Member Story: Michaela Lindridge FICRS, Head of ESG, Severfield plc


  1. How did you get into CR&S, and why did you choose this profession?

Growing up in mainland Europe, there wasn’t a lot of focus on sustainability back in the day (the term wasn’t even widely used), but agriculture and food security formed part of my studies in Czech Republic, where I’m originally from.

Back in 2011, I received a great opportunity to study a postgraduate course at Cranfield University via their European Partnership programme, with my University in Prague. The course was Economics for Environmental Management and Natural Resources - the longest course title on the campus - and as you can imagine, had many links between business, economics, and sustainability.

I was passionate about making a difference in the career I chose, efficiency (of resources) and behaviour change, which this degree seemed to combine it all for me and started my career in sustainability.


  1. What makes your sector unique from a CRS perspective?

I currently work in the steel industry, and steel fabrication is intrinsically linked to construction, a sector I have worked in before, and I am particularly passionate about the 100% recyclable properties of steel.

I’m excited to be working in the industry as it offers great potential and opportunities for carbon reduction and net zero. What’s more, there are many roles within the steel industry – including steel fabrication, design, and the supply chain that all have a sustainability aim in mind. Whether that’s designing with more efficiency, producing lower embodied carbon, or transporting innovatively – the sector has it all.


  1. What are the most essential skills for working in CRS?

Look at sustainability holistically, not in isolation. A good CR&S professional understands how different areas of the business impact climate and sustainability risks. They also use good communication skills to make a change, learn how to influence, and must be equipped with patience. Not all sustainability targets are achieved quickly, and not all transition happens in a day.

Don’t be discouraged if you are told no (whether that’s a new initiative or a system). It might be ‘not now’ in disguise, so count the wins, no matter how big or small. Sustainability can feel overwhelming at times as there is SO MUCH TO DO. Not being afraid to reach out to your fellow peers is an empowering skill to have.


  1. What advice would you give to others on getting into CR&S?

Don’t try to do it all at once (or alone). Any sustainability or ESG role must encompass all employees on all levels – everyone has to contribute. In the words of Solitaire Townsend, whatever role you do, in 2023 we all work in sustainability.

Be strategic in your stakeholder engagement efforts and remember to be practical in providing your solutions to the business you are in – this might look differently depending on your industry and don’t shy away from learning new skills continuously (such as AI).

I’m personally very excited to see how sustainability will develop in the future. For me, ten years ago my job title didn’t even exist, so who knows what’s next?