# 23 | Dorry Price  - Sustainability Consultant: Champion of Contributing FutureReady Solutions to Corporate Sustainability

In this episode of Sustainability Matters Today, I interview Dorry Price, Sustainability Consultant and #Champion of Contributing FutureReady Solutions to Corporate Sustainability.

 

Working to create innovative solutions and a thriving environment for communities across the UK, Dorry is a sustainability consultant and a steering group member of The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) Futures, which is a networking group for students, graduates, and young professionals who want to work in the sustainability field.

 

With her specialization in corporate sustainability solutions and services, Dorry wrote an article called “For the Record”, where she discusses the role blockchain could have in helping the UK transition to a low-carbon economy.

 

Please make sure to subscribe to the Sustainability Matters Today podcast to learn more about other champions of sustainability like Dorry.

 

I hope you enjoy the episode!

Daniel: Thank you for joining me, Dorry! Great to have you on the show.

 

Dorry: Thanks very much for having me!

 

Daniel: Yeah, it's a pleasure! So, are you in London right now?

 

Dorry: Yes. So, I'm calling from East London

 

Daniel: East London

 

Dorry: Yes

 

Daniel: Very cool!

 

Dorry: Very trending!

 

Daniel: Yeah, exactly! I'm more of a Northwest London. London is becoming a very cool part of town. And I'm actually calling in from Seattle or near Seattle where it's been raining for the last like 24 hours non stop, probably longer. But I've only been here for that long. One thing I've noticed is everyone says, because I moved to London about 3 and a half years ago, everyone says, “Oh, well, London rains there all the time”.

 

Dorry: It doesn't

 

Daniel: Exactly! That's exactly my point. It rains like not very often.

 

Dorry: Absolutely! You need to assess as a cyclist as well as how many rainy days there are. I used to live in Vancouver and say not too far from Seattle and I definitely noticed when it rained.

 

Daniel: Yeah, I've actually never thought of that cyclists are probably the most aware.

 

Dorry: We're very private.

 

Daniel: So going into why we're here today, it's really to talk about being a sustainability consultant, which I think is really cool because a lot of the people that have been on the show so far, they are working for a company that is either doing something specific towards sustainability or they work in a division in a company that makes the company sustainable. But what you do is actually a little bit different in the sense that you work with a variety of clients trying and helping those clients become sustainable or be prepared to be sustainable. Is that the general idea?

 

Dorry: Yeah, so I've been a sustainability consultant for the past couple of years. And I work within sort of a corporate advisory division, we’d call it,  of a large professional services firm. So, companies come to us with a range of problems that they might look for, they might want to find a solution for. But we work specifically developing solutions for sustainability related challenges for a really wide range of sectors and clients across that.

 

Daniel: That's really cool! And how did you choose - I'm curious to know because like, well, first of all, you were at the House of Fraser before.

 

Dorry: Yes.

 

Daniel: That was kind of like your first foray into sustainability.

 

Dorry: Yes.

 

Daniel: Is there a difference between working for kind of like House of Fraser and I'm just focusing on one company versus working with a range of clients.

 

Dorry: Absolutely! I mean when you're working what we would call sort of in-house or client side with a company like House of Fraser  and also, I don't know if I should put it into a little bit of context because I don't know how many listeners might be listening from the UK. But if you are a bit more international, you might not have heard of House of Fraser, I guess so.

 

House of Fraser is a UK-based department store. So, a bit like a Nordstrom in America. We have a lot of different brands, but also House of Fraser has that own line of, sort of,  women's wear, men's wear and home-like products. So I used to sit in a sustainability team before I became a consultant. And when you're in that, sort of, client side, you tend to find that even in a pretty big company like House of Fraser you might sit in a very, very small sustainability team and your job is to research key trends to develop that strategy and effectively to program manage its implementation across your business. And because there's no way especially in an organization that wants to be ambitious with regards to sustainability, there's no way that the size of the teams that are usually doing it can do it. And so, you're more acting as a facilitator - you're training people, you're engaging them, you're understanding the processes that they need to follow and thinking about how sustainability can be integrated into that.

 

So that often requires you to think a lot about “How do we build a business case around this so that it makes sense for everybody and so that is not just good for the planet, but it's also going to create a viable business model?”.

