Mark Andrews – VP, Grid & Power Systems

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, how sustainable are you daily?

I am about a 3.5 to 4 on the sustainability scale

2. Give an example of the one thing you do to be sustainable

At home we have 100% renewable energy, however, we have gas cooking and heating. We minimise plastic in the house and use re-usable containers for as much as we can rather than cling wrap. Obviously, we recycle glass, plastics and paper. And we try and minimise disposable packaging such as having our own coffee cups rather than getting disposable ones at the coffee store. I catch the train in to work each day and walk to the station rather than drive. In the office we are also on 100% renewable energy. We minimise our paper use and are basically a paperless office. We don’t have any disposable cutlery or single use items in the office.

3. Who is your sustainable ‘inspiration’?

Who? Not sure if there is a who, however I aspire to live off the grid and be able to sustain my lifestyle without relying on the wider society and industry. As such I am inspired by anyone who can live this lifestyle and has gone to the effort to set themselves up in this way.

4. What does the world need to become more sustainable right now?

Reduce consumption. Becoming green and transitioning to green energy isn’t enough to stop the degradation of our environment let alone turn it around. Reducing growth and consumption is the only way.

5. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Buy apple shares and Bitcoin when it was less than a dollar.

6. Could you live ‘off grid’ for a whole year?

I would love to live off grid for a whole year however where we currently live and our work commitments make it very difficult. It would require us to move further out into the country where we would have space to implement off-grid approaches to energy, water, waste and food.

7. What three sustainable items would you want on a desert island?

Being a big fan of the TV series ‘Alone’ I would have to say a net, a knife and a flint rod. However that is more related to simply surviving rather than sustainability. If I could already have those items, I’d go for a solar panel and battery to power lights and other electrical devices I might have (radio / communication etc.), solid, good quality cookware that lasts a long time and doesn’t require replacement every few years and good quality garments to protect me from the sun and weather and again doesn’t need to be replaced regularly. We are such a wasteful society with things like ‘fast fashion’ and cheap disposable furniture. Purchasing cheap items might be good for the hip pocket but it leads us to treat them poorly and replace them regularly.

8. If you could rid the world of one thing that is environmentally detrimental, what would it be?

Plastics. Plastics. Plastics. We are going to be known as the ‘plastic age’ in future. When they’re digging up fossils from our era in a million years’ time, the strata is going to be full of plastics. We have overloaded our environment with this product.

9. What one step could each of us make right now to be more sustainable?

Minimise plastics and take a considered approach to travel and the impact of that travel.

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