To celebrate Pride month (June) 2022, IEMA is speaking with members who are LGBTQIA+, to find out what they are doing in the sector and to hear their thoughts on LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the environment and sustainability profession. In this interview, IEMA's Tom Pashby speaks with Jonathan Kazimierski (Student Member), Sustainability Consultant at Watts Sustainability.
Jonathan Kazimierski (Student Member), Sustainability Consultant at Watts Sustainability

If you identify as LGBTQIA+, are a member of IEMA, and would like to be featured during Pride month, please contact IEMA’s digital journalist Tom Pashby at [email protected].

Who are you? What’s your role in the environment and sustainability sector?

My name is Jonathan, sustainability consultant at Watts Sustainability. I share my life with my partner Bruno, who is an amazing human being, and our clumsy dog Tulipa.

I grew up in the suburbs of Paris where my family emigrated from Portugal in the early 70’s. Besides being a son of immigrants, where I come from, it was hard to be openly gay which I believe led me to develop a certain sensitivity towards social justice.

Since I was very little, I would spend my summers at my mom’s home town in the north of Portugal, which is a treasure of natural forests and mountains in Europe. Growing old, I saw how wildfires impacted the Portuguese landscape. Predominantly caused by criminal activities for development interests, global warming has increased the risks of wildfires in this region, which is why I decided to work in sustainability.

Today, I am working as a sustainability consultant, helping public and private organisation to lower their greenhouse gas emissions and build the path towards a net zero economy. I am also doing a part-time MSc in Ecology and Sustainability at the Centre for Alternative technology, which helps strengthen my expertise for the future challenges that await us.

How do you describe your LGBTQIA+ identity?

I identify as a gay male.

What does your organisation do?

Watts Sustainability is a sustainability consultancy, working in carbon reporting, sustainability strategy and net zero target setting. We also develop and give sustainability training to organisations, empowering employees in their company’s sustainable transformation.

What are your thoughts on Pride?

For me, Pride festivities are key to help society transform towards a fairer and more accepting world.

Do you feel like the environment and sustainability profession is inclusive for LGBTQIA+ individuals?

My director, Peter Watts is actually the first LGBTQIA+ individual I met in this field, which for me is very inspiring.

What do you think the environment and sustainability sector could do to improve equality, representation and inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ professionals?

Not only in this sector, but in all sectors, I believe that education is key to make businesses more inclusive and equal. Training and workshops on this topic should be a requirement for all businesses.

Please note: the views expressed in this blog are those of the contributing individual, and are not necessarily representative of the views of IEMA or any professional institutions with which IEMA is associated.


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