In the spotlight – Abbie Price, Sustainability Officer
We’re excited to be welcoming a new member to our team – Abbie Price, appointed Sustainability Officer. Abbie will be ensuring that every aspect of our business is sustainable, implementing new processes and products so that Newmor can offer the most environmentally friendly wallcovering options to the contract interiors sector. We’ve asked Abbie about her plans for Newmor, and a bit about how she became interested in sustainability and Newmor.
Where are you from?
I am from a small village called Tregynon which is located around a 25-minute drive from the head office in Welshpool into the middle of nowhere in Mid Wales. I have lived in Tregynon all my life, except for the four years I spent at university, and thoroughly enjoy living in rural Wales, despite the lack of signal, poor Wi-Fi and lack of social connection.
What/where did you study?
I studied BSc Geography at Aberystwyth University. During my time there I studied subjects ranging from geology modules, to politics, to most importantly modules on sustainability. I was lucky enough to have been taught by leaders in their fields, have access to top quality technologies, and be able to spend time out in New Zealand conducting fieldwork.
When did you develop an interest in sustainability and why?
I have had an interest to sustainability for most of my life, especially having a stepdad who works in the renewable energy industry, so it has had a role in my family’s life. I am passionate about the preservation of our world as it’s the only one we have, we should be looking after it a lot better than we currently are.
What drew you to the role of Sustainability Officer at Newmor?
I am very much a home-bird; I like to be around my family and family friends. So to be able to have a job like this which I would have passion for, as well as being able to use my degree, and be able to stay in the local area, I felt as if I had hit the jackpot. To be able to work for such a well-established home grown company which has done so well for itself already is a pleasure, but it was definitely enticing to see a company who wanted to reduce their carbon footprint and work more sustainably.
What’s the first thing you want to do?
I think the first thing I want to do it to be able to understand the entire manufacturing process, which is happening slowly but surely. It is a whole new industry for me to be working in, so I am spending the first few weeks of my time here getting to grips with all the processes. After that I will be working to start the process of ISO 14001 certification.
What are your sustainability goals for Newmor in the future?
My sustainability goals for Newmor are to be able to promote the company as being an environmentally sustainable business with the help of ISO 14001, as well as being able to bring in new processes which will cut down on our waste. This is crucial, especially when the UK produces around 40 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste each year. Landfill waste is one of the most pressing issues in the UK now, with finite space, and a need to look more to the future.
What are the big trends in sustainability now?
Over the previous few years there has been a swell in the appreciation of living more sustainably and preserving the environment with an increasing awareness of how biodiversity levels are depleting at an alarming rate. However, in response to this there is a growing movement of citizen power, demanding more sustainable practices by governments, companies and institutions, and the high point of this being the work of Greta Thunberg who is a climate change warrior, speaking at the UN Climate Change COP24 Conference.
Who inspires you?
I have to say David Attenborough, particularly in the way he promotes being a plastic free nation. I mean, he is a 93 year old, who travels the world and just gave a speech at Glastonbury to promote his cause! I would love to reach 93 and still be able to give such an emotive speech to inspire the nation.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
It would have to be Hobbiton in New Zealand where they filmed the Hobbit films and The Lord of the Rings. I went to New Zealand for a while before my fieldwork and travelled from Auckland to Queenstown. I was so emotional when I reached Bag End because of my obsession with Sir Ian McKellen, and the fact I was standing where he stood. Luckily enough I was able to meet him earlier this year at a gig and was able to shake the legend’s hand.
What is the last book you read?
I am an absolute bookaholic. The last book which I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, was Pet Semetary by Stephen King, because the film just made me want to read it over again. I enjoy reading anything from horror, to fantasy, but then on the flip side I enjoy a good politics or environment read such as the work that is coming out from Yuval Noah Hariri and his analysis on how we are a detriment to the environment and ourselves.
See our Environmental Policy here, and watch this space for updates on our sustainability journey.