Meet Ian Lawrence
Ian has been a part of Schneider Electric for 14 years, starting out in energy before transitioning to renewables in 2015. His journey to renewables began with auditing third-party invoices in the natural gas market before moving into power and eventually assisting renewable energy developers in approaching corporate buyers. Despite many of his peers not starting in renewables, Ian found his way there and is eager to delve further into his experiences and is serving as a Zeigo Network Manager.
Get Answers To:
- How can a Chief Sustainability Officer take action?
- How to select an experienced provider?
- How to keep up with the pace of renewables?
Listen to Episode 2
Being a sustainability leader can be quite challenging, especially considering the vast knowledge it requires. Leaders in this field must be well-versed in numerous disciplines. This includes understanding company operations, management of facilities and real estate, finance, accounting, and even legal matters. Essentially, it means needing to make connections at all levels, from the factory floor to the boardroom.
It’s also necessary for these leaders to stay aware of the latest in renewables. This includes staying informed about changes in policy, advancements in technology, purchasing options, and available solutions to tough decarbonization issues.
As a sustainability leader, you don’t have to be an expert in everything. But the key here is having a solid understanding and connection with the people involved. This makes confidence a vital trait for anyone in this position. The rules are continually changing in this emerging industry, making the journey quite challenging. But having the assurance to make critical decisions, and knowing where to find validation, are all crucial to thriving.
To boost confidence, it’s important to lean on a strong community of seasoned sustainability professionals. They can offer much-needed advice and guide you in decision-making. Opportunities to learn and meet experts can also come from software-facilitated virtual events, such as webinars.
Moreover, technology plays a big role in sustainability leadership. Software, for example, can help in rapid updates and managing data efficiently. It allows a team to feed information in a way that is accessible to the end users while fostering connections and community. In addition to making connections, you also need to educate yourself by reading articles, joining webinars, and engaging with community members.
Finally, for a Chief Sustainability Officer, it’s critical to grasp shareholder priorities and commitments and set realistic yet ambitious goals. Remember to develop a strategy on the best path to achieving your objectives, such as reducing emissions by 50% or reaching your renewable goals. Then it’s time for execution. Use the right tools and trusted partners, be it for on-site solar, battery storage, EV charging, or virtual power purchase agreements, and start the process of bidding and taking action.
Navigating sustainability leadership is undoubtedly challenging, but by staying informed, leveraging technology, engaging with communities, and staying confident, success can be realized.