Photo Credit: Ed Newberry
Passionate to grasp a deeper understanding of the natural world and the economic forces that impact it, I went to study Ecological and Environmental Science with Management at the University of Edinburgh. There my interests developed to focus on how best we can achieve both environmental and economic sustainability at local and global scales. Work experience between academic years at a private equity firm that invests in technological solutions to environmental problems provided me with experience of how a profitable social enterprise can also create positive externalities for society and the environment. The culmination of both academia and commercial experience has furthered my belief that future environmental and economic progress are not mutually exclusive.
Climate change, Aviation and Academia
My project aims to investigate the travel habits of people working for the University of Edinburgh and understand why they choose to fly when lower carbon alternatives are available. While research has been done to understand the public’s’ flying habits, little has been written in the context of academic institutions. The project involves working alongside the Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability who have previously found that emissions associated with university-funded flights were the third largest source of their carbon emissions. To explore the subject, data were collected through surveys to explore faculty flying trends and semi-structured interviews were used gauge a deeper understanding of their motivations. The long-term interest of this project is to help decrease the growing emissions associated with business travel of academic institutions through internal policies.
Sion Pickering (University of Edinburgh, Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability)