When my children who are all older teenagers describe my job to their friends (which doesn’t happen very often I admit), they say I am like the Lorax, because I try and save trees. I like that description.“
I am not quite sure when my interest in environmental issues all started. It must have been before I became a vegetarian at the age of 13 – ‘just a phase’ according to my mum – but one that has lasted a very (very) long time.
I read the book ‘Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson in my late teens, and decided that was it – I wanted to do my part in ensuring the world didn’t end up a pesticide-ridden, silent earth, devoid of bird life, devoid of life itself.
So I took a BSc in Environmental Science at Southampton University, swiftly followed by a MSc in Environmental Management and Policy at Lund University, Sweden, then joining ERM, a multinational sustainability consultancy in London for a number of years.
Then in 2009, we did the big move down to Dorset. There I joined Efeca, a micro Dorset based natural resources sustainability firm, focussing on sustainable commodities such as timber, palm oil, soy, coffee, sugarcane and cocoa.
By working with the UK government, private sector and NGOs nationally and internationally on policies, regulations and commitments of sustainable commodities, we try and reduce deforestation, stop exploitation, stop peatland conversion, save wildlife, save the planet, save the people.
We facilitate the UK Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative, the UK Sustainable Soy Initiative, the UK Global Resource Initiative and the UK Soy Manifesto and we are supporting the government on the due diligence component of the Environment Bill.
Most recently, I have been delighted to be leading a free Efeca initiative called the Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community. Here, we are encouraging all Dorset businesses and organisations such as cafes, restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets, schools, tourist attractions and such like to make at least one switch to sustainable palm oil. By asking their suppliers whether there is palm oil in their supply chain, and by requesting sustainable palm oil instead of conventional palm oil, we are sending that message up the supply chain to the producers, traders, manufacturers both in the UK but also globally that there is a demand for sustainable palm oil. The number of schools involved will hopefully mean that sustainable palm oil and other commodities will be the norm for the next generation.
If you want to know more about myself, the Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community, Efeca, or anything else, please connect with me (LinkedIN).
Having just hosted with ASP our first collaborative workshop (Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community Initiative: 8th December,) I look forward to getting more involved with ASP and getting to know you all over the coming months.