Ventient IT Security Manager, Chris Lawrence, joins us to share his typical day protecting the information and systems of an international renewable energy generator.

In this Day in the Life episode Chris reveals all – well, not quite all – on his role and career journey, as well as the endless opportunities for IT security graduates entering the marketplace. Chris shares the importance of being proactive, especially in the current geopolitical climate, extols the importance of continuous learning, and offers his advice for anyone considering a career in cybersecurity.

In episode 9 of the Ventient Climate of Change podcast, Katie Ni Churraoin and Nikki Warby talk about the Gender Pay Gap, and what businesses such as Ventient are doing to tackle this issue.

Interesting data from the Office of National statistics really brings to light the impact the pay gap is having on families across the UK. Katie and Nikki address the policies that are currently in place, what else can be done, ‘breaking tradition’ when hiring for roles and plenty more.

Ana Rita joins us to reveal her typical working day as an Organic Business Development Engineer at a sector-leading renewable energy company. She explains her main responsibility – to help grow Ventient through the wind farms and solar farms it owns, and shares the solutions the business uses to achieve that growth.

Working on Ventient’s Portuguese assets, Ana discusses the desk-based and site-based aspects of her job, and shares how no two days are the same as she works with internal teams, landowners, municipalities, and environment agencies to deliver organic growth.

Will Maidment joins us to share a typical working day for a Regulatory Engagement Manager in the renewable energy industry. From building dialogue with stakeholders across 7 European countries, to analysing new policies and proactively engaging with government, Will provides a fascinating insight into the complexity of his role.

He touches on the electricity market changes coming over the next 10 years as Europe works towards net zero, and explains the best learning approach for those who want to follow in his career footsteps.

In episode 6 of the Ventient Climate of Change podcast, Davina Khulpateea and Sam Ballard discuss how the menopause and perimenopause can affect women at work, and talk about the strategies and policies companies can implement to support their employees through this completely natural transition.

In this truly insightful and educational episode, Davina shares her own journey through the perimenopause and menopause to date, highlighting symptoms and sharing how awareness within teams and line management can have a profound supportive impact.

Nikki Warby reveals the multi-faceted role of a Community Engagement Manager within a renewable energy generator. She discusses the importance of community engagement in the journey to net zero, takes us inside a typical community information session, and shares some of the common questions asked.

In this insightful Day in the Life episode, Nikki also emphasises the pivotal impact of building local relationships and educating children about clean energy, and details her diverse career pathway into the sector, before lifting the lid on the 6 key traits and skills you need to be a successful Community Engagement Manager. 

We get an insight into the responsibilities of a renewable energy Resource and Layout Engineer as we speak to Ventient’s Emmanuel Atiba in episode 4 of the Climate of Change podcast.

Emmanuel shares how he helps Ventient determine if the company can grow its wind assets, talks in detail about what it takes to efficiently assess the risks and constraints involved in building new turbines and extending current wind farms, and wraps up by offering his top two tips on launching and sustaining a successful career in clean energy.

Ventient HR Manager (North & West Europe) Amy Ip joins us to discuss DEI in the workplace, explaining the work Ventient has done, defining equality and equity, and sharing the challenge of recruiting inclusively.

In an insight-packed 30 minutes, Amy also reveals the benefits of building a business with DEI as a foundation, warns of the dangers of DEI-washing, and offers advice on what companies can do better-embrace inclusivity. 

Everybody wins – 7 effective ways to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your business

For episode 3 of the new Climate of Change podcast we spoke with Ventient HR Manager Amy Ip about DEI in the workplace. Amy shared a ton of insight on what DEI is, the challenge of recruiting inclusively, and tips to successfully embed DEI in a company.

In this follow up piece, we’re focusing on that last point – embedding DEI in a business. Amy revealed seven key steps that a company can take to effectively embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, starting with a big one…

1. Have DEI as a business foundation

DEI can’t be a campaign; you need to instil it as a business pillar. At Ventient we have a strategy behind our diversity equity inclusion policy, driven by our values – People, Sustainability, Evolution. Having a strategy and the structure that goes with it means as you continue to grow, your growth will be informed, enabled, and accelerated through diversity that brings differing viewpoints, equity that speaks to individual needs, and inclusion that ensures everybody’s voice is heard.

2. Get management buy-in

This is crucial. If you don’t have that buy-in from your founders, executive committee, or Board on the importance of DEI to business operations, your best efforts will fall flat. In order for DEI to be embraced by all, you must lead by example and your leaders have to be visible. At Ventient, you can see the executive committee, they sit with everyone else, they’re approachable, you can talk to them, they listen and implement innovative ideas you share.

