Alison Fulford: fulfilling ambitions to address climate change

With a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering focusing on renewable energy, Alison was passionate about pursuing a career helping to tackle climate change. Read about how she’s achieving exactly that as Environment Manager: Carbon Specialist for National Grid.

Counting the steps to carbon zero

My role is about providing knowledge and guidance, and making sustainability as regular a part of our work as health and safety or financial management.

I oversee and measure the environmental footprint of both our existing energy infrastructure assets and our planned projects. To help our engineers and contractors, I design and build tools to help them quickly and accurately calculate and report the carbon impact of their work, just as they do with costings. We use that information to make the best low-carbon choices, without detriment to safety or work quality.

I’m also in the team that sets and tracks overall environmental business targets – these start at a high level, and we help break them down and make them into separate, achievable goals for different parts of our organisation.

Tackling climate change is a prime motive for my career choice … this is an exciting time to join the industry.

Tackling climate change is a prime motive for my career choice. Even before I went to university, I knew I wanted to do something related to the environment. This is an exciting time to join the industry. I believe we need to communicate more about how decarbonisation fits into the bigger picture of the biodiversity crisis and help people understand we’re living within a finite system. We need people with passion, people who recognise it’s not just about the pay cheque.