Day in the Life of an Environmental Consultant

I thought it would be helpful to share what a typical working day looks like for me and my environmental and sustainability consultancy, onePlanet Solutions.

Here in 2020, the world has changed in an unexpected way due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In this article, I share with you a day in my life.

That day is Thursday, 20 August 2020.

I try to wake up around seven o’clock to get an early start to the day.

Sometimes, with a heavy schedule or urgent environmental issues, such as supporting a client in the mitigation of an on-going pollution incident on the previous day, I may wake later around eight o’clock.

Even during the Summer, the morning can still be dark at this time.

Once the alarm goes off, I silence it.

And try not to look at my emails until I have fully prepared for the day.

Good intentions win today and I head for the Shower Room.

It is surprising what environmental decisions you can be face with even first thing in the morning.

Should I use the electric shaver or wet shave?

After a brisk shower, which truly wakes me fully up, I dress for the day and head downstairs for breakfast.

For me, breakfast is a simple affair.

I have become addicted to porridge in the morning even during the Summer months.

It is a great way to have that slow carbohydrate release to keep you going during the morning.

If anything, this year has been characterised by virtual meetings and remote audits, which very likely would not have been carried out without the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of my clients has forty locations across the world from the UK, Hong Kong, USA, Japan, Spain and Portugal. Way back in 2012, these audits were completed as traditional face-to-face audits, which cost cover thirty thousand pounds in travel alone let alone the huge carbon footprint.

After further discussion with my client, we, now, complete the audits remotely and have for seven years with significant environmental and financial savings.

Today, I am planning for two audits using GoToMeeting and sending off the Audit Plans.

After completing the Remote Audit preparations and checking my e-mails, I have integrated a short walk each day to clear my head and prepare for the remaining work for the day as well as ensuring that I get some exercise each day.

On my return from my walk, I settled down to two calls with prospective clients to cover their Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) for Directors’ Reporting. In both cases, I had sent my Project Proposal and these calls were to hear back from them on progressing their reporting.

The first call covers the prospective client’s response to my full project proposal and were happy to go ahead with the proposals.

So, a positive call, which moves a significant project into my active portfolio for work in September.

My second call was a shorter conversation. Whilst they liked my proposal, they had a pre-existing relationship with a energy consultant, who had completed their Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Assessment in December last year and wanted to keep that relationship.

So, it is a blow to developing a new client relationship, but I can understand their perspective in wanting to stay with their established relationship with their existing consultant.

One of the strands to my consultancy, is to keep current with new and developing International Standard, which I achieve from my involvement in the UK BSI National Committee & ISO Working Groups.

Recent participation has been as the UK National Expert in the Greenhouse Gas verification and validation standard – ISO 14065 and, today, the verification and validation of water information (ISO 14017).

I have already prepared the UK comments on the Committee Draft (CD) and will be working though my comments and the responses from other countries. So today, it is a case of preparing for today’s meeting, which is the fourth of five this week lasting 4 hours each.

After logging on to the Zoom call, we have some general discussions before turning to our full review of the consultation comments.

About half way, we take a break.

That is just enough time for a drink and cake.

The meeting continues until 15:30 Hrs with further discussions planned for tomorrow.

After the ISO Working Group Meeting, there is time to upload my latest EMSmastery video to the YouTube channel and finish the accompanying blog post.

At the end of each day, I make sure that I have effective notes from the activities today and review the planned activities for the next day.

On a Thursday evening, we have a family tradition of a Fajita meal with a special twist as one of our family is Vegan. A Vegan meal has a double benefit as it challenges us to try alternative foods and can be good for the environment over beef or chicken meat.

So, there is plenty of time to cook the meal and enjoy some family time after the working day.

Another family tradition has been to have a film night after the evening meal.

We have already selected the film as something that not all of us watched at the cinema.

Our selection is “Dark Waters”, which the story of a corporate defense attorney, who takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company, DuPont. The film unfolds the lengthy history of pollution of PFOA-C8, which is a man-made chemical used in the production of Teflon, and ultimately, the legacy it leaves in the local communities and worldwide.

With popcorn in hand, I head off to watch the film with my family.

After a lengthy discussion of the film and the environmental issues that it presents, I head up to the bedroom for a well-deserved nights sleep.

I hope that this episode has given you an insight into what my consultancy work is like under the COVID-19 pandemic & it will encourage you to share your typical day in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this article, you should subscribe to our YouTube Channel – EMSmastery, where you can watch our videos, such as our video accompanying this article on Day in the Life of an Environmental Consultant and subscribe in our YouTube channel for new videos released each week.

#DayInALife #onePlanetSolutions #EMSmastery

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