Of course, you don’t need the approval of others to define your principles, but in a business the involvement and endorsement of the leadership team makes all the difference in how successful your DEI initiatives will be.

“In a workplace, diversity is appreciating and understanding people’s differences and not making them adapt to us, but us adapting to them.”

3. Include everyone – do a DEI survey

Makes sense, right? To include all employees in the process of driving inclusion. With your pillar in place and leadership buy-in secured, one of the first things you should do is implement a business-wide DEI survey. Make it completely anonymous and split it into two parts: employee feedback to see how people feel and behave around DEI topics, and demographics to establish a baseline, as well as helping you to understand where the feedback is coming from.

Do it annually and off the back of it you’ll have action points you can implement as part of your DEI strategy. For example, at Ventient feedback from our 2022 survey revealed that our benefits weren’t as inclusive or as progressive as they should be. So, we opened up private medical and private dental care to our families to enhance that benefit. As Amy says, “In a workplace, diversity is appreciating and understanding people’s differences and not making them adapt to us, but us adapting to them.”

4. Create a safe space

At Ventient we try to encourage an open, transparent culture, so that people feel they are in a safe space. The benefit of this to your business is two-fold:

1. People can talk about their experiences and go deeper than just surface level small talk, which builds trust and bonds between colleagues.

2. Your team members will bring different cultures and backgrounds, and if you enable and encourage them to share, then they’ll feed into what the business is and how it goes about living its values.

The safe spaces you create will also demonstrate a workspace alignment with the DEI foundation that you’ve committed to, helping you evolve your culture with everyone included.

“We’re building the dance floor and we like to think that diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, belonging is being able to dance like no one is watching, and equity is dancing with our best moves.”

5. Work hard at inclusion

Diversity on its own is a tick-box exercise. Encouraging different groups of people from different backgrounds, with different ways of thinking, and different experiences is great, but only when you push inclusion alongside are the benefits of diversity truly unlocked.

As Amy puts it in the Ventient employee handbook: “We’re building the dance floor and we like to think that diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, belonging is being able to dance like no one is watching, and equity is dancing with our best moves”.

6. Create custodians

At Ventient, the Inclusive Committee look after all the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and communications across the company. Made up of employees passionate about DEI, a well-functioning inclusive committee will share knowledge and experiences, championing your culture, while being provoking and challenging. Their aim is to make the initiatives more meaningful and successful, helping employees understand differences and see the benefits of acting inclusively.

7. Prioritise communication

When you’re trying to be truly inclusive as a company, communication and transparency is key. You have to encourage employees to speak up, and help the leadership team to listen. You also need to support the interaction of employees across the business, to help your people experience the diversity, skillsets, and viewpoints of their colleagues.

An effective way to do this is through coffee chats that employees can sign up to. Simply pair two random people across the business once per month for a 30-minute conversation to get to know a person outside their team, office or even country.

Tune in every Wednesday

Thanks to Amy for sharing her insight on how to embed DEI successfully within a business. Check out new episodes of the Climate of Change podcast every Wednesday on Spotify, including our DEI Unplugged series and A Day in the Life.

A member of the Ventient Energy team since day 1, UK Control Centre Manager Chris Pollock takes us inside a typical day managing 34 wind farms and 509 wind turbines.

He shares the work involved in controlling the day-to-day operations, and the challenges he encounters in an ever-changing, and ever-evolving, environment. From nationwide site visits, to reporting to Ofgem, and forecasting energy for export, Chris reveals all and explains why the control centre is a great place to start your career in renewable energy.

On episode 1 of the Climate of Change podcast, we chat with Ed Flanders, Climate Impact Lead and ESG Analyst at Ventient.

Ed shares how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy influences the direction and policies of a sector-leading clean energy generator, and discusses the challenge and benefits of decarbonizing supply chains. Plus he reveals how he got into the role, and takes us inside his typical day.

Reducing scope 3 emissions – How to decarbonise your supply chain

Scope 3 emissions is a bit of a buzz phrase at the moment, not just in the renewable energy sector but across all industries. It’s a big focus for governments and private companies in the effort to reaching net zero. In the first episode of the Climate of Change podcast, Ventient’s Climate Impact Lead, Ed Flanders discussed how businesses can work with their suppliers to take more control of their scope 3 emissions.

What are scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions?