 

You're also usually working on much longer time frames, you know, maybe 5 years or 10 years to really integrate a key strategy and in the case of House of Fraser, you're trying to turn historically really unsustainable business model into something completely different. And that's obviously going to take time and it's going to require working with people across the business.

 

So then as a consultant, your job is kind of a flip side. You're almost actually as an extension of those sustainability teams, they come to you for key bits of advice or guidance or whatever it might be. So, you're often – depending on your client and the relationship with them - you might only be working with them for a very short period of time. They want some data related to the sustainability of their packaging or they want some guidance about how to set their strategy. So, you could be with them for a couple of months and it could be a really quick turnaround and a bit of research for them or you could be working with them for years, but you tend to see that the advice that you give have to be mindful that you're there to guide them, to act as that extension of their team often. But you don't have control over how it's implemented in practice.

 

Daniel: That makes sense. So, kind of a lot to unpack there. And I'd love to spend most of the time I think talking about the consulting side because it sounds really interesting, but House of Fraser is a really interesting use-case for sustainability just because of how complex I think it is.

 

First of all, House of Fraser I think is well known. I've seen it in London and in Manchester during Christmas. They cover their storefront and it's like three or four stories tall with lights. It's so bright and it's actually really beautiful. But I imagine that it uses a lot of energy unless there's some pretty clever stuff that House of Fraser is doing in terms of renewables.

 

But in terms of like the key things, I mean building a business case and training staff members, what are some of the things that accompany like a House of Fraser, which as you said is like a Nordstrom or Macy's for people based in the US - what are some of the key lessons I guess that you need to impart on other members of the company?

 

Dorry: That's a really important role that sustainability team needs to, sort of, take on when they're thinking about integrating sustainability into an organization like House of Fraser. Who are the people that you need to identify? Who are the teams that you need to work with? Who are the, sort of, gatekeepers to certain decisions in order to make sure that sustainability makes sense and is a priority?

 

I think one of the things that I've seen  to be very successful is having and I think it is essential for any company that wants to really take sustainability seriously is having senior level buy-in. So making sure that, you know, a sustainability team needs to not sit in a separate siloed sort of traditional CSR team and needs to be something that's prioritized and that people are going to listen to. Because sometimes, it can slow processes down. And what you need to be able to do is help people to understand. It may slow you down initially, but the long-term risk that we're going to be able to avoid is worth it. And in order to kind of have those conversations, I think something that's really important, is also being able to speak the language of the people that you're talking to.

 

And I think in any industry it can be easy to be guilty of it. But you know, in sustainability there's lots of terminology and acronyms and it can be quite complicated and you need to make sure that the way that you're communicating with people is in the language that they understand and prioritizes the things that are going to be priorities for them.

 

So, for example, in fashion, you've got to consider that the people that you're working with, designers and buyers are working to that own KPIs and criteria as well. And you need to think and understand what those are - how sustainability isn't a hindrance for them, but actually maximizes and make things easier for them.

 

Daniel: KPI's and where they typically be financial or is it not always?

 

Dorry: Absolutely, so it would usually be around to do with time and finance. So how can you build sustainability and why should sustainability be a priority for teams that are trying to buy the best quality product for the best price on the fastest time frames so that we can make sure that as a company, we're competitive and we're bringing out the best that we can for our consumers. So, my focus when I was at House of Fraser and as a consultant as well and sort of an interest of mine has always been around supply chains and how we can integrate sustainability within a supply chain context.

 

So when you're in a fashion supply chain, it's highly complex, there's so many different players, how can we make sure that we're thinking about not just environment but human rights, et cetera in that process and why should - it's not that people don't care, of course everybody cares about sustainability issues - but how can they integrate those into what they're already doing in a way that makes sense for them in a tangible way.

 

So, it's also about thinking, “Okay, well, in the short term we can buy from suppliers maybe without having these conversations”, but in the long run and House of Fraser has been a victim of this. Any big-name brand is going to have had sustainability issues to do with modern slavery, particularly in the early 2000s and loads of companies came under the hammer for modern slavery - the use of child labor. And once people kind of understand the short term, potentially, the short term risks impact versus the long term benefit, you can kind of start to have that shift and then once that's in place at your away because then the process already understands it and already has it built in.

