My work for the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub gives advice to SMEs in Greater Manchester about plastics usage and links those wanting additional help to chemistry professionals within the Hub, who can test existing materials and proposed substitutes and/or develop new products or applications. Essentially a ‘full service’ offering from limited advice to advanced technologies dependent on client needs.
Prior to this I joined the University of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute to work with industrial partners, creating and developing a methodology for increasing the recycling of plastic waste, particularly from households, using new polymer science coupled with better waste sorting techniques. Four guiding principles evolved: standardisation (polymers, collection systems, sorting equipment), value creation (to enable investment), increased investment in sorting equipment and the need for collaborative business models to enable all industry members to benefit from the increased value generation.
This followed many years as a Chartered Accountant in business, much of it as Finance Director of a number of SMEs. A career change came later: an MSc in Food & Water Security led to a PhD studying the Implementation of Personal Carbon Accounts, which is a means of creating a different relationship between people and their energy consumption with the intention of incentivising its steady reduction.