My career - Alex Martin

3rd May 2017

Senior regulatory consultant, Edif ERA

Why did you become an environment professional?

I grew up with environmental issues making the news in ways they hadn’t before, such as the hole in the ozone layer, deforestation in the Amazon and climate change. Being able to play even a small part in the management of such issues struck me as exciting and worthwhile. I also felt entering the profession would offer a potentially diverse career with opportunities to think as well as do.

What was your first environment job?

A placement at E.ON UK. This involved assisting with data collection, analysis and writing for the sustainability report. I also participated in internal audits and responded to requests for information from investors and other stakeholders.

How did you get your first role?

I was keen to do an industrial year placement as part of my degree; I thought it would provide excellent experience in readiness for entering the job market. I applied for various placements, which in the case of E.ON UK involved giving a presentation at interview.

How did you progress your career?

By moving between organisations and taking different roles – all the while working on product policy and compliance. This has been the common thread for me since graduating and joining Sony where I first came to learn about RoHS and REACH, materials testing and managing product compliance in complex supply chains. I continue to deal with these, but also worked in areas such as ecodesign and energy labelling, and timber regulation and FSC certification as well doing factory audits in Europe, India and China.

What does your current role involve?

Winning and delivering projects that relate to what I consult on: technical and environmental regulation affecting electrical and electronic equipment. This includes projects for businesses as well as trade associations, the UK government and the European Commission. My Edif ERA colleagues and I also offer training, run an annual regulatory conference, and provide commentary through trade publications.

How has your role changed over the past few years?

I’ve only been in the job a couple of years, but the concepts of responsible sourcing and supply chain transparency have certainly further emerged in this time.

What’s the best part of your work?

Collaboration. This might entail sharing ideas with my colleagues on work proposals or how best to progress projects. Fostering working relationships outside the business can also be rewarding, particularly if they create partnerships or consortia that go on to win projects.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Keeping an even workload. You can move between famine and feast on occasion, but throughout it is important to remain engaged and enthusiastic.

What was the last development event you attended?

It was Edif ERA’s annual conference on regulatory matters, titled Electrical and Electronic Equipment and the Environment.

What did you bring back to your job?

Understanding of how various topics – from substance restrictions to ecodesign and the circular economy – are developing and the compliance challenges facing practitioners. A highlight was hearing from a representative of the European Chemicals Agency on the revision of its substances in articles guidance.

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

Communication skills are a must; these are especially important for discerning what clients are looking for. Research skills are important too, as is the ability to synthesise technical information and relate it to a client’s focus. Getting to a bottom line on something for an industrial client is typically what they want you to deliver, which may well mean understanding not only regulation but their products and business models.

Where do you see the profession going?

I feel it’s going to develop more specialisms. There’s a sense of that already in the UK, with the establishment of GACSO and ICRS as professional institutes. Some of this development will, I feel, be driven by technological change. Take the internet of things and its potential for more data capture, something that could lead to many more environmental and sustainability assessments being performed across various applications.

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

Various possibilities interest me, including continuing in consultancy, and working for another trade association.

What advice would you give to someone entering the profession?

Try to establish what really interests you and the work environment(s) you’re best suited to. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for advice. And take advantage of any training opportunities.

How do you use IEMA’s skills map?

I drew on it before proceeding to a full membership and I now refer to it for CPD.


BSc (Hons), EngD, PCQI, MIEMA, CEnv

Career history:

2015 to date senior regulatory consultant, Edif ERA

2014 project support, Eastar Pharma

2011 to 2014 product standards manager, Gardman

2008 to 2011 technical officer, AMDEA

2003 to 2008 research engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment

2001 to 2002 industrial year placement, E.ON UK


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

Transform articles

SBTi clarifies that ‘no change has been made’ to its stance on offsetting

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

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd 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