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#1 - MIRANDA SIU Sustainability, SOZ and Connecting the Dots
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Salsa Dancer. Travel Bunny. Accountant.  Sustainability Champion + Consultant.

Discover some of the history behind environmentalism and sustainability and where its all heading from my sister – Miranda Siu.

A champion for sustainability becoming native to how we live, work and play, Miranda is a chartered accountant who has worked for the some of the biggest companies on the planet including IBM and Apple, as well as small NGO’s in Asia.

Starting with leading by example she is now working professionally as a  sustainability consultant in Sydney with Edge Environment advising organizations, companies and government on end to end sustainability solutions.

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Mark Carney, the (previous) governor of the Bank of England. said accountants can change the world. I believe that because I feel like every individual can change the world, but definitely accountants, because there's an accountant in every single organisation, people come to them for advice and to give them information to help with better decision making. So if they put the right information in front of people, you know, they can influence decisions.

Miranda Siu

EPISODE 1 : SUSTAINABILITY

I’m gonna jump straight into the deep end on this very first Episode of Lit and kick off with an unlikely question – can you be too lit?
If you asked me this question a few years ago , I’d be the first to want to push back on this idea, because of my type A go go go type a Personality but experience and time has taught me otherwise – you can be too lit, by burning the candle at both ends for too long – its called BURN OUT, and the opposite of burn out? – SUSTAINABILTY!
While I’m using this term more from a personal perspective, I believe its possible to draw parallels from its use from the usual environmental, practical, and business sense, and learn how we can be more sustainable and prevent both personal and global burnout.
Its a big topic and I’m super excited to have my very own little sister as my first guest to give us the lowdown.
I’ve never really actually had a conversation with my sister about her career progression and the origins to how she got inspired to work in sustainability, so when she came up to visit the family recently I thought it would be a great chance to sit down and have a proper chat .
Click play and join me in discovering the wonderous path of sustainability my sister took that started in Brisbane and has taken her across the world through South America, the United Kingdom, South East Asia and finally back to Australia.
We’ll also get a high level breakdown of what sustainability is and how and where you can started being more sustainable.
Enjoy!

The first step with any of this stuff is just open the door to communicating, because the thing about sustainability is we can't do it alone. It's definitely a group effort.

Miranda Siu

CONNECT WITH MIRANDA

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PLEASE NOTE LEGAL CONDITIONS OF TRANSCRIPTS

Derrick Siu owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of The Lit podcast, with all rights reserved, as well as his right of publicity.

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WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED: No one is authorized to copy any portion of the podcast content or use Derrick Siu’s name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services. Media outlets are permitted to use photos that have been granted permission for use. Please email for details.

Lit : The Derrick Siu Podcast Episode #1 : Miranda Siu Transcript

Derrick  – Welcome to the show.

Miranda – Thanks, Derrick.  Glad to be here.

Derrick  – Yes. I’m very happy that you have decided that you’ve agreed to have a chat with me about this very important topic.

Miranda  – Yes.

Derrick  – Before we get onto all that heavy stuff, I thought it would be best to just track back and learn a little bit more about you and, you know, the path that you’ve taken so far. Now, I know that, you know, we went to a private school, separate private school, because we were brought up as good Asian students. Now, when did you actually get interested in this whole space?

Miranda – Well, sustainability itself, I’ve known about for probably 10 years. But if you go back even further, when I was at school, my year 11 economics teacher, Mr. Walsh, he told me about what he taught about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. And that was the first time I’ve actually heard about that topic in itself. And that was the pretty much the start of my journey, because before that, I knew about animal conservation, human rights, but I hadn’t really heard much specifically about the environmental impacts and what that what you know, how that related to everything else.

So sustainability incorporates like all three areas or more than that, the economy as well. That’s why with the economics teacher teaching about this stuff, because it does impact us globally. So at that time, the word didn’t really exist. The grandfather sustainability came up with the term, I think, in the in the 2000s, because in the 1990s he had coined the term the environmental P&L – profit and loss. So I learnt about that at university in accounting. But they call it the triple bottom line at the time.

Derrick  – I see. OK, now this is what’s interesting to me is that this how old were you when you were introduced to this environmental stuff,

Miranda – 16.

Derrick – OK, so when I was 16, I don’t think I had any idea about all the stuff. I certainly didn’t have any interest in it at that point. I mean, if I was involved with anything at that time, I was probably more involved with things like the Interact Club where I would be doing stuff to help people.

But certainly environment stuff wasn’t a really big thing back then. So what was it about this area that that sparked your interest? What is it about this that really, you know, made you interested and keen to learn more?

Miranda – Well, originally, I think it was because I really liked animals. I came from it from an animal conservation perspective and then also from a human rights perspective. I’ve always been interested in the human humanitarian side of things. Um, and then suddenly there was this other thing I didn’t really know that much about, so that was the interesting cross section where it kind of. Yeah. That that kind of sparked my interest. So that was just the seed, if, if you like, because I didn’t really, it was interesting.

I didn’t really know how that affected the other parts that I was interested in. But later, you know, now I know how everything is actually interconnected.

Derrick –  Now what I remember from our childhood, because our parents, they don’t like animals or they didn’t have an affinity towards animals.

Miranda – Yeah.

Derrick  – So how did you get your love of animals? Because I remember at one point you did go out and disobey our family rules and you brought home a dog and didn’t last very long in terms of it in our household. But where did where did this all this love of animals come from?

Miranda – I don’t know. I think as a child, um, you know, our cousins had so many pets and we had pretty much one budgie, which I absolutely loved my budgie.

But, you know, compared to the almost like farm like experience of our cousins, I was like, wow, it’s so nice to have all these animals. So it might have been influenced by our cousins. And, as you know, our the youngest cousin became a vet. Sure. Because of her love of animals. I didn’t have an aspiration to be a vet. I wanted to be a marine biologist.

Quite early on. I was interested in the marine, you know, the aquatic ecosystem. So, yeah, I don’t really know.  I mean, I guess as children, we don’t always know why. But there wasn’t any specific incident that I remember that sparked my interest in animals.

Derrick – OK, sure. So anyway, you went from a very strong interest in animal conservation, your high school, you got exposed to this environmental stuff. Then you actually went on to university and you studied accounting. How did you kind of pivot or?

Miranda – Well, I studied the humanities. It was always my strong point compared to like yourself, who was more scientific based, and our parents were very much more in the sciences.

Derrick – You say I’m scientific?:).

Miranda – Well, you start your first degree was very science based. Right. And our parents, you know, they both studied science as our sister did as well. I was definitely not a science person. I was definitely a humanities person. So from our fathers perspective, the only way to make money out of humanities was to become an accountant. That was the only, you know, well, that was the best form. Like, I actually did want to be a lawyer, but I didn’t my grades weren’t high enough to get into law school straight away.

I’d have to do one year of undergrad and then transition. I just followed what my dad told me to do, which is study accounting, because you’ll be able to, earn a good living afterwards and you’ll be set up for life if you’re an accountant.

Derrick – Hang on a sec. Just so I can get this clear, this is being the idea was that you work as an accountant in a humanitarian organization.

Was that the idea or how does that tie in?

Miranda – No, it was just being an accountant. It didn’t matter. Like humanities is the group that’s the study. The department doesn’t not necessarily be a humanitarian. I didn’t make any I didn’t know how it was going to pan out. I didn’t make any sort of compromise going, OK, if I do what Daddy says, then I can match. Like, this is my passion area and I can still obey Daddy’s orders and do the two things together.

That wasn’t what I was thinking the time

Derrick – I didn’t.,  sorry. Accounting is under humanities?

Miranda – Yeah,

Derrick –  didn’t know that. That’s news to me.

Miranda – Well, you know, it’s a softer science. It’s not a science. So humanities is languages, arts, commerce, you know, all that sort of stuff.