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol provides governments and businesses with three scopes to classify commercial emissions, as Ed explains: “Scope 1 are ‘direct’ emissions that companies produce as a consequence of their operations. Scope 2 emissions are ‘indirect’ emissions generated from purchased electricity. And scope 3 emissions are everything else, from how staff get to the office and international business travel, to a business’s entire supply chain.”

While scope 1 and 2 are within a company’s control, in that the company can choose alternative production methods and purchase electricity from renewable energy sources, the full extent of scope 3 emissions are not. And this is where decarbonising operations gets really tricky. “With scope 3 emissions, everyone in a company’s supply chain is involved”, Ed says, “this could be thousands of suppliers beneath you, and thousands more above”.

You’re in it together

To reduce scope 3 emissions, you’re reliant on your supply chain decarbonising as well, so make the most of this relationship and work together. “A big part of my job and a big part of our team’s job is to engage with supply chain, talk to our partners and encourage and influence positive change in that sense, as well as looking for new technologies and ways to decarbonise”, Ed says.

Know that you’re not alone in this problem, supply chain decarbonisation is something that every business is facing, by opening a dialogue and working together you’ll find suppliers up and down the chain are trying to achieve the same goals. The more you collaborate with, the more robust your plan, and the bigger the ripple through the chain, creating the greatest contribution towards net zero.

“…it’s finding that sweet spot where we engage with our suppliers, and we show them empathy.”

Focus on what’s doable first

At the start, be pragmatic about what’s possible. Rather than set huge goals, focus on what’s doable in certain timeframes, then build on it. “There’s a fine balance between ambition and what’s realistic”, Ed comments, “it’s finding that sweet spot where we engage with our suppliers, we understand where they’re coming from, and we show them empathy”.

Remember, while scope 3 is on everyone’s to do list, consider that other companies in your chain might not be at the same level of maturity as you, which can cause challenges when it comes to gathering information for reporting and driving change.

Create a roadmap

To help encourage supply chain partners to join you on the decarbonisation journey and take those first steps together, a clear roadmap is a must. Without a route ahead, they may be reluctant to set their own reduction targets because they can’t see a way to get there. Important here is that a roadmap doesn’t have to have all the answers, or even steps for every stage of the timeline (innovation may need to play a role). Establish a starting point, tackle the easy-wins first, and set a target once progress and motivation are in-place.

‘In 2021, suppliers disclosing through CDP reduced emissions by 1.8 billion TCO2E, while creating savings of over $29 billion.’
World Economic Forum

Be data driven, but not data dependent

Greenhouse gas accounting is difficult, and to identify every gram of CO2 in your supply chain will take time. Add to this the reality that asking suppliers for reports doesn’t always get the best reaction due to existing workloads and stretched resources, lack of data can cause a roadblock. Be pragmatic. Even sector-leading brands find it challenging to gather the insights they need and set clear targets.

Aim to get as much data as possible, but don’t require it in order to start taking action. Data or no data, there are clear areas in most businesses – especially when you engage employees to highlight them – where emissions can be reduced on an impactful level, such as business travel, energy consumption, waste disposal, and employee commuting habits.

Choose carrot or stick. Or a bit of both.

Recognition, reward, and requirement are three useful tools a business can use to encourage ‘self-improvement’ within their supplier’s emission reduction efforts. If you know a supplier is working particularly hard to cut emissions in an area of their operations, shine a spotlight on it through social media to support their brand. Beyond that, you could reward them with special payment terms.

The alternative is to make it a requirement for your suppliers to meet certain standards on emissions reduction. Unless they adhere to them or take concrete steps towards achieving them, you simply won’t do business with them. Setting standards like this is a bold approach, but if you can stimulate suppliers to adopt your principles, then you’re in effect creating a best-in-class blueprint that they can use themselves with their suppliers.

The outcome: you kick-off a sea change in emissions reduction across your supply chain, and sustainability becomes a core condition for successful business operation.

“Having an understanding of your supply chain, the industry, and the challenges your suppliers face really helps…”

Decarbonising a supply chain is without doubt one of the biggest challenges to reducing the environmental impact of a business. For Ed, understanding should underpin any action taken. “Having an understanding of your supply chain, the industry, and the challenges your suppliers face really helps, because you can make initiatives relevant to their world, giving actions a greater chance of success”.

Tune in every Wednesday

Thanks to Ed for sharing his insight on how to tackle the challenges and decarbonise a supply chain. Listen to the full 30-minute episode to hear his tips on how to start a career in renewable energy, and to discover a typical day for a Climate Impact Lead at Ventient. Plus, check out new episodes of the Climate of Change podcast every Wednesday on Spotify!