Dr Susie Tomson
What I do
I am a Sustainability Manager for a professional sports team called Land Rover BAR – the British Challenger for the 35th America’s Cup. My role is to identify our environmental impact and find ways to minimise it. Sustainability is about understanding our environment and reducing the negative impact of things we do. For example, we’ve banned single-use plastics, so everybody on the team has their own water bottle, to avoid waste.
How I got my job
My interest in the environment started when I was a child, spending time outdoors with my grandmother, going to local nature reserves. I always wanted to understand how nature worked, so I studied geography at university, then specialised in water and environment management. That’s where I learnt how to create evidence that could convince people and businesses of the importance of caring for our oceans.
What I love about my job
I love the challenge – none of it is easy! I believe the oceans are the lungs of the world, so it’s important to remind people about how nature underpins our health, wealth and happiness.
Through a programme called BT STEM Crew, we work with young people and teachers to educate them about how our actions today will affect the future. It gives us an opportunity to inform a new generation of people about the oceans’ health, and we ask everybody to do one thing. There are lots of small ways to help the environment and, for me, discovering new solutions is always enjoyable.
What is difficult about my job
Making people think differently is a real challenge. We won’t change minds by telling people to do less – travel less, eat less, turn the heating down. The solution comes through technology and innovation. Part of it is about reconnecting people to what’s important about nature and how the world works.
What skills I need
I studied maths and physics at school because it’s important to understand data and science. I also need to be good with people – the best way to build awareness is by telling the environment’s story in a relatable way.
Where should young people start
Get outdoors and enjoy the natural world. Also think about being sustainable at home, like finding ways to save electricity.