Inspired Business podcast: Sustainable business, with Nicole Yeomans
Just a quick note before we start this, entire. First, season of inspired, business, was recorded, before the. Corona virus outbreak in the UK hence, there being no mention of it in the interviews thanks. Enjoy, the podcast. Hello. And welcome, to inspired, business, the, business podcast than, the University, of Derby. During. This series we are bringing you inspiring, stories. From across the business landscape in Derby Derbyshire, and beyond we discussed the issues affecting, your business and provide, key insights from our guests for you to take away, I'm Toby. Bradford, your host for the series I'm joined, by my co-host business. Expert, Angela. Tully, who will offer you valuable, analysis, on the topics we cover. This, week we, are joined by Nicole Yeomans who is a green infrastructure. And biodiversity. Specialist she's also a graduate of the University of Derby I'm, joined by our, business. Expert Angela Tully Angela. The the world is being evermore focused on the environment and what. We are doing to it and how we can improve it it's, interesting that, we are talking to Nicole this, week yes, it is Nicole's. Job, title, just completely, blows my mind, because, it, just reminds me what a fast-paced. World. We, are in, I don't know about you but I've. Never met anyone before in that, sort of role and actually. It's fascinating, when you start to listen to what she does the. Sorts of things that she's talking about in terms of improving. Not. Just. Fixing. What, damage. You, know has been done by construction, or infrastructure, work, or things that are but, improving. And making a positive, net. Change, on. The. Diversity, the by diversity, of, that, area it, just shows what a step change we've, we've made within. The UK in terms of the importance, of the environment that's that whole idea isn't it is we it's not that right we no longer want to make stuff worse we actually want to make it better as we're going along and, it really is changing the way we're thinking it's a real challenge and I think it's it's, something that's not. Just locally, but at government everyone's. Trying to get their heads around and you can see that in some, of the, conversations. And. Debates that are happening around some of the big infrastructure, projects, that are planned in the UK like HS - is that. How, do you. Design. Something, that. Is future, fit not just in terms of. Meeting. The requirements. Of a. Changing, population. And the, needs of that change in population but. Also ensuring. That you, do, it in a way that. You. Retain. Something. For the future generation, and actually recognition. That what. We are doing to the environment is. Rapidly. Starting. To import the, way we, live we, eat we, work absolutely, now. Of course it's not just about Nicole's. Job this podcast, we talk about her background and that, story is worth, a listen to just on its own it's almost well, she is writing a book in fact about it this is what I love about listening, to these podcast, interviews, is that we're, having people from so many different backgrounds. Who. Have. So, many different, stories, to tell, and I, don't think any of them I think, if they reflected. And look back on their five. Ten, year old self would, ever imagine. The. Journey that they've gone on and I just think these podcast, series, has been you know, we. Developed this series to. Inspire people. In business, but actually there's. Some fantastic. Stories. In terms of careers. And. Development. Of young people, and I'll. Certainly be getting my children, to listen to some of these interviews because actually I think what people need nowadays, is, good. Role models and I think we don't have enough people.
Who Are who are role. Models who inspire, the future generation. It's seeing where people have come from and when they've got to in that journey it shows what's possible I think it's fantastic. Okay well Angela we'll be back later for our analysis of the interview with Nicole but for now let's hear what Nicole, has to say. Hello. And welcome. To Nicole. Yeomans very excited about this Nicole, would you like to introduce yourself, yeah sure so, as. You already hear I'm Nicole Yeomans, I am a green infrastructure. And biodiversity. Specialist, and I'm actually a, former, student from. The University, of Derby Joanie Cole thank. You so what did you study when are you studied, zoology and, I thoroughly. Enjoyed. It and I would definitely recommend, it, to anybody else out there so who are your favorite lecturers. Oh am, I allowed to say that you can say whatever you like well. I've had I thought they were all brilliant but I had, lots, of support and, inspiration. From, people like Michael, sweet marbling. Andrew. Ramsay. Great. Stuff now Bowman, they, were all very supportive. And very inspiring. People. Good I find them very inspiring, - you're a green, infrastructure, and biodiversity, specialist, who, do you work for with a Khan or a EECOM depending, on which side of the pond. Because. It's quite a big company, isn't, it what is a what is a come or a come what's it do well it stands for and, I have to always check the architecture. Engineering, consulting. Operations. And maintenance so. In kind of one swoop. You get an idea of exactly what, is that the company does everything. It's. A global, company, it, has nearly 90,000. Employees, it. Works in over 150. Countries, worldwide. I believe, it began as an oil refinery, back, in the, 60s, and then it moved into buildings. And construction, right and kind. Of evolved, into the icon, that we know today so, it's. A global company, but in the UK and Ireland it has three markets. Which, it focus, on and that is civil. Infrastructure, building. In places, and environment. And ground engineering. That's. Where I sit yeah ground engineering it covers a range of disciplines these, can, vary anywhere, from the, water environment, archaeology. Landscape, architecture. Acoustics. And, ecology. And. Ecology. Is, the discipline that my team sits within and recently. We actually won the award for large. Consultancy. Of the year from the Chartered. Institute of, environment. And ecological management, in the UK for ecology so, we work, with a wide range of, clients and, yes they quite often within, our team we work with highways England. Network Rail for. Large, infrastructure. Projects, right okay I'm part of the green infrastructure, team so, we were new and growing team, within, ecology, which is it's always nice to be at the kind of the forefront of, new. And exciting roles, so. We basically, look, at providing, nature. Based solutions, that, work across, disciplines. So when you say nature based solution, using. Nature to help solve, the, problem I don't know how that would work yeah so basically that, might be for example creating, a green bridge where you could have you could have your normal box, standard, concrete, bridge, but, instead you, look, at it an. Opportunity to. Potentially. Connect. To habitats, so, you, would green. The bridge which would be adding, in shrubs, potentially. Trees, on. A bridge yeah yeah. They're quite impressive building, up embankments. Where you can have wildflower. Meadows so that would support, pollinators, you. Can go into more detailed, design features, like back boxes, and. Mammal. Crossings, so. Green infrastructure, we want, to provide. Sustainable. Solutions, not only for wildlife but also people, in communities, as well so it goes across we, work across disciplines and, across sectors. To try, and deliver something that improves. Biodiversity. And well-being. How long has this been a focus of Vacon, because you've got quite a decent team of ecologists, now yeah. I believe we've got over 100 maybe even 150, ecologists. In the UK just in the UK there's yeah, yeah. And in the Midlands, is actually the biggest, team of ecologists, yeah we like to say we are we're a new team there's, only about eight or so offers in.
The Green, emoji, team at the moment but we, are within, the, UK there. Are lots of people working, on green, infrastructure, ecosystem. Services, natural, capital, policy, and appraisal, that all kind of support. One, another and, we work on similar project, so describe. How. Your. Team works what, is it you're looking at when we know when a project comes to you how do you approach that well something, that we work, on quite. Frequently, is biodiversity. Net. Gain assessments. So. Biodiversity. Net gain means, it's basically a development. That leaves the, environment, in a better state than it did before I rather than just try not to make it worse you actually yes make. It better despite. Well, established, nature protection, laws that, we've had in UK for quite some time now our biodiversity is continuing. To decline at, an alarming, rate quite frankly, so if. Biodiversity. Continues. To decline as it is the value of the natural environment, which is so important, things like well-being, our, economy, and, flood. Mitigation and, clean water crop. Pollination, flood. Mitigation yeah. We've. Seen that recently and climate, regulation, so we, all depend very, much on, biodiversity things. Like land-use change and development, that can have a negative impact. On biodiversity, so. By, incorporating, a principle, of net gain biodiversity. Net gain new. Development, can actually enhance the natural environment and, deliver long-lasting. Improvements. For biodiversity, and people. What, that actually means in practice, is, that something. That's fundamental, is that you would first off apply. It's called the mitigation, hierarchy. To development. Where you would avoid, making. Significant. Impacts to the environment you would minimize, those. Significant. Effects, and in terms of net, gain you would look to, restore. Or, enhance what. You have on site and then, if that you could do restoration. And enhancement and. If. That, wasn't enough based, on a biodiversity net gain assessment, you might have to offset, on third-party land. Some. Of the losses, of, the development. So I can understand I can understand restoring, something if there's something there there's a wood there and you want to make that more, sustainable. Yeah the, new things, things like the green bridge I assume, that's what other sort of things would you be able to put in well the green bridge is a bit of that's kind of separate, to bright diversity net gain well. I suppose at the moment there are ways of incorporating, things, like green bridges into a net gain assessment, but the easiest, way of looking at it is if say, for example you you, have a woodland, you've got a hectare, of woodland. On your site and you want to take 50%. Of, that Woodend, away you're, going to have to put back generally. A 10%. Increase, so you'd have to put 60%. Would, learn back somewhere, so describe. To me how an. Offset would work you're doing some work somewhere and you need to make a net gain but you can't do it on that site necessarily, so how would that work um you would look to, get. A third-party landowner. Agreement. And you. Would use, your biodiversity. Impact assessment, the first steps would be to, look. At how many, biodiversity. Units. They're called it's a way of measuring. Biodiversity. Losses so that is that species, or, no, we use habitats, as a measure of losses, so basically, you would map out all of the habitats that are on the site that's what you would use satellite. Imagery GIS. Mapping you'd also use an ecological. Survey called a phase one survey, that. Where an ecologist, has actually. Gone out on site and mapped. Out the various, habitats. And made, any notes. On what. Species are present and that's kind of the first survey, before they would go back and do, detailed. Protected.
