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A Year in Review: Q&A with ESG Intern, Eleanor Lancaster

Lucion GroupLucion Group

Lucion Group

18th August, 2023

After joining us in June last year, ESG Intern, Eleanor Lancaster, recently finished her internship with us and will be returning to her final year of studies at Lancaster University next month. 

Based at our Leeds office, Eleanor relocated to Leeds to take up the year-long internship as part of her Geography BSc degree. To round off her placement, we asked Eleanor to give an insight into her year working across the Lucion Group, including some of her highlights and how the experience will assist in her future career aspirations.

 

How would you describe your experience as an intern?

My experience as an intern has been so valuable. Over the year, I’ve had the opportunity to take on Internal ESG projects, form key relationships across the business, learn various  new skills and gain knowledge from a variety of people. This year has been a rewarding experience to gain insights and a wider understanding of a career within the environmental sector, whilst understanding the operations of ESG within a business. 

 

Can you give us an overview of the type of projects you’ve been involved with?

As ESG is constantly evolving within the business, I’ve been able to get involved in many different projects throughout the year, which is something I’ve really enjoyed! These include carbon footprinting, understanding waste management across the group, developing relationships and content with external partners such as Black Geographers and creating internal blog content. I also organised the Trussell Trust Reverse Advent Calendar initiative and have been involved in lots of data collection! Some of my key projects have included our annual ESG data return to our investors, Palatine, as well as collecting data for our United Nations Global Compact submission for later this year. 

I’ve also had the opportunity to work with the sustainability team, particularly through internal projects such as Carbon Footprinting and ESOS. As well as this I’ve also been given the chance to get involved with some of their client work including ESG Benchmarking, Social Value, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Metrics and Targets. 

 

What has been your highlight?

One of my highlights has been the opportunity to visit a potential charity partnership with Group ESG Manager, Emily Spencer. Earlier in the year this was one of the many projects I had the chance to work on,  including researching potential viable partnerships and then reaching out to them. It was an amazing opportunity to visit one of these potential charities and to meet the people behind the scenes, which gave us a holistic understanding of charity operations and the ways in which Lucion can support the charities we ultimately partner with.

Another personal highlight has been working to develop a series of five career focused booklets for our partnership with Black Geographers, which were published across their website as well as on social media. It was an amazing experience to form a relationship with Black Geographers and to play an active role in the two work experience placements that we offered this year. I had the opportunity to spend some time with both Isabella and Mya to give them an insight into ESG. It was also great to hear their feedback on the booklets and how much they helped when applying for the placements.

 

What does ESG mean to you and has this changed from when you started back in June last year?

Prior to my placement, ESG wasn’t a term regularly spoken about at University. So the opportunity to work within Internal ESG has opened up my eyes to how varied and large the term ESG is. We constantly have new and different elements of ESG to work on and develop within the business. My placement experience has taught me how important ESG is to a business, to not only ensure compliance of all ESG aspects, but to also ensure that we are going above and beyond to show our commitment to sustainability and the future.  

 

How are you feeling about returning to University in September?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my placement year and how much it has allowed me to develop as a person away from University, so it is definitely going to feel strange adjusting back to my University studies. I’m sad to be leaving my role in Lucion Group but I’m grateful for the opportunities and variety it has given me, which will definitely assist me well in my studies. I’m looking forward to returning to my dance team at University, where I have been given the opportunity to choreograph some of the competition routines across the next academic year. I have also been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to return to my role at Lucion on an ad-hoc basis whilst completing my University studies.

 

How do you think your internship experience will assist you in your studies?

My internship has undoubtedly been a great opportunity for not only my professional development but also my personal development. My internship experience has made me more well-rounded as a person, particularly in both verbal and written communication which will enable me to manage my workload better when I return to University. Having the experience of working on live projects will definitely help me in completing my dissertation. This is focused on air quality in China and how the implementation of environmental policies has shifted industries from the East to the West, therefore moving air quality issues elsewhere rather than solving the issue. Over the year, I have gained so much experience and developed relationships across the business. This has really boosted my confidence and makes graduating in a year feel a lot less daunting and a more exciting prospect!

 

How will your experience influence your future career?

The opportunity to work within ESG and also closely with the sustainability team has developed my interest and excitement in both ESG and sustainability even further and this is definitely something I want to continue pursuing. ESG is a great opportunity to not only help shape the business internally but also externally through social and environmental impacts, to create change and difference. 

 

What advice would you give to a future intern at Lucion Group?

I would say to any future intern to take on every opportunity you are offered regardless of what it is as you never know how that might help you in the future. Also, it has been really valuable for me to work with so many people across the business and understand what their role entails. It gives you a taster of the different roles available but also shows that there will often be cross-over when working within a multidisciplinary team.
 

Commenting on Eleanor’s year with the Lucion Group, Group ESG Manager, Emily Spencer said;

 

“Eleanor has been a fantastic member of the ESG team. She has worked extremely hard creating blogs, collecting and analysing data, calculating carbon footprints, tracking social value, liaising with charity partners, completing data returns for our investors, understanding the requirements of GRI reporting, organising food bank collections, developing careers content for Black Geographers and supporting our external accreditations such as Pledge to Net Zero and United Nations Global Compact to name but a few!  Eleanor has made a significant contribution to the ESG team and wider business during her internship, developing the role and becoming a highly valued and relied upon team member. We are very proud of her progression this year and thankful for the contribution she has made to Lucion Group ESG. Eleanor is going to be very sorely missed, and we wish her every success for a very bright future.”

 

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Eleanor for all of her hard work and commitment over the last year. Best of luck for the rest of your studies and we hope to see you back at Lucion Group soon!

If you’re interested in a career at the Lucion Group, head over to our careers site to discover current openings, graduate opportunities and how to request work experience or a placement with us. 

 

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