 

Daniel: Is sourcing a big part of the sustainability teams focus? As in like, you know, working with suppliers that are committed to sustainability or perhaps if they're not because a big part of House of Fraser and then any kind of department stores to have a large selection and a large quantity of items that people can choose from. So would communicating with the brands that you're selling, saying like, “Look here are some of the values that House of Fraser is basically adopting and we want you to get as close to as possible to meeting those or better”, is that something that someone's doing or perhaps like only going for brands that meet a certain criteria, for example, in cutting out the ones that don't?

 

Dorry: It can’t be like that. So you may find, but there are companies or department stores that are starting, maybe not even to cut out, but to prioritize companies that can show that they're meeting or that their values are aligned with where they're trying to go from a sustainability perspective. And equally you may find that within a supply chain context, so also for context, House of Fraser  has brands that they work with where you may be able to have a conversation but you can't have direct control over what happens because you're buying from them and it's not your process, but equally House of Fraser also has their own brands that they own and therefore they have greater transparency in the supply chain.

 

You may decide that you're only going to work with suppliers that meet certain criteria, but that can be hard to know and it can also be hard to leverage because, in fashion, you may be buying, you buy so much of such a wide range of factories, you may find that you only have a very small percentage or stake in a large number of factories, and therefore, your ability to influence change things maybe more limited. And that's why, at least from my experience, I've seen greater collaboration in industry, not just in fashion, but in a lot of other industries I've now worked with as a consultant where people are starting to realize,”Yes, we can have a really strong sustainability starts in this”. But actually, we need everybody to come along with us because if we're working together, we have so much more leverage on these processes.

 

Daniel: How difficult is it to get that kind of across the board buy-in?

 

Dorry: Sometimes, it can be a real challenge. And I think from my experience, retail has historically been more - companies hold their cards closer to their chest in terms of who they're buying from, et cetera - may not want that information to be shared. But from my experience, both working in-house and as a consultant and in the research that I did from my masters, actually, there's kind of a greater acknowledgement that with information being as available as it is these days that these secrets are not as closely guarded as they may have historically been and there's a much greater opportunity to collaborate on these things and it works for everybody and I think that has been a shift to acknowledge that.

 

Daniel: I think the other interesting part about it is that there are now brands that are becoming kind of - that are sort of - going the other direction and becoming really transparent about their supply chain. I mean in food for instance, at least in London, you have companies like Farmdrop, enabling coal. And then there's Field and Flour and these are basically food delivery companies where they deliver food to your house. And they're incredibly transparent about where their food comes from and they've even told you the farm and they have a little bio about the farmer. I think there is a lot of demand for that kind of level of transparency. People are becoming very interested to know where their products come from.

 

Dorry: Absolutely! And I think fashion is increasingly seeing that. The difficulty has always been that fashion supply chains are much longer and can be a lot more complex. And so, it's what technologies and things that we can leverage now to be able to try and understand that and have more clarity on that. Often it's not that they don't want to be transparent, it's just that the nature of it means that it's very complicated in any one time to have an very accurate snapshot where things have come from. But I think maybe that will change as well.

 

Daniel: And actually speaking of supply chain and transparency, I guess being able to be sustainable with the supply chain means having great transparency and being able to easily understand them and explain where each part comes from, whether it's food or fashion or any other product. But you wrote an article about blockchain and sustainability. One of the great benefits of blockchain, I mean there's probably an infinite number of things you can do with blockchain, but one of them is supply chain because you're able to easily understand where each part of a product it comes from. It’s very well organized. I know very little about blockchain and it's one of those buzzwords right now, which I think there's a lot of merit for it. But can you tell a little bit about blockchain and sustainability? That's I think a really cool way to use the technology.

 

Dorry: So, the idea of the blockchain is that you can basically make a digital footprint of, in theory, any sorts of transaction that happens throughout a supply chain. So, from a sustainability perspective, it really touches on what we've just been talking about in terms of the traceability or the provenance of products. And it has an opportunity to be an amazing platform to tell those stories and what it could in theory do, for example, is if you’re wanting to buy fish that's been sustainably sourced or buy cotton that definitely organic and made free of child or modern slavery is this a way of creating an insights and it's totally immutable piece of information about a product. It's been used a number of times and there's really exciting examples of where it's been used successfully. I think the problem with it is it requires really good data in the first place. I think at the end of the day, it's still going to be human input the data and we could never eliminate, or at least at the moment, I don't see how the opportunity for error - or the opportunity for the data - to not be perfect could be eliminated from that.

