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23 Mar 2020

Starting a career in sustainability with Shaun O’Neill

Having undertaken a four-week work placement at Peel L&P within the Sustainability team back in November 2019, we’ve caught up with Shaun O’Neill to find out how he’s getting on in his new career as a Sustainability Consultant at Element Sustainability.

Shaun previously worked as a Legal Costs Draftsman before moving to China with his wife where he completed his degree in Environmental Science as well as learning basic Mandarin. Following his move back to the UK, Shaun decided to pursue a work placement with Peel L&P to gain experience working in the sustainability sector.

Shaun said: “My time at Peel L&P was extremely beneficial in helping me apply the theory I had learned during my degree within a practical setting. Prior to my work experience at Peel L&P, I was unsure what sustainability would look like in a working office environment, but my time with Jo Holden and the team helped me to better understand the principles of sustainability and how it can be applied.

“During my month placement, I gained both knowledge and experience in working within sustainability, especially in the built environment, and was able to translate this experience into a full-time job Element Sustainability.”

Shaun visited a number of different Peel L&P sites including MediaCityUK, Lowry Outlet, and EventCity during his placement and was impressed by the forward-thinking culture and the focus on the importance of integrating sustainability into core business strategies.

He continued: “During my placement, Jo Holden was my mentor and I owe her a large debt of gratitude for allowing me to gain valuable experience. She is extremely knowledgeable and experienced on environmental and sustainability issues, and fully grasps how to promote sustainability within a large organisation such as Peel L&P.

“I am now a month into my new role and I am really enjoying the work I have been doing. I will initially be assisting on BREEAM projects, with a view to working towards becoming an accredited BREEAM Accredited Practitioner. My time at Peel L&P helped me to realise how much I enjoyed working in the built environment sector, and how important this sector is in meeting carbon reduction targets in the future.”

Laurie Wills, Director at Element Sustainability said: “We are really pleased to have Shaun working with us at Element. Shaun clearly benefitted from his previous work experience and studies and has made a really positive start within our team. His proactive approach and ability to resolve problems using his own initiative is much appreciated, plus he makes a very nice cup of tea!”

To find out more about career opportunities and work placements at Peel L&P, click here.