Species Surveys, but um for our assessment we need the phase 1 mapping so then we, would then convert that into a map that would give us areas. Quite. Specific, areas, that go down to kind of like five decimal, places of each habitat type and then we, have various. Biodiversity. Calculators, which amazing. Tools which, will measure out the. Losses in gains so, when we put in our, initial. Habitat, types we, get a list of the habitats on on that side would be deciduous, woodland, species. Which grassland, it, could be bear ground you, know all the habitats that are there and then we would provide. A condition, for those habitats, which is given to us from an ecologist, that's actually been out on site most, of the time and these, habitats, have already been assigned. A distinctiveness, which, helps, to give, them their score so like a woodland, would have high, distinctiveness. Compared. To, amenity. Grassland, which is like the grassland that you walk past when you walk into the university, you know so yeah so we would get a value of what the pre habitats, were, on-site and then, we would look at what's. Being, lost what's, being retained, and. Within. What's being retained can, we enhance any, of, that and that's how we would get our final figure. And in the post development. Calculations. You, look at things like time, to target condition as, well, difficulty. In creating, that, habitat, there, are new ways of calculating the losses and gains through, Defra. Released their own they've. Released a new calculator, which, looks at habitat. Connectivity, and. Strategic. Value so if it's within a strategic, location like, it's in a local authority plan for example if, they've got priority, to enhance. This habitat, type and, that all influences. The calculation, that you get at the end one, of the ways that we like to work as well is that we get involved in each phase. Of the design process so if you have a biodiversity, net. Gain assessment, as an iterative thing. Rather than it. Gets done at the end of a development, you. Can meaningfully, influence. The design and, try and help so, rather than saying right I've done all this massive plan this is what I want have a look to see how it'll affect the environment you know right we're going to start on this side what can we do here so yeah right in the beginning you're in there yeah that's how we'd, like to work because obviously when you like you say if you come in right at the end then your score. Is the score and we can't change that unfortunately. If, that, that's when you would, look to offset. So, what. I'd like to skip to now mm-hmm, it's kind of questions. That I'm I'm very interested, in how. Did you get to where you are now working for this company where that where have you come from we know you've done a zoology. Gris at Darby but what's, your history I've got a very diverse history. I am. The, daughter of a, reptile, expert, so he my, dad used to actually have Europe's. First ever reptile. Farm in the 1990s. So in. Nottingham. Which. Is obviously, an interesting. Place for a surgical. Expert. And reptile. Farm so. Yeah as a child I, grew up on a farm, which, had rooms, and rooms and rooms full of leopard. Geckos chameleons. Corn, snakes. It. Was just amazing absolutely, amazing place, to grow up and then we, also ended, up divers, firing into farming crickets and locusts which is also bizarre, so I kind, of was a sponge to all of my dad's interests. I grew up loving animals, I was very, but. Not just cows and sheep and dogs and cats yeah. Venomous. Snakes. You know alligators. Cobras. You. Name it black members, we, we had it all so yeah I was inspired by my dad growing up and had, a love of animals my. Dad was very influential. My. Interests. And my personality. And yeah, so I am, actually writing a book about him the book is called, king cobras in the living room. Because. You had king cobras in your living room yes in. Nottingham. In Nottingham, yes and, it's it's a basically, a memoir about my dad's life, so.
