Career profile: Kimberley Lasi, CEnv, MIEMA

3rd April 2024


Senior consultant, EcoAct

Why did you become an environment/sustainability professional?

Growing up on the west coast of Canada I took it for granted that everyone cared about preserving nature, but after completing my master’s in operations and supply chain management and joining the workforce I realised that sustainability was not ubiquitous and I became determined to be part of bringing it to the forefront of business.

What was your first job in this field?

Environment officer, Airbus UK.

How did you get your first role?

I was on an operations management graduate scheme and was mentored by the environment manager. At the same time I was also upskilling on environmental subjects, including studying on the IEMA diploma course. An internal role came up and I had the right combination of operational and environmental knowledge for it so was able to make a sideways move.

What does your current role involve?

I support organisations across a range of sectors on a variety of sustainability topics. I am particularly focused on climate risk and biodiversity but often work on projects in other technical areas, such as carbon accounting.

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

My role is constantly evolving. Most recently, I shifted to have a much greater focus on nature. With the release of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and the growing awareness of planetary boundaries and ecosystem services, I have been able to apply my knowledge in this area. I’ve also taken on more management and mentoring responsibilities.

What’s the best part of your work?

The people I work with. It is such a privilege to work with people that are so passionate about sustainability and delivering the best outcomes, not only for clients but for the planet and society.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Finding a balance. There is so much to do and things are changing quickly so it is important to stay on top of new developments as well as continue to deliver on day-to-day work.

What was the last development event you attended?

Several TNFD-focused webinars as well as training in line management.

What did you bring back to your job?

A lot of technical knowledge as well as the recognition that we are all still learning but it is better to start and do something than to wait for perfection.

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

While technical skills are important, I think the most critical is empathy. The ability to relate to people and understand their perspective and pain points is essential for consulting and is what allows me to develop solutions to meet client needs and deliver positive sustainability outcomes.

Where do you see the profession going?

I see a much more holistic approach to sustainability developing, moving away from carbon tunnel vision to a systemic approach that embraces nature and social aspects and the interconnectedness of all the major issues we face.

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

Continuing to develop solutions for organisations to create a better world at all stages of their sustainability journey. I’m particularly passionate about supporting people joining the profession.

What advice would you give to someone entering the profession?

This is a profession about hearts and minds – we know the steps to take, it is bringing people along for the journey that takes you the furthest.

How do you use the IEMA Skills Map?

I use it primarily to identify potential gaps and to plan my development.

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

Curious, tenacious, realist.

What motivates you?

Learning. I love to explore new concepts. I am also deeply motivated to create a safe world for my son.

What would be your personal motto?

In the words of Chip Heath: “Just look for a strong beginning and a strong ending and get moving.”

Greatest risk you have ever taken?

Career-wise, moving into sustainability.

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

The biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson.

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