Becky Toal, MIEMA CEnv, Managing director, Crowberry Consulting Ltd

24th November 2022

Why did you become an environment/sustainability professional?

As a kid, I was fascinated by nature and how plants and animals interacted. I was saddened by the amount of rubbish washing up on the local beach, which made me want to prevent pollution.

What was your first job in this field?

I was the first environmental manager for English Nature, implementing a version of ISO 14001 and writing its corporate social responsibility/environmental report.

How did you get your first role?

By volunteering with conservation charities and completing degree courses, I could show enthusiasm and knowledge.

What does your current role involve?

I support clients with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, Publicly Available Specification (PAS) frameworks, UN Sustainable Development Goals and more. We provide legal registers for ISO, online training courses and our Ethical Toolkit to help supply chains comply with the Modern Slavery Act. Keeping services up-to-date takes time, as does managing the team.

How has your role changed/progressed over the past few years?

More clients want hybrid or digital options for training or audits. Planning and preparation is key, as is a good client brief. My role has changed to allow me to mentor the team and help them achieve full IEMA membership or CEnv status. As an LGBT owner, it’s also been great to be part of the Diversity in Sustainability campaign.

What’s the best part of your work?

Helping customers understand ISO/PAS standards or frameworks and how they can underpin environment, social and governance and sustainability strategies. It’s also great when clients take positive actions, such as providing net-zero carbon training to their teams.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Riding the waves in difficult times and keeping a positive mindset.

What was the last development event you attended?

I completed a Chartered Management Institute Level 5 in Coaching & Mentoring, which allows me to support the team on sustainability and environmental management issues, using coaching tools to help them learn and grow.

What did you bring back to your job?

I can now approach any problem with a coaching mindset, and frame problems and solutions in a strategic way.

What is/are the most important skill(s) for your job?

Listening and being responsive to clients; time and diary management; and using software such as QuickBooks and Teams.

Where do you see the profession going?

It’s great to see young people interested in sustainability, for there to be a defined pathway and a lot of mature people re-training to work in this sector. I am hopeful that roles such as sustainability manager will become the norm, and their skills more respected.

Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

A bigger team, possibly with presence internationally. We work with universities to offer paid internships, student projects and research opportunities, and this

will continue.

What advice would you give to someone entering the profession?

Learn as much as you can, listen to podcasts and read the trade press. Be part of a network such as IEMA and go to events. Be open minded and stay true to your values.

How do you use the IEMA Skills Map?

To help our team understand how they can progress. Having a defined pathway linked to personal development plans makes the skills and competencies clear.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Liverpudlian, tenacious and lucky.

What motivates you?

Seeing how people are getting involved with activities such as beach clean-ups, and wanting big brand responsibility.

What would be your personal motto?

The tide turns twice a day – look for opportunities and ride the waves.

Greatest risk you have ever taken?

Setting up my business in 2006. Before that, taking on an ecology degree when there was no real career pathway.

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?

Charles Darwin for a chat on ecology.

Becky Toal, MIEMA CEnv Managing director, Crowberry Consulting Ltd

Image credit | Shutterstock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Weather damage insurance claims hit record high

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close