Our Trailblazers series aims to highlight the shining stars at BINGO. Each person chosen in this series represents the very best that BINGO has to offer. At BINGO, we feel it’s our responsibility to give our team the best opportunities to help them achieve in their roles.
This week we’re talking to Head of Environmental Operations, Ros Dent. As a growing organisation in the Recycling and Waste Management sector, we are aware of the responsibility we have to not only manage our own environmental impacts, but to also set an example and encourage best practice throughout the industry. Ros leads BINGO’s efforts in this area, managing the implementation of environmental best-practice policies and systems at BINGO, making sure our business does not negatively impact the ecosystems on which community and human health depend.
We sat down with Ros to discuss her views on sustainability and hear more about her experience in the industry.
What is it about Sustainability that drew you to working in this field?
It was really by accident. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I always loved being outdoors. When I was growing up Mum and Dad were always taking our family on adventures. We had travelled Australia (by car) before I finished high school. I loved travelling and what I loved most was going off the beaten track to learn the culture (both here and overseas) and experience the natural environment. This planet really is a wonder and to continue to appreciate it I needed to understand it and learn how to take care of it and the people that live in it. That's sustainability. When I went to university I studied how people interact with the environment and sustainable development and I knew that's what I wanted to do.
McDonalds’ Rainforest Policy comes to mind. This is a policy initiative run by McDonald’s that focused on preventing the purchase of beef from areas of deforested rainforest. The initiative expanded to include wood and paper products and coffee and cocoa.What advice would you give a smaller company that's just beginning their sustainability journey?
Ensure the framework you are developing is sound but has built in flexibility to allow for the bumps in the road, opportunities as they arise or reassessment of the goal(s) over time.
Personality traits that help succeed in this industry
Persistence often it takes a long time to see results.
Empathy for people and the environment and the fact that we do (and need to) interact.
Belief that the environment is intrinsically valuable.
Understanding that the economy is one of the pillars of sustainability and has to be considered (i.e. it’s not the environment or nothing) otherwise how do we look after our people?
How do you handle challenging situations?
I talk to people. I find that whether people share my view, or not, or see the situation similarly or differently, by talking and gaining a good appreciation of all views, I'm better equipped to work my way through it and support others. I'm one of those people that likes to have as many facts as I can get. Communication is key but if that doesn't work a good workout usually does – it’s good thinking time.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
I haven't always been good at that, but it has become easier as my kids have become more independent. I've always needed a way to destress so that I don't take the stress of work home with me and I've found lots of ways to do that. Most of them involve being outside and active. It's better for my family and for me not to be stressed at home. There's only so much time a day and for me the balance is using every 24 hours wisely. There will always be days and weeks where one will take more time than the other, accept it, do what you need to do and move on. Just make sure so that you don't regret it later that you are there for your family when they need you
How do you unplug from work?
Work can become all-consuming at times. You need to be your own boss with your time and be able to decide when enough is enough whether its day-to-day or otherwise. I love family get-togethers, being outside and active. And, because my partner is a light sleeper having my work phone on my bedside table at night is not a good idea.
I've been lucky and learned a lot over the course of my career and I've learned from some fantastic people. For now, I'm happy being able to share what I've learned to support BINGO’s journey and those who will be sharing it with me.
Thanks for taking the time out to do this interview Ros!