 

Daniel: Yeah! One of the things I'm thinking of is you're saying, you know, like it's a way to say whether or not cotton for example, there was child labor involved, but in theory, because the blockchain is about being able to accurately store data - accurately record it. It's not about as an, in theory someone could say our cotton is we don't use any child labor, but that can be a lie. And that they would just store that information anyway. It doesn't prevent from lying, does it?

 

Dorry: It requires accurate data to have been put in in the first place. Then the way that that data is shared. And so, you know, from a provenance perspective, it's quite exciting because you would have all those steps along the supply chain and you'd be able to see those, but it requires that data in the first place was correct.

 

Daniel: I'm guessing there's plenty of challenges that come along with that.

 

Dorry: Well, yeah, indeed.

 

Daniel: And so, going now to what you've been doing basically for the last couple of years after House of Fraser, which is basically, Consulting Sustainability teams, which I think is a really interesting description at least of how it works. I guess it sounds like, just to go back to what we were talking about earlier. So there's a sustainability team at House of Fraser and let's just say they need a little bit more systems and they essentially need an extra pair of hands or a couple extra people to ship in, is that when they could in theory reach out to someone like you and say, “We’re working on this project, we need a little bit of help. Here's what we're working on”.

 

Dorry: Yeah. And it could be and we see all sorts of things that our clients might ask us as for and it ranges massively. The company that I was working for previously is quite historically, quite technical. So, you might find that clients come to us a lot for technical pieces of information. So let's say you want to change the packaging that you're using for a product but maybe you're actually not sure what's the most environmentally friendly from a carbon perspective or what's the most environmentally friendly from a water perspective or should we be using this packaging or should we remove it entirely? And they may just want the data to support those decisions. And in which case we can crunch the numbers for them and look into that and give them a variety of solutions in that way. Because what you do often find is with sustainability - you may not find there's one golden answer that takes all of the boxes - It's about sort of making compromises and trying to find the best solution to that situation.

 

And so, we can help sort of do the legwork behind that to inform decision making - that's on the one hand. Then on the other hand, and what we're seeing increasingly, is that a company may come to us and say, “look, we don't have a strategy at all. We really want to place sustainability, at the core of what we're doing, how do we get started?”, and we can help them to understand what sort of issues might be of biggest priority to them and to their stakeholders and use that to go forward with them.

 

Daniel: Probably, in my opinion, those projects would be by far the most interesting where they come in and they say, “okay, here's the company, here's our business, here's what we're doing, we've made promises to be, you know, to cut carbon emissions and do this, that and the other - how do we do it?”.

 

And then what is it? It's like you go in there, do you start interviewing people and basically learning about the business and if they have a supply chain, how that all works, how the products are sold and so on and so forth, and then based on that, you start thinking, okay, where can we start making changes?

 

Dorry: Yes. So in strategy development, we often will use something in sustainability called a Materiality Assessment. So materiality is around understanding what is important to you as a business. And then we can use that as building blocks for deciding where to focus on because sustainability covers so many issues - it covers environment, it covers social issues, it covers issues and then within that it can be subdivided into so many priorities.

 

So our very first step would be to conduct one of these assessments and we look not just as you as a business, but we'd also look at your stakeholders and the importance of those stakeholders to you. And through discussions with the client and for the discussions with their stakeholders, we can then build a picture of what will be important to prioritize. Once we've understood that, we can then create a roadmap from where we are now to where we want to be and set the strategy like that.

 

Daniel: And would you be helping them implement the roadmap or it's more like,”Okay, here it is now, good luck. Let us know how it goes”?

 

Dorry: It all depends on the client. Often it would be like – “these are the things that we've identified; this is kind of a suggested way to get there and then see how it goes.”

 

But with anything, you also need to re-evaluate. So many of our clients would come back to us and say, okay, you know, that was grateful 2019. Now, what are we going to do for 2020? What are we going to do for 2030? And kind of, it's constantly changing and dynamic sort of process.

 

 

Daniel: Who would you say typically reaches out to a consultant? I mean, what's the, that fall under the COO or is there like I mean you mentioned the CSR team? Is there kind of a typical department that focuses on implementing this within their company?

 

Dorry: You will typically speak to a sustainability team. But not necessarily, and it also depends on the company in terms of that journey towards becoming a more sustainable organization. Often you'd speak to sustainability team, but with smaller companies you may find that you're speaking to the COO or you might find that you’re speaking to a marketing and communications team, which is where you can often find sustainability people given its nature in terms of storytelling and reputation.

 

Daniel: That makes sense. I never really considered the marketing side, but you're absolutely right. I mean that's probably one of the best places for it to live, just because like we were saying, a lot of people are now interested in sustainability. I mean clients and they want that. It's something that they're really demanding. I certainly do when I'm buying any products, I always think about, well, what's kind of my footprint here that I'm leaving by making any sort of purchase?

 

Dorry: Yeah, absolutely! I mean, marketing teams, it's definitely been a place where sustainability has sat. I think that's sort of, it is almost moving, it's still important that, but it is kind of moving into we need to have dedicated teams for this. I think that can be a challenge when sustainability sits purely within that sort of marketing and communications area of a company. There's always a risk that what is being communicated might not actually be backed up by what's being done in practice and then they may be lacking a sort of technical element to that, and there's always risks of, you know, greenwashing, I don't know if you've had this time of thing that's kind of being marketed as super sustainable, but actually when you look into it at all it really isn't.

 

Daniel: Yeah, the greenwashing, I'd love to talk about that a bit more because I think that's the more I speak to people, the more I'm realizing that greenwashing is a really big concern for a lot of people in the sustainability field because you have people who are actually working really hard to do really great stuff and then you have people who say that they're working really hard to do great stuff. And they're not always the same. Sometimes, like you were saying, it’s people who are like, maybe they're well-intentioned, let's just be optimistic and say they are, but they're not actually, their company isn't basically completing everything that are promising. I guess, if an end consumer is making a purchasing decision based on the story that's being portrayed about the product and its environmental impacts and a company is saying, you know, we are reducing, we run only on renewable energy, let's say this plastic bottle or whatever that you're buying is completely recycled, but actually it's not - that's greenwashing. Isn't that there or is it a bit more complicated than that?

 

Dorry: No, I mean basically, I would say in any case where you’re saying something or you're making a sustainability-related claim, which isn't backed up or verified, I think you're at risk of that. That's where I think consultants have a lot of opportunities as well. And a lot of, yeah. As an opportunity when we're discussing with our clients, I did say before, sometimes with a consultant, our job is to deliver what our client has asked for. And you may not have an insight beyond that. But you may, and especially with clients that you've worked with for a long time, you have an opportunity to be sort of a critical friend to them and say you've developed this data into maybe a marketing campaign or a piece of material for your consumers I would include a statement or we would advise that you include a statement that explains this or caveats this so that we know that we're being completely transparent with our consumers about what we're trying to claim on certain products or the processes. And there's a real opportunity for consultants there because you have that slight level of removal from the core sustainability teams in these organizations.

 

Daniel: That's really cool! It seems like being a sustainability consultant is like, it's kind of like almost a superpower. You get to go in and help companies become like, save the earth almost.

 

Do you feel fulfilled, doing this kind of thing having these kind of conversations with companies and saying because you're really impacting the way that companies can work and you get to work with a lot of different players and doing your best to essentially lessen the negative environmental impact that they have on a day to day basis.

 

Dorry: Some of the big picture perspective, it's really exciting because as you say, you get to work with a really diverse range of companies working on a whole different range of sustainability challenges that they might be having and you can kind of break that down and find solutions for them or help set strategies to overcome those difficulties and it's really exciting. Obviously, sometimes on a day to day basis when you're in the nitty gritty of the technical work, you can - it's like anything - but it is really exciting space to work in for sure.

 

Daniel: Yeah! We're kind of doing this backwards because I'd like to get into a little bit about how you got started in the industry, I mean, or in the field rather. You said that you did a Masters in sustainability, I guess first of all, how did you choose to go down that route? And then second of all, what was the master's program about? What were some of the key takeaways?

 

Dorry: So I think like most people, I think they can relate to this as I sort of meandered my way towards a career in sustainability. I have a background in Physical Geography and I came out of that sort of.  I wanted a career that wasn't just providing a service to others, but it was really solution-focused for clients. But I also wanted a sort of global and wider context. And I think as an individual, I'm really passionate about the environment. I love hiking, skiing and being outdoors. And to me, sort of sustainability was a bit of a natural fit for me/ Environment is not the only element of sustainability, but it's a really important one and it kind of just made sense.