He Was, a king cobra expert, who ended up devoting. His career, to trying to help, protect king, cobras, which unfortunately, had a tragic ending so he was actually bitten by one of his king cobras, and he and he passed, away so it's, kind of yeah. So it's kind of a book about my, dad's life my, life before. I was born and, what. Inspires. A man to dedicate his life to reptiles. How does a man from Derby, in the 1960s. Become a world-renowned, kingcobra, expert, and all of the crazy. Things that happen in between that like I like to call him a cross between Steve. Irwin, and Johnny Rotten so, that was the kind of personality, that he was so. There's it's, hopefully, an amusing. And, inspiring. Story, of my, life with my dad and he certainly inspired you you, did yeah he did so yeah I'm just working. On that at the moment that's what I do in my spare time I didn't, go to university as, a teenager, I moved, to Spain instead. And when I moved to Spain I worked. With. The, head of reptiles in, the south of Spain at Frankie aurora zoo which, is. A fantastic, zoo. Where they were one of the first people to breed, the false water gharial, which is an amazing crocodilian. That's from Malaysia which is very very rare but yeah so while I was working at the zoo there, I got, opportunities, to do things like help train Komodo, dragons, and, train. Them to do what. They. Like they wanted to be able to move, the Komodo dragon safely. So this amazing. Creature called Rio I believe was, about 4. Foot even, when he was young. Juvenile. And his tail was around just picturing that in this room that's quite, on the table that's quite a big thing quite. Some size, yeah. So they they wanted a way to be able to train him almost like a dog so we used to go in cage, and we, trained him to tap his nose on a. Red, ball that was on the end of a, long stick so once he tapped his nose on the red, ball would give him a mouse, which was what he ate a defrosted. Frozen. Mouse so, eventually. He, would become trained, that, if he followed the red ball wherever. We needed him to be so from one side of the cage to the other so we could safely contain. Him for, whatever reason, if we needed a vet to come out for example, which, we did once I actually had to go and help with, him having, an ultrasound because, he had digestive, issues whether that's. That was another day. At the zoo so yeah, and whilst it was in Spain, a real, I was, so passionate about zoology. And, hadn't. Been to university and I, really wanted to to come back to England and go, to university, and become a qualified, zoologist. So what inspired you what. Was the decision that you took how did you come to that decision to go to university, just because I, was working in Spain at the time and I realised that I, wanted to take zoology. Seriously, and I wanted to do it as a profession and I'd actually been inspired. My, dad always inspired, me and he had some amazingly. Interesting friends, and I, one. Of them came to stay and he was an amazing zoologist. That had lived in the, jungles, of Cameroon, he'd, lived there for 14 years and he'd, done research for National, Geographic what, was his name Chris Wylde perfect. Name as, well for zoologist, and yeah so my dad wasn't a zoologist, but he had he didn't go to university. He. Was yeah but he was a self-taught, person, he never got. A degree, so that was never something that was necessarily, in the forefront of my mind that I needed to get a degree to be passionate about animals, and work in zoology but. Then I met Chris and I was like this guy is amazing. And he's so inspiring, all these tales looking, for gaboon Vipers I have the longest fangs, in, the snake kingdom, researching. Giant, frogs, all, these incredible. Tales and. He definitely, influenced my decision to, be, a zoologist. And to get a degree and to come, back to England and, take, academia. Seriously. So because, I didn't follow a traditional, path I had to kind of do extra, exams and it took a bit longer than I would have liked but then that's when I ended up at the University of Derby and then when I got here then my world was completely blown open because I suddenly started. To find. Interest in bacteria. And did a complete u-turn and, went from living, which, I, still love them but I was very much interested in, microbes. And genetics, once I got to university when, from enormous lizards, to things, that you just can't see at all yeah that's, yeah, and and also the marine environment I've also I've always loved marine, biology, so that's. How I ended up getting to know Michael sweet so who. Is a marine, specialist. Who's lonely, with corals. Yeah. He's a coral reef expert. And a molecular ecologist. And he's very interesting, man and yes a whilst at, university I, went to the Maldives to research coral, reefs out there on one of Michael, sweets research.