Derrick – Oh right. Okay. All right. I didn’t realize that that was all closed on that.

Miranda – I think so. Maybe that was the old classification might have been modified now basically not a science person.

Derrick – OK, so you did say you did accounting numbers. Yeah. That’s something that I have a great adversity towards, but it has to be done. But I have to say, after having experienced doing accounting and learning the hard way, making a ton of mistakes, there is a very big satisfaction when you’ve got the numbers all together and everything matches up.

Miranda – Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Derrick – But a very painful process that I wish I didn’t have to go through.

Miranda – Well, yeah, me too. That was the first ten years of my career is doing that and making other people’s numbers balance or figure out why they don’t balance. It’s quite painful but yes. Satisfying when you finally get there. But it’s also like why did I have to do this in the first place and is there any way I, I can get out of doing this again in the future by putting in place measures and other ways to do it so you don’t actually have to touch that stuff again.

Derrick – So what actually happened? You came, you finished accounting, you went into the workforce. You worked as an accountant.

Miranda – Yes. So ironically, I did. I did two degrees. I did accounting. I can was one major. My other major was in marketing. So I did a dual degree commerce and business so I couldn’t get a job in marketing. And at the time I thought I realized the way they were teaching marketing at the time was basically you’re trying to create a need and sell that to everybody else. And I thought that was highly unethical. And I couldn’t grapple with that as a university student going.

I do not want to go into this industry because it’s awful from that perspective. The irony is the fact that I’m working in marketing now from a sustainability perspective.

So there’s a good way. There’s, you know, there is a need for it to market the good messages. But at the time that didn’t really exist is very niche and it was definitely not taught at university. So I couldn’t get a job in management or business management or marketing as I graduated. So the only course I could only job I could get was in accounting because everyone needs accountants. So that was the easiest thing. And, you know, I hated that my dad was right in that, you know, do accounting, you know, and then you’ll be able to get a job like, no, I don’t.

I’ll just do the degree because they’ll make you happy. But that’s not what I really want to do. And that in the end only job i could get, if I could get so he’s like, yeah, thanks, dad.

Derrick – Well, it kind of I mean, because it was what you trained in. I think if you had gotten a degree in something else, you’d have been probably more likely have got a job in that particular area.

Miranda – So, yeah, so that’s how I ended up doing counting, and then once you’re in the machine, as it were, the counting machine, the next thing to do is to do a chartered accountant, cause I went straight into a accounting, a mid-sized accounting firm. So lots of different clients get lots of exposure to lots of different industries. That was really good, doing all the things that you painfully have experienced yourself. And then during that time, you also do postgraduate study, which is extremely stressful.

While you’re doing this job, when you first graduate as well.

So but it has been, um, like I don’t regret doing it. It’s and I’m still a member of the chartered accountants and now I’m working with them also from a sustainability point of view as well, to push the agenda that way. So everything is kind of come 360. Everything I thought I didn’t want to do as a university student accounting, marketing. I’m kind of doing both like working both those spaces 20 years later, which is bizarre because I would never have envisaged that if you asked me that either as a first year uni student or as a university graduate, I would never imagine that’s where I am right now.

Derrick – OK, so let’s just rewind a little bit. So you worked as an accountant when was, I know that you went to Ireland, you worked there. Was that with IBM?

Miranda – That was with IBM.

Derrick – an accountant.

Miranda – As an accountant. Yeah.

Derrick – So was that your last accountancy job or what was the next step towards doing more of this sustainability work.

Miranda – So in between I actually went to Latin America for nine months and that’s where I got exposed to poverty and that sort of thing. I started being more interested in the humanitarian side again going what’s going on in these countries? Can we fix this? And when I arrived in Ireland, I really wanted to do a career switch. And this was like 14, 15 years ago. And I couldn’t. And that’s why I ended up working in accounting game, because after traveling for nine months, I was broke.

