I really enjoy CSR strategy and internal comms but currently am working in-house which gives the opportunity to focus in on specific topics more. However, this early on in my career it’s hard to get the internal CSR comms aspect of a job in-house, so my question is whether to think about agency work like at Greenhouse PR or use this time to focus on something I’m particularly passionate about in-house? - From Milly (Geography, 2021)
Hi Milly, thanks for this brilliant question. I’m going to do that annoying thing and say that I don’t think there is ever a right or wrong way to gain experience. If you have the opportunity to focus on something you’re passionate about, like you’re doing in-house, that’s great!
If you were to go to an agency, I’m not sure you’d get the right experience to work on CSR strategy specifically, because you’d be focussing on communicating to consumers or businesses as opposed to working on internal comms which is different. If you’re enjoying what you’re doing, stick with it, it’s so important to enjoy your work as it takes up the majority of our time.
How did you get into the green sector and what advice do you have for someone trying to find a place within this sector? - From Adam (Philosophy & Music, 2021)
Hi Adam, it’s lovely to hear from you. I knew that I wanted to work in sustainability, but l honestly had no idea how to work my way into the green space. So I spent many many months searching for an environmental group to join and I attended as many sustainable events as I could, as well as training online too.
Basically, I wanted to create a network of people in the green industry who would be able to signpost me to where I needed to go. So at every event, training session, web forum that I got involved in I asked to connect with people on LinkedIn or via email.
Eventually someone directed me to a social enterprise, called Catalyse Change, and through their summer camp, I got an internship. My top tip would be to connect with anyone you meet in sustainability and then ask them if they can put you in touch with more people…the snowball effect is brilliant!
Agricultural practice gets a lot of the blame for pollution. Some fair some not. The consumer market does not appear to pay the costs of enhanced environmental standards. Is this fair, or should the consumer pay? What are you view on the importation of produce to bypass legislation? - From Scott (Agriculture, 1995)
Hi Scott, thank you for questions. This is quite a complex issue, which I’m not expert on. But to answer your first question. I think that our perception of how much food costs has been skewed by agricultural subsidies, mass production and processing, to the point where we don’t understand the true value of items.
This is also evident in the fashion industry. I think the government could tax unsustainable and unhealthy products, to encourage people to purchase more sustainable and healthier products, in a similar way tot the sugary drinks tax.
I’d have to see a specific example of legislation having been bypassed by importation to answer this question. However, in terms of importing produce, this can actually be more environmentally sustainable. Take the often used example of the tomato. A tomato grown in the UK off-season, requires a specific temperature-controlled environment that is energy intensive. Whereas, a tomato grown at the same time of year, in a country that is warmer than the UK, wouldn’t need a manufactured environment and would be more energy efficient even after importation.