Budding historian Jeff Williamson has just joined the team, working in the Climate change practice area…
Name: Jeff Williamson
Job title: Consultant
Qualifications:MSc (distinction) – London School of Economics and Political Science; BA (honors) – Princeton University
Welcome to 3Keel! How has your day been so far?
Thank you! It has been great so far. One of those days where there is a good balance of focused work and engaging meetings.
You’ve joined 3Keel completely remotely because of the Covid-19 pandemic. How have you found it so far, and how do you stay connected to the team?
Joining any company remotely has its fair share of challenges, but 3Keel has been accommodating and thoughtful in how it approaches remote engagement. We have our daily coffee mornings that provide a nice opportunity to chat with others in the company and the occasional social where people can safely meet in person.
What have you started working on so far?
I work mainly with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) on their industry-wide initiative to achieve Net Zero by 2040. This entails coordinating the Climate Action Roadmap, supporting retail signatories and providing strategic advice on the direction of the Roadmap, which has been a meaningful experience thus far. Another project has involved researching the upcoming due diligence obligations in the UK. Overall, it is a diverse portfolio of work that constantly keeps me engaged with different clients and up to date on the latest sustainability topics!
What are you looking forward to most about working for 3Keel?
Although I have worked in the environmental sector for the last four to five years, most of this has involved working closely with civil society and government on forestry issues. As a result, I felt that I was missing the private sector component. I’m particularly looking forward to working more with the private sector on their sustainability strategies, which will provide me with a more holistic view of how we solve some of the issues revolving around environmental degradation and climate change.
Who or what inspired you to work in sustainability?
To be honest, I hadn’t necessarily considered a job in sustainability until I started researching and writing on environmental issues in Southeast Asia, where I was working for an NGO. My background was actually in history and international relations, and I intended to go into academia. Nonetheless, while working I continued to be captivated by how the historical context of the climate crisis was often deemed irrelevant when discussing climate solutions, both technical and natural. This continued to pull me into the sector, as I began to realise just how interdisciplinary and dynamic our solutions have to be, as well as the urgency of the situation.
How has the pandemic affected your views on sustainability?
This is probably similar to how others view it, but it’s reinforced just how connected the social, environmental and economic factors are in our current situation.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I’ve always been an avid hiker, traveller, and reader. Given that, you can often find me eating different types of cuisine, reading dystopian novels or learning more about a specific historical topic.
For those wanting to learn more about sustainability, what key resource (tv, film, book, podcast, etc.) can you recommend?
That’s a good question, and not sure I can do it justice off the top of my head. Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics is obviously a useful book, as are any of the resources provided by Project Drawdown. I’m not an avid podcast listener, but I find “How to Save a Planet” quite entertaining. From a professional point of view, edie provides great resources on sustainability that are digestible and accessible. I also find the Financial Times’ climate capital section insightful.