Network Member Interview - Nancy Francis from Nufarm
The Carbon Innovators Network Member Interview is a regular article, which profiles a Network member and asks them to respond to questions relating to their personal and professional experiences in sustainability.
In this issue, Carbon Matters introduces Network member Nancy Francis. You can find Nancy on the member directory.
Nancy Francis was born in Lebanon, grew up in Sydney and is now living in Melbourne. She has work for Nufarm Aust Ltd for 3½ years as an Environmental Chemist. Nufarm has a strong focus on environmental matters and her role is to ensure that we continue to manage our impact on the environment.
1.What was the moment or experience that started your focus on climate change/sustainability/the environment?
I was 13 years old and was flicking through an issue of National Geographic magazine in which there was a feature on waste and landfill.The reporter had entered a general landfill site in the US, rummaged though the rubbish, and photographed all the contents. The article discussed the problems with so many disposable items and the detrimental effects on the environment our reliance on them was having. As with all National Geographic articles the photographs were poignant – the standout one for me showed a half-used bottle of nail polish with a caption listing the effects of the solvents in these products. This changed my whole perspective on our environment and where things go after we have finished with them.
2. What sustainable choice or initiative have you recently made in which you are most proud of or found most rewarding? What more do you seek to accomplish?
I helped create a website dedicated to Sustainability on our company Intranet. The challenge was to develop a user-friendly sustainability common language suitable for an internal audience.
3. What is one major stride your company is taking to tackle the sustainability challenges around energy, water, biodiversity and/or climate change?
Our business is directly impacted by climate change and so sustainability and environmental challenges are always at the forefront of our decision making. We are constantly looking to improve all of our processes and systems to meet these demands and provide good environmental and economic returns.
4. What are some of the biggest challenges you face, either at work or in personal pursuits, when addressing climate change/sustainability/the environment?
I am constantly battling the existing reputation of environmental care and have found the biggest challenge to be changing the mind-set of sustainability from being a tree-hugging exercise to a solid business strategy.
5. What would you ideally like to see happen in the next few years concerning the environment? Or, if you could have everybody change one thing that they do, what would it be?
I would like to see a greater understanding of the symbiosis between industry and community.
6.What is a less sustainable choice that you are not so proud of a.k.a. your environmental vice?
During this winter my energy use increased significantly with the heater running a lot more than ususal.
7.Who is your environmental hero and why?
My mum is my hero because she taught me the importance of making the most of what you have. She taught me to pay attention to our actions, be aware of wastage and really make something out of nothing.
8.What's your favourite place or ecosystem?
Place: France; ecosystem: the microclimate in my vegetable garden.
9. What value do you gain from being a Carbon Innovators Network member?
Sharing ideas with people in a common area and having a network to assist with problem-solving.