Spotlight on Stephanie Chesters
6 November 2014
This week the spotlight is on Stephanie Chesters, Sustainability Manager (Environmental Management Systems and BREEAM), UCL Sustainability Team.
What is your role and what does it involve?
My role is Sustainability Manager (Construction and EMS) on UCL's Sustainability Team. This involves working with Estates colleagues on the design and delivery of building projects and refurbishments to ensure that sustainability measures are incorporated, such as low energy technologies or sustainable timber. The EMS part of the role is the Environmental Management System. This system supports UCL to operate in a manner which protects our environment. This part of the role requires me to work with departments across UCL to identify ways we can all be more sustainable at work.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I have been at UCL for 2 years now. Prior to joining UCL I was the Environmental Manager for 5 other University of London Colleges: Birkbeck, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SOAS, IoE, and the School of Pharmacy. It is interesting for me that the School of Pharmacy is now also part of UCL and IoE will be joining us soon.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
At UCL I am most proud of the introduction of our Sustainable Design Specification for our construction and refurbishment projects. This ensures that it is clear to everyone in a project design team that sustainability is a priority. This has also become part of the consideration in project approvals so no works at UCL will take place without consideration of energy, water, waste and materials.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
In the team we have just re-launched our Green Impact programme for the fourth year. This is programme is all about helping staff and students make their departments more environmentally friendly, while gaining skills, saving money and getting rewards.
Since last year, we have linked the programme much more closely with our Environmental Management System so participation in Green Impact acts as departments' way of recording their sustainability performance. Last year 44 teams took part, and this year we're aiming for every department and division to do so.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Album: It is too hard to choose as I like so many different types of music but if I had to pick, Industrial Sounds by Rev Hammer
Film: Tremors (a B movie classic)
Novel: Papillon by Henri Charriere
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
I am thinking of getting rid of my Hoover…
It's just been gathering dust
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop worrying about everything so much.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I have a black belt in taekwondo (just another reason to meet your departmental environmental requirements, if one was needed!)
What is your favourite place?
Kefalonia in Greece. The town was destroyed by an earthquake so when they rebuilt, they decided to move it to the beach. You can see the old and new and I love the idea that if you are not happy with something you can change it - even the location of the town.