Agnes Altmets - Low Carbon Economy Technical Support Officer, GC Business Growth Hub

How did you get into CRS, and why did you choose this profession? 

I grew up in Estonia – a small, Northern European country with lots of forests and a population of 1.3 million. I lived in the capital, Tallinn, but I spent my school holidays in a small rural smallholding in Estonia that my grandparents ran. I did my Bachelor's and Master’s in sociology researching environmental friendliness, after which I did more academic research focusing on environmentally friendly behaviour change. After moving to Manchester and working in data analytics for a few years, I decided to start focusing on my passion again. I ended up starting a sustainability movement from scratch at a FTSE 100 company, including setting them on a path to become the first FTSE 100 company to become a certified Carbon Literate Organisation. I also co-founded a street sustainability consortium, which we believe was first in Manchester. Currently I work at a not-for-profit where we provide fully funded low carbon support for local SMEs. 


What do you need to do your job brilliantly? 

I believe passion is most important in a CSR role. It’s about your desire to help make the world more sustainable. I’ve found that skills around inspiring people, building communities, positive attitude and willingness to take risks have been most helpful.


Where do you see room for personal development over the next five years? What skills do you want to grow? 

I’d like to put my systems thinking into practice. I believe that to have a more sustainable world, we need a systems change. That requires people and organisations to stop and reflect on what they value, which I believe in most cases is less materialistic than their today’s practices. 


Which professional project or achievement are you most proud of? 

A proud moment in my employee and community engagement work was when I was chosen as one of the edie 30 under 30: the next generation of sustainability leaders - I was part of the inaugural class in 2019. My  interview with them can be read here. 


If you could change one thing about CRS, what would it be? 

To realise that it’s incredibly beneficial for CRS professionals to have different backgrounds. For example, if the majority of CRS professionals study an “environmental” subject in university we end up with people with similar skill sets. I believe we could make a positive difference quicker if we had more varied perspectives, backgrounds and skill sets in CRS. This would mean finding ways to help them enter the profession. 


What do you think are the most important skills for working in CRS?

Inspiring people to take action, curiosity and systems thinking.


What advice would you give to others on getting into CRS? 

If you’re passionate about the topic, just go for it. You’re likely to have a skill set, perspective or connections that help to create a more sustainable future. 


 View Agnes' LinkedIn profile here 

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