Emma Clarke started as Environment Manager at CHS Ltd in May, and is responsible for waste, energy, water and sustainable development issues for the Trust, which is a busy role. Emma is based in CHS Estates at HRI, but works across the whole Trust. Her background is in waste having worked for central Government and two waste consultancies before coming to CHS.
Hello my name is...Emma and I am a Newcastle girl who has made Yorkshire home. I'm married to Tim and mum to Jasper, six, and Martha, four. We love being in the countryside and going for walks, and whilst the children can whine to start with, we persist and they enjoy it in the end.
What is your position? Environment Manager
Summarise your career background.
Rubbish! I was always destined for a job in the Environment after being horrified by power stations churning out pollution in the early 90s. In reality, this pollution was just steam, but I was already inspired. I studied Environmental Science at A-level and University and my first job was with the Department of the Environment in the Radioactive Substances division! I then became a consultant specialising in radioactive waste management, which was great for starting conversations at parties but I was more interested in household waste and moved to a Leeds based consultancy to work with local authorities and the NHS on recycling, reuse and food waste projects. After 14 years I was ready for a change, so here I am. I love the fact that environmental issues are now so prominent in peoples minds and I'm really excited to work with colleagues across the Trust to improve the Trust's green credentials.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
When I did radioactive waste consultancy I was lucky enough to travel to a number of European countries but my highlight was representing the UK at the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to set discharge limits for radioactive waste to the environment.
Sum up your role in three words:
Waste, Energy, Sustainability!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A long distance lorry driver like Clara from pigeon street! Or an astronaut.
Who is your hero/heroine and why?
It changes quite often. At the moment, young girls like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg are actually my heroines because they've achieved so much at a young age. I think they're super role models and I agree with their messages.
When you are not at work, how do you relax?
Walks with family and friends, weather permitting and if the kids schedules allow! But I also volunteer with Bradford Baby Bank, which aims to ensure that no baby/ family goes without the essentials. We work like a food bank, taking referrals to supply donated clothes, toys, nappies and baby equipment to those in need. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, so it's good to help, especially as most of the items donated would be thrown away if we didn't intercept them.
What is your favourite place?
Too many to name, I'd be a permanent traveller if I didn't have a mortgage to pay!
What would people be surprised to know about you?
That I'm a Geordie! (I don't have the accent). But I have black and white blood, and Byker Grove was filmed at my middle school - but I can't claim I know Ant and Dec!