Trips, Which you. Know you had to twist my arm to get ready to go to the Maldives it's such a such, a hard life in the indian ocean it's just fascinating especially. The research on coral reefs you know there's such an incredible. Habitat, and they're, decreasing, at an alarming, rate and yeah I was always into passionate, about the marine world as well so it, was just a great, experience to come to University and you don't know where that experience, can take you I've met some amazing people as well some of my friends, and I, went to University where they've gone on to have fantastic, careers. Working, for, the Sanger, Institute for, genetics, and. All, sorts, of amazing things so it was just a brilliant experience, and, I would highly recommend it when, I finished University I, was looking for a marine based role, and, I. Was looking off to be accepted, into a position as a marine planner, working, for the marine, management organisation. Marine planner what does a marine planner do well my, role consisted. Of policy. Development, for. The, South marine, plan so the UK was split up into marine. Plant areas so I was looking off to be based in Poole in Dorset, and worked on the south coast, marine, plan which was a complex, area because. It had one of the busiest shipping, channels, in the world well. First. Off it went from the river da in Devon, all the way to Folkston. And it covered an area of 20,000. Square, kilometres, so, it was a huge area with I would say the one of the busiest shipping canals, channels. It, had 60. Marine, protected areas, as well, as, military. Activity. On the coast and a, UNESCO. World Heritage Site so it was a very complicated, area. To. Provide. Policies. Which you. Know meet social, economic. And environmental so. You having to work out, for all this area is that just the water or how it affects the communities, and well it's, it goes from all the way up the tidal, extent. Of rivers, so anywhere, that's influenced, by the, sea so, the tidal extent of rivers all the way out to the exclusive, economic zone, which is where we board in, the submarine plan France Jersey. So they they, span huge. Areas, and obviously, it's very complex and. There's a lot of different, needs, so we had policies social. Policies, on, fishing. We, had environmental. Policies on marine protected areas, there were policies on, oil. And gas extraction and. Aggregate, extraction. Which is like the sand and, stones which we use to build so, obviously they've, even aggregate. Policies, have. Influence. Across the whole of the UK construction, industry. Which is kind of you're, going from bacteria. To many, more things you're not just looking at the marine life that's what I really enjoyed about that role actually was having. Having. A wider, perspective on things because I think sometimes you can you, can get blinkers, on and just focus, on one. Single thing and that's also brilliant, to be a specialist, but it was nice to go back and look, at the whole of the marine area and all the different people and, disciplines, and so he can from your tiny little blinkers, looking at microbes to to, a massive. Expanse of thing which takes, us back to a ECAM I suppose but yeah yes, another. Large, company that, spans. Spans. The globe covers. A wide range of. Disciplines. So, yeah so how important. Do you think it is that people like you exist, within. Large. Companies, like Akon. I think now that there's, a complete paradigm shift, that large, companies wouldn't, be without people, that. Work in the environment sector because I think it adds so much value and it's, so important, in terms of risk and resilience, and future, proofing, and, that's kind, of the world that we that, we live in now we can't just push, environmental. Sustainability under, the carpet and I think any big. Company understands, that and that's. Why we have, companies like Akon creating, new and exciting, roles like for example in, our team alone we have things like digital.
Visualization. Where we use 3d, imagery. VR. To. Inspire. Our clients, and let, them see kind of what things. Like the green bridge for example like, what does that look like in the landscape, what are the benefits. We'll provide and. Inspire. People in a way that was, never done before and, we also have things like ecological. Modeling. So, we've got an ecological, modeler in our team now who, is like a data wizard, I like to call him. Modeling. And programming, yeah. So that we're kind of a con especially. I think of a really innovative company, and they always drive, forward, new, and exciting, areas, that can strengthen, the, company's resilience. It can inspire, people because. When a workforce, is inspired, as well everyone, wants to feel like they're making a positive contribution so, how important, is it the. Business takes the environment, seriously I think it's fundamental, that business, takes the environment, seriously I know that a calm look, at delivering, innovative. Pragmatic. And Brazilian, sustainable. Development, solutions, the world is reaching, for, solutions, that challenge, issues, like, how we go in to feed and house a population. Of 10. Billion people with all their needs for energy land, water, climate. Challenges, so. A calm weave, in, development, solutions, into, the daily activities, of our clients, so we look, to assist, them in making better decisions on, investment. Corporate. Strategies, supply, chain and, procurement. And. We also work in partnership, with some leading academic, institutions which. Help enhance. Our research and, development, capabilities. Cool. So Akon. Is clearly doing quite a lot but, what. About other businesses, is business, doing enough as far as the ROM is concerned, as far as sustainability's. Concerned. I think there's, always room for improvement I, think that. Has, been shift. In the, way that businesses, think so previously, it was always a way in situation. Whereas now businesses. Look, to their, long-term. Influence. This. There's been a shift definitely. In the way that businesses, operate, now. That there's a drive towards being more sustainable, it not, only does, it draw in potentially. More clients, because people want to work with companies that are, sustainable that have got a good reputation. Are. Resilient, things, like climate, change and. Biodiversity, losses, but, then it also inspires. Inspires. Employees, for, example I, actually registered. Recently, where. UCLA. Found that employees, of companies that adopt sustainable. Practices, are sixteen percent more productive pirates, 16, 16, percent, so if that's not a reason, to be sustainable, then I don't know why not improve that productivity, and, get more out of your employees, value. For money people are happy to work in a place and if people have their own environmental. Thoughts. Then that's gonna help so. It's, your job you're. Actually it's actually your job to make the place better than. It was when you found it which is tends, to mean a great thing to be able to achieve, so. Should. We be taking more individual, responsibility, as far as the environment is concerned I do think that we can all we can all make a difference and, do, our bit but I think fundamentally it, should be a top-down, approach and.