 

And after I had finished my undergraduate degree, I'd never even heard of sustainability or in-house sustainability teams, but I sort of came across it while I was living in Vancouver on the West Coast of Canada. And I thought, you know, this is a really, really exciting space. And that's when I applied to MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College, London. It's a really big master’s program. They take on about 150 students a year, but each student has to specialize in it in one of, I think, it's about 10 different areas. And one of those areas is business and the environment. And it's a really hands-on practical course where you get involved in working and talking to businesses about different sustainability challenges that they have every single day. And that's how I first came across house appraiser and I first started working with them, was through the program at Imperial. It's a fantastic platform and it's got a really strong alumni network. And after I graduated from there, I started my consulting career.

 

Daniel: Really cool! I've heard some people say, there's no money on sustainability; it's not really a job or there's no career path in this field. Based on your experience so far, what would you say to that?

 

Dorry: I would say it's an area that's really only just getting started. I know that historically there have been CSR teams, but sustainability is sort of, I think, in the last even just 5 or 10 years is really exploding as an idea that isn't just a good thing to do or the right thing to do, but it also makes business sense. And if you want to manage the risks of your business, it has to be a key consideration. And I think climate change is going to impact global supply chains in unprecedented ways. Consumers are starting to shift the way that they think about the products that they buy and the impact of their money on companies and products, and the financial services sector as well in recent years, it's really starting to take what they call ESG - Environmental, Social and Governance -  indicators as a way of managing risk in their investments as well. And I think the landscape for it is really shifting and it's shifting quite fast. And I think my impression is that we're only going to see increasing in importance and we'll go from there.

 

Daniel: So for people who are interested in going into this field, would you say that there is plenty of room and a lot of opportunity and you'd recommend it or perhaps maybe wait a little bit and see where it goes first before diving head first?

 

Dorry: I would say that there are lots of opportunities to get involved. I mean from my perspective, sustainability can be a really hard area to get into. It's a market that is peaking a lot of people's interest, particularly, young millennials. Why wouldn't you want to do a career that you get to work with big global companies and influence change and prioritize things like climate change and modern slavery, and make sure that we're taking those issues seriously. It's a really exciting space to be in but because of that and because you don't need to have a, you don't, you know, it's not like law or medicine where you need to have a degree in it to do it. You know, if you can think about problems in a dynamic way, there's no reason why you can't have a career in sustainability either.

 

So I think you find that sometimes at the very bottom, it can be a really flooded market because everybody wants to get involved. Being a sustainability consultant is not the only way to be involved in sustainability. And sitting in a sustainability team is not the only way to be involved in sustainability. And if we've alluded it to it already a bit, but it's something that everybody in organizations needs to and will have to take responsibility for. And I think even if you've just started a career in finance, let's say, and you're thinking alright, I want to work in sustainability and I've not committed to it a career in finance, there's no space for sustainability here - there is. You need to think about is there an opportunity to integrate these ideas into what I'm doing already because that's where I see it going. Hopefully everybody's going to be thinking about these things and managing them and that's an opportunity to kind of gain an experience even when you're more junior.

 

Daniel: I think that's a good point. I think with finance, in particular, there is a lot of room for having an interest in sustainability. There is one of the previous episodes I recorded with JP Dallmann who's in - he focuses on what he calls “Impact Investing”. And he was saying that the power of investing is huge when it comes to making a change in terms of, or making positive impacts, with sustainability because well, according to some studies, it's much more powerful too in terms of the direction that the company goes in based on the investment that goes into it rather than just purchasing.

 

I think the number is, I might be wrong here, I need to double check it, but it could be like 25 times more impactful to invest in a company that's focusing on sustainability rather than just purchasing a product from them. So, I think for people who are in finance, specifically, just because you mentioned it,  there's a lot of room to make an impact and actually have a really fulfilling career. Good to hear that there's a lot of opportunity, but it sounds like it’s a bit, it's popular, it's quite competitive at this point.

 

Dorry: Absolutely! Particularly, as I said, you know, from my experience, at least you know, at the more junior level, you can find, you know, it would not be uncommon for sort of, you know, 200 or 300 people to apply for a junior level of sustainability role. So anything that you can do in a pre-existing role to demonstrate your commitment and your thinking around it is an amazing style already.

