environment and climate manager.
In the near future, he would like to manage his own team of environmental professionals.
Henry’s 30 U 30 highlight: Building a community. “I have a group of fellow passionate industry experts I can ask for advice and recommendations and everyone is really keen to help,” Henry explains. “Having been made redundant in 2020 following the pandemic, having the exposure and wider network from this group was an amazing safety net and really helped me get back on my feet into the working world.”
Kathryn Dixon (nee Patchett)
Kathryn has applied her education in economics and international development by working as a sustainability professional in the tea and coffee sector.
She has been with Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate for more than nine years now and is currently their sustainable development manager with a focus on the environmental side of the agenda including supply chain emissions.
At the time of our 30 Under 30 Class launch, she was the business’s product sustainability specialist – a role covering topics including packaging, sustainable ingredient sourcing and carbon footprinting.
Kathryn’s 30 U 30 highlight: Learning from peers. She says: “I was quite new to the world of sustainability back in 2019 and being part of the 30 Under 30 class was a brilliant way for me to learn lots – it was a great opportunity to access educational content and really interesting discussions.”
Jonathan (aka Jonny) was the environmental business partner at ISS Facility Services UK in 2019. He quickly worked his way up to a sustainability manager role as clients’ demands for net-zero strategies and climate risk disclosure strategies increased.
Jonathan left ISS UK in 2022 and is now the head of sustainability at Midland Heart, a social housing provider based out of the West Midlands. Midland Heart owns and manages more than 34,000 affordable homes, and Jonathan says he has found his passion in the built environment sector.
Jonathan’s 30 U 30 highlight: Finding the focus and information needed to take his career to the next level. He tells edie: “Joining a network of young peers with access to senior sustainability leaders has provided key insight and experience. It has inspired me to push forward into a senior role in a sector crucial to the UK’s net-zero ambitions.”
Olivia was promoted from sustainability coordinator at Wessex Water to a more senior advisory role within the business in early 2020. She oversaw the development of plans to reach net-zero operations by 2030, including carbon reporting and forecasting.
Since early 2021, Olivia has worked for major home improvement retailer Screwfix as a sustainability manager. Her team is now growing quickly, with two new roles having opened up this spring. She describes her key focus at the moment as changing internal culture to help decouple business growth from environmental impact.
Olivia’s 30 U 30 highlight: Meeting a team of cheerleaders. Olivia says: “The huge benefit for me was meeting sustainability professionals who were at a similar stage in their career to me, and equally ambitious. It was a fantastic way to build a network of contacts and many of us are still in touch almost four years later! It was also a great accolade to put on my CV.”
Tom joined edie’s Class as a sustainability manager at Sir Robert McAlpine, a family-owned building and infrastructure company with headquarters in Hertfordshire. He is now the business’s carbon manager and recently oversaw the development of its science-based emissions targets.
More and more businesses are creating carbon management roles as they develop and deliver on their net-zero strategies, making this a fast-growing and fast-paced emerging career field.
Tom’s 30 U 30 highlight: Collaborating to problem-solve. He explains: “Having a network of peers from various sectors has been immensely helpful solving new problems and providing different insights. It has been very helpful getting experience outside of the construction sector.”
Kathryn was the environment and sustainability manager at ArcusFM until August 2022. All in all, she worked for the FM giant for more than nine years, moving into an environmental role from audit and governance.
She is now the senior sustainability manager at healthcare firm Bupa, playing an important role in its global sustainability strategizing, reporting and employee engagement. Within the next five years, she would like to advance into a leadership role and manage a larger team.
Kathryn’s 30 U 30 highlight: She was unable to pick one highlight and chose three – building a network of young leaders, building her self confidence and enhancing her CV.
Ross was the group CSR manager at Atalian Servest in 2019. Like Kathryn, Ross worked in FM when he joined our 30 Under 30. His role was broad, covering diversity and inclusion, social sustainability and environmental topics.
He moved to consultancy Simply Sustainable in March 2021. 18 months later, he joined the Spanish transport technology company Accelya Group as its head of ESG.
Harry joined the 30 Under 30 Class of 2019 as a sustainability manager at Capgemini. Before the year was out, he moved on to the Church Commissioners for England, playing a key role in their climate strategy development and their sustainability-related communications.
He is now VP for climate and natural capital at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.
If you have any questions about nominations for the 30 Under 30 ‘Class of 2023’, please contact us.
© Faversham House Ltd 2023 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.