That There should be key policy, changes so the, minute in biodiversity, net, gain there's been a lot of momentum around. And, a lot of support with various, policy, documents, so we've had, the. The, Lawton review the, white paper for natural. Environment, and natural capital, committee the 25-year environment, plan and then they're soon, to hopefully. Be appointed, environment. Bill, which will make a 10 percent net gain mandatory. For all development. Under the Town and Country Planning Act so things, are moving in the right direction and. That's that's, really because, of key. Policy, changes, you know we've given a clear and philosophy, having big players like highways, England and Network Rail and the book you go all opting. In to, achieve and no net life an unknown or. A net gain before it is a mandatory requirement. Basically. Given a message to all their supply chain that you know this is it this is the way forward this is more than. Just just. Complying with the law it's important, because it's, important, yeah yeah yeah exactly. Now I'm, so, impressed by what you do thank, you it's it's something. That a lot of people feel, is very important, and the fact that you're, able to do that on a daily basis, to, try and make the world a better place for all, the creatures that live in it but what do you consider has. Been your greatest achievement. Was giving you the most satisfaction well, it was recently, actually it was when I was invited to join, the, university, of Darby's Board of environmental, sciences advisors. Yes so that was that I felt, very honored so, what what, does that involve from you and that. Involves, just feeding, in two. Ways. In which the environmental. Sciences department shape some of their courses so you're influencing, what we teach to our students you're working with our academics, yeah exactly in a way yes cool do you come in and do guest lectures. And talks -. Yeah. We're, planning on doing that and we're, coming to the wildlife. Conservation, lectures, hopefully, and talking a little bit about why diversity, netgain, green, infrastructure, yeah, so all that is to come hopefully next. Year believe now, we're, coming towards the end of our podcast, and I'm going to ask you a question that we asked all our podcast, 'yes what's. The single most important, piece of business advice you, can give to our podcast listeners, i think, is, to always, be, yourself be.
