Hello! My name is Nicola and I am on my fourth week here at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT). My job is to support and grow the green accreditation scheme for businesses Investors in the Environment, otherwise known as iiE.
I’ve also just secured my first member – Allia Future Business Centre. Allia helps and supports ventures that want to make a positive social or environmental impact. It was interesting to hear about the various projects happening here in Peterborough and I’m pleased to be working with businesses who want to be more sustainable and reduce their impact on the environment.
I have been following PECT closely for the last few years since taking an active interest in my local community and issues regarding the environment. It all began when I was studying a course on Social Science, where I learnt more about our ‘throw away’ consumer society and was overwhelmed to discover how much goes to waste. Here in the UK we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink alone. I also discovered more about the devastating impact things like fossil fuels, the meat industry and deforestation are having on the planet.
This led to me making some personal changes in my life and becoming more conscious of my actions, especially around food and buying habits. Through this process I was introduced to Permaculture and decided to complete the full design certificate. Permaculture is a very creative way of installing ethics and principles into your life to live more sustainably and in harmony with nature.
I took my course in Italy and shortly afterwards I went back to spend some time WWOOF’ing, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. I worked at a meditation centre and farm that produced olive oil. Picking olives in the sunshine amongst the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany was a fantastic experience. I was inspired by the way of life there – people would grow a lot of their own food and make wine, share surplus with neighbours and there was a real sense of community.
Which is a lot like working for PECT! There’s lots of sharing – whether it’s the table of home-baked goods or home-grown produce, the lunches, or fresh juice. It also goes without saying that everyone here is like-minded with a shared goal of helping to protect our planet. Straight away I knew I’d come to work at the right place.
Nicola Smith is the new Business to Business Sales Executive at iiE.