We spoke to The Growth Company's Sustainability Manager, Clare Fallon, to find out more about her passion for sustainability.
I have been in the sustainability sector for the last 12 years, after completing a degree in Environmental Management and spending a few years working in other industries. Initially I started as Environment and Sustainability Officer at the University of Salford before moving to Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) as a Campaign Officer working with hard-to-reach communities. I then moved into software development, working with automotive and government departments to push sustainable reporting down their supply chains using technology solutions, and then finally to the Business Growth Hub, where I worked as an Environmental Business Advisor for 5 years before moving into this role, GC Sustainability Manager, in September. My career has been quite varied so far for someone in this sector, but it has meant that there have been elements from each job which I have been able to bring into this new role.
I had to do a project on acid rain and the ozone layer hole for my GCSEs and I couldn’t understand why, when we knew the causes and the effect it had on the world, we weren’t doing more about it. I was really interested in how reducing the effects of environmental degradation meant bringing lots of different people together, communicating and understanding behaviour change theories. To me, it seemed like a really interesting topic to be involved in.
GC has always been looking at ways of reducing its environmental impact, but we haven’t always shouted about what we are doing. We have been a carbon neutral company since 2019, but we wanted to go beyond this, which is why we recently announced our Net Zero target, that is reducing our carbon emissions to the point where we can’t anymore, and then off-setting the rest. GC’s target is to be Net Zero by 2035. This will mean that we are also in line with current thinking regarding our effects to keep the global temperature increase within 1.5oC.
This is an ambitious target and puts us ahead of a lot of other businesses. It also puts us ahead of the government’s targets for the UK to be Net Zero by 2050. This will mean looking at reducing our emissions from both our internal activities and also those from our supply chain. As well as implementing new technology and procedures, we are engaging with our suppliers to make sure we are supporting those which are on the same journey as us.
My role is very varied. Typically, I am looking at:
Making sure GC is legally compliant in terms of environmental legislation which covers our activities
Ensuring GC is meeting its contractual obligations regarding reducing its environmental impact
Managing our ISO 14001 activities
Reporting on our carbon emissions both internally and externally. This involves working with different departments to collect data and analysis of this to help identify areas for improvement
Developing training for staff on environmental awareness (coming soon!)
Keeping abreast of the latest developments and changes in government policy, best practice and understanding how these affect GC.
If you’re already working at GC and are interested in environmental issues, there is plenty to get involved with. Employees can get involved with our ISO 14001 and there is an Employee Environmental Group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining, or want to find out more about volunteering opportunities.
If you are interested in working for a company with environmental values, then GC is the company to work for. We have ambitious plans to reduce our own carbon footprint, and we also support SME businesses on their own journey to becoming Net Zero.