Professional, But be yourself let your personality, come through nobody. Likes a corporate robot people. Do business with other people, so, let, your let. Your story let your personality. Let, your strengths. Show, because, that is you, know that's how we get, them the best out of people and that's how you end up with a vibrant, dynamic team, which is fundamental. To business. Thank, You Nicole Yeomans thank you thanks, me. I'm, joined, again by business. Expert Angela Tully well Angela how fast is the world changing very fast indeed, it's, really interesting isn't it when you when you listen to interviews that nicole's it kind, of smacks you in the face and makes you realise, that and every, day is a learning day and I think this this, interview reminded, me of that is that I've compared, with other, interviews. That we've done together, I found this quite, a challenging. Interview, to. Listen. And analyze too simply, because Nicole's, talking, about concepts. And terminology. That is completely, alien, to me, so. You know things like net gains and nature, based solutions, are, just phrases, that I'd never heard of before the interview so the whole job. Role, is is, completely new it's, it's the whole idea of creating these, these, roles that will look at the, environment, and how these, companies are going to affect the environment from, the outset exactly, and, this is happening in so many other sectors and, I think one of the challenges that we. Have as educators. As parents. As, responsible. Employees. Or employers in, the, local business community is. How, do we support these, young people, so. How do we help. Develop skills. In our young people, that, allow them to be. Curious and, be, creative and and. Build, resilience so they can cope with an ever-changing world. Recognising, the increasing, pressures in terms of well-being in, the workplace, and things like that because. These skills, in some respects, are more, important, than the hard technical, skills, that. We provide them because they are ever-changing, and, you, think about some of the new technical roles that are coming out like data scientists. You. Have to be refreshing, that skill, base every. Couple of years to just make sure that you, are still current because. In 5-10 years there will be new roles that we haven't even thought of might. Exist yet exactly, and and Nichole's, is certainly, one of them and I don't think Nicole. When. She started. I think it was a zoology. Degree, ever. Really contemplated. Where she would. And, by the sounds of it she is, a fascinating, an, interesting, career that she's that, she's fell into I think she was always going to end up in some sort of. Conservation. Sustainable. Sort. Of animal. Plant based, career, given her backgrounds, and making a Netflix, film about life obviously exactly, but is it's been a massive cultural shift doesn't it everything, is is, changing so fast, everything, is moving. Towards. A different, view you you look at the way that governments. Are now having, a much keener eye on, the, environment, yeah yes, it is and it's, interesting there's that we you, know we've recently heard about about. What China is doing I mean China are the biggest, polluter, in, the world and and there's always been this thing around.
People, Say well why should we keep doing, stuff and look. At you know trying, to be. More sustainable in our own business and our own local, community, when, China, is the biggest polluter. Is doing. Nothing even. That's now changing so recent. Announcements. From China about, single-use. Plastic, being phased out from, the end of 2020. It's, a massive, step forward and. That's because, I'm, sure, as could become, because, of pressure. From other, governments. From their own people and, actually just seeing, the. Effect. That that is starting, to have that is the thing it's personal. Pressure pressure from the population, pressure from the consumer, pressure, from the workforce I mean the interesting, statistic, that Nicole. Brought out the companies, that have a sustainable. Policy. Their employees feel, 16, percent more productive undoubtedly. There, are lots. Of what, I would call soft benefits to. A. Organization. Or a. Business, community, being, more. Pro-environmental. Trying. To be more sustainable the, problem that we've got at the moment is, that because. It's still in very early stages, of evolution, there's. Not a lot of data around research. Is limited. Actually, you, know we're starting to see some statistics, in terms, of the. Amount of companies, who, are now increasing. The amount of. Sustainable. Products that they produce. It's, the biggest growing sectors - that no, carbon, consumer, goods sector. Is the biggest growing sector and has been since 2008. That there's statistics around, that show under costs spoken, about productivity, but their statistics, around that show that, the highest performing, businesses, are ones, that have, some sort of, sustainability. Agenda that, they work to it. Can certainly help you win new business and. One. Of the positive, things that is, being done is that in most, now of the public tenders, there's, an increasingly, large amount of score, that, is. Assigned, to you. Demonstrating. Your, responsible, business practices so, actually, when, you are bidding for a piece of work for, a, local. Council, contract, or something like that you have to demonstrate not. Only what your policies. And procedures are, but also what you are doing, what you are actively doing and, so those sorts of things are starting to. Encourage. People to, do. More because. It is starting to affect the bottom line it is starting to affect the bottom line yes. I mean sadly. Unfortunately in, many businesses, that rate of return on, investment, is still absolutely, key and, we still see that at government, as well is that it's. All well and good doing, all these things but ultimately if, it's, not going to make a positive. Impact on my bottom line it's, still a very difficult business case for many, businesses, to, get over the line with, their shareholders. And their investors, I think it would change I think one, of the challenges is, and, we touched on culture. Earlier culture. Takes time so, a changing, culture, and that sort of transformation. Is a long-term, process and, we've spoke about this on previous, podcasts. But actually, particularly. Around no carbon sustainability, things are happening so fast people are struggling to get their heads around it and, mindset. Changes, are really, important. Because, the the the general, population, the consumer, mind said is changing. Almost daily, you know from one day you suddenly find some new information and now I'm going, to be completely green I'm going going, vegan I want to buy an electric car and that, is a sudden change of mindset and maybe, the business community is not ready for that and they haven't seen their coming I think that's the case and I think there's also this, wariness, as well is that, this is just another trend.
