Career Profile: Jasmine Bedford
MIEMA CEnv, Environmental consultant at RSK Environment
Why did you become an environment and sustainability professional?
I have always had an interest in the environment – from my undergraduate degree in marine geography to realising, in my first job, that I would like to pursue a more environmental career.
What was your first job in this field?
My current role as an environmental consultant at RSK is my first job in the environmental industry. I moved into the field after my last job as a project coordinator for a company working in offshore cables.
How did you get your first role?
I did a master’s degree in environmental consultancy, which required me to complete a placement with an environmental company. I undertook this at RSK and was lucky enough to be offered a job in the same department after the placement.
What does your current role involve?
Project managing and coordinating environmental surveys and environmental impact assessments for a wide variety of projects.
How has your role changed/progressed over the past few years?
I am relatively new to this career, but I have seen my role change over the past year or so in gaining more responsibility and managing my own projects from start to finish.
What’s the best part of your work?
Seeing projects all the way through from tender to delivery of the reports to the clients, and knowing you have completed them as smoothly as possible and within the timescales the client has asked for. Also, working with great teams throughout the company, which makes the job a lot easier.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The uncertainty of what you could uncover during a survey. This could delay the project and its planning submission, so having to inform the client can sometimes be tough.
What was the last development event you attended?
An asbestos awareness course organised by my employer, RSK.
What did you bring back to your job?
I brought back more awareness of asbestos, such as where it can be found and how it can affect people on site and the surveys that I manage. It was a very useful course to attend, and I really expanded my range of knowledge on this subject.
What are the most important skills for your job?
Time management, good communication and the ability to be a strong team player.
Where do you see the profession going?
I believe the environmental sector will become increasingly important for everyone. There is a growing awareness and interest in public health and mental wellbeing, which will become a crucial factor in future development. There will be an increasing need to develop more sustainable projects that not only protect but also enhance the environment.
Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
Hopefully, I’ll be on a beach somewhere! But professionally I would also like to have progressed my career to principal consultant level, and to continue working with a great set of people and on exciting and diverse projects.
What advice would you give to someone entering the profession?
Give everything a go – every opportunity is worth exploring. If you are not sure you have enough experience, don’t be worried to ask for help from colleagues that do. You only learn from doing.
How do you use the IEMA Skills Map?
A lot at the moment, as I am trying to revise for the practitioner exam. It is a very helpful way to ensure I have covered everything and have the knowledge I need.
Describe yourself in three words…
Positive, proactive and a team-player.
What motivates you?
Seeing Sir David Attenborough on programmes such as the most recent Blue Planet II and realising the environment is very fragile and that, as humans, we depend on it. We need to understand that our future depends on what choices we make today, which needs to be a major consideration in developments that we’re planning now. We need to take environmental issues into account from design to delivery in order to secure a positive long-term future.
What would be your personal motto?
Whatever will be will be. Concentrate on working hard on the things that you can change–if you can’t change it, then there is no point worrying about it.
Greatest risk you have ever taken?
I am not sure I have taken any great risk up to this point in my life, but I still have plenty of time! So let’s hope that, when I do, it is an exciting and worthwhile risk to take.
If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?
Beatrix Potter is someone I’d love to meet. She was inspirational, with achievements ranging from being a savvy businesswoman, writing and illustrating books, to purchasing 15 farms and 4,000 acres of land. She invested in the Lake District, preserving buildings and farms in keeping with the rural nature of the area, and saved many from development. She continued to have an active part in caring for the farms and land until she left them to the National Trust after her death.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.
The UK government has been “too city-focused” in its climate action and must provide more funding and support to reduce emissions in rural areas, the County Councils Network (CCN) has said.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).