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Helping Edinburgh towards Net Zero

Passionate about working towards a sustainable future? Hear how Lauren Ridgley, Edinburgh alumni, progressed from her Masters to her role as Project Officer with Circular Edinburgh, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

As Project Officer on the Circular Edinburgh project, no day is the same. I work with businesses supporting them to embed more sustainable and circular economy practices and help them find innovative solutions to reduce their waste streams.  

I studied Geography for my Undergraduate degree and went on to take the Carbon Management MSc programme at the University of Edinburgh. I always knew I wanted to have a career in the environmental/sustainability sector but I was not sure what role that would be. The knowledge and skills I learnt during my Masters degree enabled me to have a better idea of the impacts climate change is having in all areas of society; the environment, within businesses, the economy and in policy and regulation. It was through the Masters programme I learnt about the Circular Economy and the important role it plays in the sustainability agenda, especially for businesses. After interviewing businesses to learn about their innovative circular economy solutions for my dissertation I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to interact with lots of people and support businesses with their sustainability practices.  

I was lucky enough to start at the Edinburgh Chamber shortly after finishing my Masters programme and I have enjoyed every minute of it. The role enables me to combine my interest and knowledge of the circular economy and sustainability and allows me to interact with a wide range of organisations from all sectors and size across the city. 

Over the last two years at the Edinburgh Chamber I have been lucky enough to be part of some great circular economy projects within the city, supported the development of innovative circular economy businesses, organised circular events for businesses and helped increase the awareness of the circular economy and the important role it plays. One of the best things about my role is knowing I am helping make a positive difference to businesses and helping the city’s sustainability and net-zero agenda.  

My advice to anyone starting to think about what career they would like to have when graduating is have an open mind. I never thought I would end up in a role focusing on supporting businesses day to day, I initially thought I might have a more data/analytical role within the sector when I first started my Masters. I would also say network! Keep in touch and up to date with current research, what businesses in the sector are doing, keep in touch with any guest speakers or businesses you engage with during your dissertation research as you never know where opportunities might arise. I was lucky enough to learn about my job role through talking to the Circular Edinburgh team and learning that a position was becoming available so keep an eye out and don’t be afraid to ask businesses about career opportunities! 

Our thanks to Lauren for these insights.

Careers for a Sustainable Future 

Careers for a Sustainable Future is now open! We’ve put together a collection of events, resources and content for students from all disciplines who have been inspired by COP26 to explore a career that has a positive environmental impact and/or fights climate change.  

When? Friday 5th - Friday 19th November  

Where? Careers for a Sustainable Future will be hosted on EventsAir 

What? An overview of the programme of events is available on MyCareerHub   

 How? Register on EventsAir now for access. The registration link can also be found on each of the event listings on MyCareerHub 

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