That Will disappear, again so, you, look at sort of other significant. Changes that happen and something stick around if you think about the music industry, you. Know the amount of new things we have Betamax that disappeared. We had many discs that disappear and I think people are like well actually is it worth me invested, in this is this going to be a long-term thing, or it's just going to be another fad that people, I just decided they're going to be vegan for 2020. And actually they'll go back to eating meat again later so I think I think that there needs a bit, of time as well for things, to level, out and and, people, just start seeing what. Those trends, are going to be and what which, are those elements that are going to stick around for longer and they're going to be long term things that actually we do need to make some sort of change around, I think the other interesting, thing from, Nicole's. Interviews. And one of the things that she highlighted is the link between, biodiversity. And, nature, and well-being and, this. Is important, and this is something that as employers. We, do need to take responsibility for. Increasingly. We. Are seeing, businesses. Being impacted. By, loss, of time loss of productivity through. People, being after through stress through. Illnesses, that are related, to being. Stretched, to pressures. That they're seeing at work or in their private, lives and things like that and. Actually I, think Nicole's absolutely, right, we all know how good it feels when you go for a walk in the woods or by, the river, or by the sea you know you come back on you forever fresh so actually there's, some validity to what she's saying there, so maybe something, that companies. Perhaps could do as a starting, point is think. About well, actually let's. Not think, about how. I can relate being. A more sustainable business, to my bottom line let's, perhaps then about how. I, can. Think about it in terms of supporting, my people, and supporting. The. Development of, well-being. In the workplace and that, is, something that we all need to be responsible, for so you. Know perhaps if people think about it that way as a step. One then. It, doesn't matter what the bottom line says because actually, that could just be something as simple as a, team or as an organization going. At and doing, a community project together, or as, a team, having. A day a week where you go, for a team, walk, for, example my team, in the summer bizarrely. Sometimes. Get the tennis rackets out and play, tennis in the car park for 20 minutes and laugh. At each other and run, around but. Actually I think, that's really important, for their. Time together and, this dress is that they have for the over seven hours in the day so, I think you know let's think about things in in different ways and, not just keep reflecting on focusing. On just, one thing which is ultimately the bottom line Nichole's final. Piece of advice was to, be yourself to, people. To businesses, do you find in business that people don't act as themselves they they put on a persona it's increasingly, changing. Actually I think, the, new generation. That will, talk about generations, they're the Millennials, I think. They're a very different. Workforce, and I think their expectations. In terms of, what, they expect from a career is certainly very different from. Mine, in your days, when we were starting out and I think it's. Not just about salary. That's an attractant, to businesses, I think, they look for a business, that has similar values, to, what they have they want to fit they, want things like a the right work life balance so, I think this, is something that businesses, really need, to start. Getting their heads around how, do I make, myself attractive to. A future workforce how. Do I make myself attractive to. Encourage. People with, the skills, that I need because, I think businesses.
Don't, Always look. In the right place sometimes, for, their future workforce so. What characteristics. Do you think businesses should be looking for when they're looking for new people I think they need. To be. Focusing, more on the soft skills, identifying. Potential. Employees. Who. Have. That thirst. For. Knowledge. And. Learning, and. Creativity. And. Are agile, because they're, the skills, that, a, business, who is going to grow and succeed in, an ever-changing world is, going to have to have because, the world is becoming so. Flexible, in a, sense that you know you need to have the people who can move, with it and sway. With it and Bend with it you can almost teach. Someone. With those sorts of soft skills the, basics, of any role, but they're the skills that you can't necessarily teach. Them quickly or from, a manual, or a textbook. Well thank you Angela, and I'd. Like to thank, Nicole Yeomans again for bringing some new ideas, to this podcast and I'd, like to thank Angela Tully our business expert who has helped us explore. Some of those thanks. Angela thank you. Next. Time we'll be joined by Dean Jackson the boss of Derby wetsuit specialist, hoob. You've. Been listening to inspired, business a podcast, from the University, of Derby telling amazing, and inspirational, stories. From businesses, in Derby Derbyshire, and beyond please, subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts, leave us a rating or review and tell a friend you might also like to listen also if, you'd like to be a guest on a future episode of the show please get in touch you can find contact details and more information about the series at the Derby AC, UK, forward, slash inspired. Business, thanks, so much for listening we'll catch up with you again very, soon. You.