Insights from our Founder: On Pace…

Emma Burlow, Founder and Director of Lighthouse Sustainability Ltd.

Part of a series of blogs from Emma Burlow, Founder of Lighthouse Sustainability.

On pace…

A summer of cricket, tennis, cycling… And, alongside, sustainability and climate breakdown.

A common theme is pace. The world seems to be speeding up.  

Things are moving so fast’ is a common cry from those struggling to keep up with the daily media around sustainability and climate.  

But, I’m also hearing from companies, and from people in the sustainability sector, that things are moving too slow. Way. Too. Slow.  

We’ve had a busy quarter, developing and delivering a range of training – from 15 minute awareness videos to a 2 hour Sustainability Matters workshop for Leadership teams, through to Carbon Literacy training for more than 135 employees across 3 continents. We are moving at pace.  

Last week, I chaired a brilliant Employee Ownership Day session for a property development consultancy and saw real passion from a company to push forward at pace – the question we asked the 200 strong audience was ‘How bold do we want to be?’. This felt like strength in numbers, incredibly powerful. I asked senior leaders – ‘Are you treating this as an emergency?’ and ‘How fast do you need to move?’.  

Sometimes, the pace that we feel is needed to educate and enable, to build capacity fast enough to solve increasing sustainability problems, feels overwhelming. The question of how we accelerate this is a constant. Speed and scale become the stuff of nightmares!  

I run a bit – mostly 5k mental health runs these days but the odd half marathon in the past. The last 3 miles of a half marathon are a killer. It seems you’ll never quite get to the end! This is how delivering sustainability support can feel – you never quite get there.  

So, it’s a marathon not a sprint – but in running, it’s the pace that kills you, never the distance. So how do we apply that to our sustainability work when everything seems so increasingly urgent?  

Just as in sport, anyone beginning their journey in the sustainability space, or years into it, needs support. It’s a daunting and tiring place to be.  

Our Carbon Literacy Train the Trainer course is a great example of how we can support and nurture the trainers of tomorrow (and today). I’ve turned my hand to coaching individuals and teams who are somewhere on this sustainability race and it feels like the right way to make impact right now.   

At Lighthouse, we continue at pace, and are happy to welcome Georgie Hopkins to our team. Other great news this quarter includes the formalising of our partnership with Junxion – thoughtful advisors to audacious leaders.  

Enjoy the summer of sport, build your team, get a good coach and pace yourself!  

– Emma Burlow
Founder, Lighthouse Sustainability

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *