My career: Anya Ledwith

6th February 2015

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Director and environmental management consultant, ESHCon

Why did you become an environment/sustainability professional?

I have a drive for environmental improvement and it only makes sense to develop this as a career. You’ve got to love your job!

What was your first environment/sustainability job?

I started out doing short-term roles, including in land mapping and transport planning, before finding my niche in environmental management.

How did you get your first role?

I was fresh out of university, persistently applying for any environmental jobs. As my experience grew so did my choice of roles, allowing me to progress.

How did you progress your environment/sustainability career?

I soon knew that environmental management systems (EMS) would be a big issue, so I focused my development (MSc), skills and experience on this. It was only later that I realised I wanted to run my own company.

How has your role changed over the past few years?

Not only have services developed over the years – for example, with energy management becoming more important and the energy savings opportunity scheme (ESOS) starting later this year – but I also tend to develop longer-term relationships with clients. Rather than just short, one-off projects, I provide ongoing support, often as a part-time environmental manager.

What does your current role involve?

I work with clients developing environmental and energy management systems, carbon reporting and training. I’m a lead auditor and assessor. As ESHCon’s director, I am also responsible for business strategy and development. This is the range of experiences I wanted.

What’s the best part of your work?

New experiences, clients’ businesses, detailed operations, technologies, new requirements and best practice. I love the variety of projects and clients I support. It’s never dull.

What’s the hardest part of
your job?

Slowing down! I am always on the go, delivering services, developing the business or supporting regional and national projects.

What was the last training course/event you attended?

ISO 50001 lead auditor course and IEMA’s EMS forum in London in November 2014.

What did you bring back to your job/business?

I further developed my 50001 services, which are particularly important for ESOS now.

Where do you see the environment/sustainability profession going?

Integration will be key. The environment needs to blend into core business operations. There is a great opportunity with the new ISO 14001 requirements coming in later this year.

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

Innovative thinking – to see the opportunities in a client’s business and develop them accordingly.

Where would like to be in five years’ time?

To see my consultancy expand, while still focusing on core services.

What advice would you give to someone entering the profession?

Get a mentor to help you map your career and challenge you to new heights.

How do you use IEMA’s environmental skills map?

To influence the development of my clients, to focus on achieving the best results and commercial benefit.



Career history:

2006 to now environmental consultant and director, ESHCon

2008 to 2012 principal consultant, carbon management, Carbon Clear

2000 to 2008 environmental manager, Crawley borough council

1997 to 2000 communications officer, Going for Green

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