 

Daniel: That's quite some competition. So being clever about it, it sounds like the way to go. I guess you can even start really small. I mean like just trying to put different practices at your office in place like just organizing a recycling bin for example at your office or putting a compost, little, food waste collection bin. Those small things, but they ended up accumulating quite quickly because there's so many people who are working in an office, particularly if you're working in a larger company and you can. If you have 50 people who are starting to put all their food waste into a bin, that's quite a lot of diversion from landfill that otherwise would have just gone straight there.

 

You really can. I think that's a good point, you really can make a lot more impact and kind of be like a sustainability Ninja.

 

Dorry: Absolutely! And also, you know, if you are just starting out as well identify those people in your organization that, you do want to work with, you know, yeah sustainability teams are small, but often I found  in sustainability teams that I know they might bring somebody you might be it a designer and they might bring us sustainability - they might bring you across to work in the sustainability team if that's what you've shown that you're really passionate about - because actually having the perspective of being a designer or a buyer could be really useful for a sustainability team. So you kind of never really know. And unfortunately, that sort of is difficult when you're then advising people, but there isn't one way into sustainability at all.

 

Daniel: I think a buyer could have a lot of impact.

 

Dorry: Absolutely!

 

Daniel: Going back to House of Fraser, I mean, if your job is to source the best quality or you’re sourcing the products that you're selling, you have a pretty big opportunity there. And on that note, we're approaching our time here. So the final question, I'd love to ask Dorry, kind of in addition to what we've talked about just now and how you can kind of ease your way into sustainability on a professional sense of, are there any things that people can do on a day-to-day basis when perhaps they are at work or not at work? Or maybe things that you do to promote sustainability on a day to day basis that our listeners can maybe take away and start practicing themselves?

 

Dorry: I think actually in many ways what I think about what I do to be more sustainable in my day to day life, it's actually very similar to the advice I'd give to people that I would give to my clients. And it's about - you have to think about what's important to you. You can't do everything. And I think sometimes around sustainability that can be a feeling like, “Oh, you know, I don't eat meat but you know, occasionally I do want to fly home to Seattle because I want to see my family”. And there can be sometimes a bit of feeling of guilt I think around not being able to do everything or some people are doing some things and other people aren't.

I've been served a drink with a plastic straw on, you know, these issues are so complex.

 

I think as a start, I'd think about what’s most important to you and where do you think that you can have the most impact and start there as a priority. You can always re-evaluate that and change things. But for me, a really big part - I ride my bike whenever I can. And I'm not vegan, I'm not vegetarian, but I'm really conscious that when I do eat meat I try to buy from reputable sources and I don't eat meat or fish every day. In fact - I don't - a lot of the time, but kind of everything in moderation. I'm trying to do the right thing when I can because there are so many different things that you can do and kind of just find out where you can have an impact and focus on that.

 

Daniel: And I think that's a really good point. I think this is a long-term kind of thing that we're doing in terms of living life and living life in an environmentally friendly way or in a sustainable way. So I think it's important that you are consistent. I think it's more important to be, to do the best you can consistently rather than try to be perfect, fail and then give up and never try again.

 

Dorry: Absolutely!

 

Daniel: Like you said, if you just balance it, to me that that makes the most sense because then you're doing the best you can and maybe you're inspiring other people to make some small changes which add up and the habits hopefully start building on top one on top of another.

 

Dorry: Absolutely. It is also an opportunity to have a conversation.

 

Daniel: That's really true. So, it's good to know that there isn't too much pressure that making one small change at a time is good and helpful. You don't need to be a perfectionist about it. So, it's okay to make some mistakes and just keep going and doing your best.

 

Dorry: I'm sure others would agree or disagree with me, but as you say everybody got to do that part. And I think if we're all trying to do our best then that's a great place to start.

 

Daniel: On that note, Dorry, thank you very much for your time. I really enjoyed this conversation. I hope you get to work with a lot of really cool clients in the New Year - in 2020. So good luck with all of the projects that you have coming up and looking forward to hear more about it in the near future.

 

Dorry: Thanks very much, Daniel. It’s great to be on the show.

 

 

Thank you very much for listening to this episode

 

If you’d like to learn more about Dorry Price and WSP, please visit wsp.org, and like their Facebook page, @WSPGlobal. You can also follow them on Twitter @wsp for more updates!

 

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