Published 04 October 2017
We are excited to announce that Agnes will be joining us as an intern for our Sustainable Materialism research area. Agnes is interning with us until January 2018 and will undertake a research project which examines supply chains, sustainability and environmental initiatives that are effective in the business case.
Agnes has long been interested in sustainability and explains that:
“During high school, two of my friends and I started and ran a social enterprise that bought fabric made out of 100% renewable material and produced bedwear for the market. 10% of our profit from sales was directly donated to a charity organization in Africa that performed both social and environmental work for local farmers. During our two years running the company, we participated in both national and regional entrepreneurship events, held lectures in front of over 300 people and made connections with people from all over the world. In 2014, we were awarded as Sweden’s Most Sustainable Young Enterprise.”
Find out more about Agnes below, where we ask her about her environmental interests and what drew her to intern with us.
What made you interested in interning with SEI?
Before arriving in Sydney, I was very interested in finding an organization where I could grow my passion for sustainability. Being a business student, I often find it hard to discover organizations that have a strong crossover between these two fields. When I heard about the Sydney Environment Institute, I was impressed with its multidisciplinary approach to sustainability, and how research encompassed fields that might not traditionally be studied from an environmental perspective. After some further research into the organization and its work, I was eager to get involved in whatever way possible. Meeting with the open and welcoming people at the office was also a great plus!
What are the environmental issues or problems that most interest you?
Coming from an academic background in business, with previous work and research mainly within the textile industry, I find businesses’ impact on environmental issues incredibly interesting. Large corporations are responsible for environmental and social degradation all over the world, and despite some public resistance and increased regulation, crucial change is far from achieved. In many cases, corporations are instead trying to cover up their negative impact on the environment, rather than dealing with the source of the issue. I truly believe that a drastic change in the way we conduct business today is crucial to saving the environment, and I want to be a part of figuring out how.
How do you do your bit for the environment?
On an individual level, apart from recycling like crazy (and forcing all my friends to do so). I try to walk or bike instead of going by car, take shorter showers, buy limited amounts of products packaged in plastic, eat limited amounts of meat, choose organic options in the grocery store and buy a lot of clothes second hand. On a larger scale, I hope to one day be able to work in a field where I can directly help businesses make a positive impact on the environment.
You are an exchange student. Where were you before Sydney? And how are you enjoying your time here?
I am currently on a semester-long exchange from my home institution, the George Washington University, in Washington DC. Before moving to DC, I lived in southern Sweden with my family. Since coming to Sydney, I have started falling more and more in love with the city every day! I have been visiting in the past, but living here has given me a completely different perspective on the different areas and lifestyles. It has made me realize that I could return and live here permanently in the future!