So I, you know, not being able to get any other job, I end up going back into well-paying. Thanks, Dad. You know, accounting job, which it wasn’t terrible because, you know, you got a good name on your CV and the rest of and then I moved to London. And again, I try to do a bit of a switch and see what I could get a job doing something else. But when, you know, when you’re early stage career, whatever you have on your CV is kind of what you get.

Derrick – You get pigeonholed

Miranda – you get pigeonholed like if you’re an accountant. Here is an accounting job.

Why would you want to do anything else? So I had a couple of good you know, I had a contracting job and then I had a full time job, uh, when I was in London and I was working for an online travel agency. And at the same time, I started doing a course at a London University about sustainable development. And that’s where I learnt about sustainability in the earlier concepts. And also I did a paper on sustainable travel and I thought, oh, that could actually work sustainable travel.

It’s economic empowerment. It’s cultural sensitivity to the local people. It’s also environmental, environmentally respectful. So it’s about incorporating all these practices so that when you travel, you actually put money back into the local people’s pockets. You also respect the culture and the environment. So I thought that could actually work as a business model and where I could actually still survive and, you know, earn a good wage and do the thing I believe in. So I left my well-paying job, full time.

That was the last accounting, proper accounting job that I did was in London, packed up my bags and went to Thailand and hoped that the company, the NGO that I was working for, would, you know, give me the experience that I would need to be able to then, you know, um, project my career into sustainable travel. That was the dream at the time, ten years ago.

Derrick – So just talking about this sustainable travel, I think for a lot of people that’s a very ambiguous term. Like for me, if someone talked, said sustainable travel, what I’d be thinking is that it’s a travel agent that’s going to organise a trip that is going to help. The activities will be organized around supporting the local the infrastructure or the basically local mom and pop shops, whatever it is that correct?

Miranda – Well,  that’s one, that’s a good example of doing that. So that’s one part of it. So one part is supporting local businesses, supporting the local community by spending local, staying local or those sort of things. So you don’t stay at it. If you’re in Thailand, don’t go stay at the Hilton, go stay at the local hotel or, you know, Airbnb is kind of taken off with that sort of thing where you put money back into the locals, although sometimes that’s, you know, that’s a bit more.

Airbnb wasn’t around back then. Right. There’s no way the. Then it was just coming out in 2011, it was just becoming popular then, but this is 2010. So it did I think it was starting it was already felt like, but it wasn’t the sensation it is today or not as prevalent as it is today.

Derrick – So what kinds of things were you doing at that time in terms of promoting sustainable travel in Thailand?

Miranda – Uh, so I was working for a small tourism operator who would bring mostly people from the UK or Europe to Thailand and put them into like voluntourism, um, situations where they could be, uh, volunteering at an orphanage or they could be teaching English in, like a local Burmese school, or they could be doing a village homestay that was very popular as an eco tourism, uh, mechanism. Well, it’s still slightly popular now, but they were the things that they organized and they promoted that most of the most of the locals that they worked with in providing these tourists to them didn’t depend on them for the tourism dollars, but it was more authentic and it was in a respectful way.

One of the things actually, the projects that I saw was actually working with the mangroves. So there’s a scientific science project where you go out and help with this specific science project on documenting the mangrove population, which is really important. So there was an environmental side. It wasn’t just, you know, the orphanages and the teaching English thing, which is very common. Um, so that’s that’s where I started learning about it. But I also realized the organization I was working for, I didn’t gel with them with their philosophy in terms of sustainable tourism.

I didn’t think what they were doing was 100 percent sustainable, not even from their own perspective, how they will survive going to the future as well as what they were doing for the local communities. So that’s why, from a philosophical point of view or ideological point of view, I didn’t stay that long in that organization and then went on to work with a responsible tour operator in Lao who was basically only promoting, uh, hotels that were owned by Lao people.

So and also travel services. And that was like an amazing month of volunteering from my point of view. But they paid for all my hotels. They paid for me to go do things like hot air ballooning, rock climbing, going down Vang Vienne in the river. I like tubing and that sort of stuff. So they paid me to do these things because they wanted to promote the local tour operator, so I had to review them.

