Have you ever heard of the saying: “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”?
In terms of my sustainability journey, I see myself as the apple which didn’t just fall away from the tree, but the apple which was catapulted miles away from her roots. The value of sustainability, mindful energy consumption and environmental concern wasn’t really emphasised during my childhood. If you saw my family’s electricity bill, you’d think we were powering a small village.
Yet, here I am – Arienne Maravilla, a 2nd year Advertising and Marketing Management student and 1/10th of the ambassador team representing Lancaster University at the prestigious World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Council Meeting in Singapore 2018.
Nature has always been important to me. As a kid nothing would make me happier than going on hikes or exploring the woods. I’d always sketch flowers or paint landscapes. But my interest in a career surrounding the environment, never really clicked until I realised I could link my love for nature to actions that promote positive change.
Criticising my behaviour, I began to take steps towards contributing to the Green Movement. I am the Energy Consumption, Efficiency and Supply representative for the University’s Environmental Projects Team, a Student Switch Off Officer and a dedicated university Chickens Volunteer. In everything I do today, I do in the hope that my future self will be thankful for it. I do this so, in 50 years I will still have new woods to explore and chickens to feed.
Through the Engineering Education Scheme, I read about circular economies where society’s aim is to mitigate waste and maximise the value of renewable resources. In Sixth Form, I researched biomimetics’ role within architecture through the development of Green Buildings. Take the Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe. The infrastructure takes inspiration from the self-cooling termite mounds. In turn, the building’s self-sufficient properties minimise energy consumption and maximising economic viability.
These innovations showcase the healthy relationship between nature and business development. It makes sense to me to build our world with these values its core. Yet we still hear about man-made global issues from uncontrolled urban sprawl, increased water pollution and scarcity to the loss of biodiversity.
So as a Marketing student, I want to see how the WBCSD plan to translate the importance of environmental knowledge into a message the consumer resonates with. Knowledge about these issues lose value if there is no action to follow. It is a shared responsibility that globally we collaborate to achieve the common goal of a more sustainable future.
In less than 3 weeks, my team and I will be thrown into the hub where these critical and complex conversations of strategic management arise. We will learn first-hand from the collaboration of Green Movement trailblazers, who are uniting to move mountains.
Thank you so much to the WBCSD, The Pentland Centre and the amazing staff at LUMS for this incredible opportunity. No words can describe the awe and gratitude everyone is feeling right now for the days leading up to Singapore.
Now, it is our turn to invite you – the reader of this article – to follow us on our journey. Tune into this blogsite as we expand our knowledge and join our conversation about environmental and sustainability topics.
Until next time!