Alumna Camilla Bushill is the Global Sustainability Manager at SC Johnson Lifestyle Brand. After studying the LPC at the University, she decided to take her passion for improving the world we live in and has forged a career in the sustainability arena. We caught up with Camilla to get her advice for students who want to be more environmentally conscious and work in this important field.
By Elsa Tatam. Published 21 April 2023. Last updated 17 May 2023.
What does it mean being Global Sustainability Manager at SC Johnson Lifestyle Brands?
Being Global Sustainability Manager at SC Johnson Lifestyle Brand means that my team and I take care of the companies’ green credentials globally, ensuring all our products, marketing and initiatives align with our values as a company. We’ve been right at the forefront of sustainability for a long time and our credentials are so important to us. I am involved in everything from innovation to branding to education. We are known as the Greenskeeping Team.
What was your background prior to being Global Sustainability Manager?
My background prior to being a Global Sustainability Manager is that I read Law at the University of Surrey and then went on to do my LPC at The University of Law. After graduating, I took a quasi-legal role in the public sector and progressed through programme management and business change, before deciding on a career in sustainability.
What made you decide to work in sustainability?
I decided to work in sustainability as climate change is all around us and we just can’t ignore it. I have such a keen interest in the world we live in and improving it. The concepts of degrowth, biodiversity and natural capital are so interesting, as well as the way that they interact with financial markets, economies and emerging legislation. It’s such an interesting sector to work in and my drive for my profession comes from wanting to influence policy, educate people and leave the world better than we found it.
What are some of your current and future professional goals?
I have lots of professional goals, however, I am currently working towards my fellowship in Environmental Management. In the future, I would relish the opportunity to use my legal education and everything I have learned in my career to influence policy and help make a real shift towards a greener future. I am also involved in developing a company-wide training programme about carbon and climate change and working on the company Net Zero plans. It’s a very exciting and challenging time in our industry with lots of new legislation and emerging best practice.
What can students do to gain relevant work experience if they want to work in sustainability?
I firmly believe that in order to be successful, you must like the subject matter. I would recommend taking on work experience anywhere – sustainability permeates all sectors and is the work of our lifetime. Weekend shifts in a local refill store, supermarket, factory or indeed shadowing a professional is great and helps you to understand what about the subject matter excites you. Volunteer to be involved in community projects around eliminating waste or carbon reduction and work to understand how the industry is tackling issues. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and professionals who may have opportunities. Check out some of the amazing Ted Talks on climate change too.
What role should educational institutions play in teaching young people about sustainability?
Education about sustainability is key and these institutions should be at the forefront. When people understand why something needs to be done, they will generally deliver a better outcome and try harder to achieve it. This generation of children are so aware of climate change and do so much to educate themselves, plus it’s all over social media which helps. My belief is that Sustainability and Environmental Studies should be part of the core curriculum in schools.
What are some of the best resources for students to learn more about sustainability?
There are so many great books and online resources to learn about sustainability. Subscribing to sites like WWF Climate & Energy Blog, Earth911 and TreeHugger will give students an up-to-date dialogue on current affairs and issues. I have met so many of my professional contacts on LinkedIn and social media - every law student knows that networking is key to success! Sign up to events, groups or networks where you can link up with like-minded individuals. I would recommend Drawdown, There is No Planet B and The Upcycle to anybody looking for a good read.
What should we all be doing to help and be more sustainable?
There are so many little things we can all do as individuals and as consumers to be more sustainable, I could go on forever. My top tips would be always taking a reusable coffee cup in your bag to avoid single use cups and bottles, avoid fast fashion at all costs and finally, if you don’t really need something, don’t buy it. Incidentally these are all also great money-savers so win-win. I should probably also mention that researching the brands you invest in is key – make sure they don’t exploit animals, the planet or their workers
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