Derrick – So it sounds like a fun job. I’m jealous.

Miranda – It was amazing, amazing experience, but also extremely exhausting. So I got an insight into what it is to be a travel blogger, which you have to document everything so you can’t almost can’t quite enjoy it because you have to be taking notes and taking photos of everything and then having to post every day. Reviewing everything that you’ve done, that’s quite like it sounds exotic and glamorous, but at the end of the day, it was a great experience, but there was no way I could do that sustainably for myself long term.

One month I was exhausted. I was, you know, working till midnight, just trying to put together the material, the content and, yeah, just documenting everything and submitting it so that it could get uploaded onto the, you know, the interweb. It was it was incredible. But, yes, not not as fun as you might think it is.

Derrick – So you quit after a month?

Miranda – Well, yeah. I mean, originally the guy wanted me to do three months and he was a foreigner as well. So what are these times, these foreigners coming into these developing countries going, I want to help these people? And I set something up, which is amazing. But it’s also I think he actually did it the right way. He really respected the local culture. Not to say the other person didn’t, but I think there’s a lot of organizations out there that don’t.

They just kind of come in almost like the U.N. or the World Bank do and go, hey, we know what’s best for you. And they don’t really consult the locals. So that’s where sustainable travel, really, when you have that synchronicity between whoever’s doing it and the actual local people cultures, it could be from the same like could be Australians also being disrespectful to the people that you’re live in regional New South Wales or what was regional Australia, that sort of thing that aren’t, you know, that supposedly doing sustainable travel practices, but they not respecting the local culture.

So it’s not necessary. For example, what I’m saying could just be it could be locals also not respecting their own like countrymen.

Derrick – So what’s the what happened after that? You you’ve had this experience with loss. You had this where you’re still looking for other potential opportunities of doing sustainable travel in Asia.

Miranda – Sure. Well, I was looking for anywhere really, like Africa. That was definitely a lot of, um, opportunities. But everything you kind of had to pay for it. I’m like, I, I’m like I was like I am a seasoned professional. I’m quite experienced. Why should I pay for these services and why am I paying you for. Exactly. And I thought that was quite sort of a rip job. And that’s not really what I think, you know.

And I want to make money. I want to figure out how I can make money. I could see how these people are making money. I like I didn’t want to do it that way

Derrick  – by getting people to be able to pay them.

Miranda  – Yeah, so and I don’t know if it’s the administration fee or whatever, but I just didn’t think it was I didn’t think that was particularly sustainable method either. And the programs didn’t seem that sustainable, you know, because you wouldn’t have that. You know, if you do that, you don’t get this, especially the like. I think we spoke about education before. If you have different foreigner coming every four weeks to teach English to this one class.

Yes, OK. On one hand, it’s better than having nobody at all teaching them English, but at the same time, you don’t have that real, um, learning that you can get when you have a consistent teacher there for a period of time and develop those relationships and that sort of thing. So there was a lot of reasons why I didn’t there was a lot of opportunities there that I didn’t pursue. And I was thinking, well, how can I make a career out of this and actually earn enough for me to survive?

Not that I need a lot, but you have to think about your own financial future. Thanks, Dad, again for that accounting profession, for teaching me all those things.

So, you know, I had that thought, which was good, because it means that I can, you know, I have that lens in terms of. What is it that I’m going to turn my hand to make sure that I’m not, um, I’m able to have my own personal security into the future, whereas a lot of people that very passionate are in this space and they burn out and they also don’t take care of themselves financially.

So, yeah, so that’s I’m definitely not in that category. I don’t think that’s great. That people are so passionate. But that’s also not so great when they burn out and then they’ve got nothing left and then that in that particular NGO, whatever it is they’ve started, falls over because it was relying on that one person doing all these things. So that’s very common in the especially in the NGO space, like globally as well as locally here in Australia.

Derrick – Have you been involved with I mean, that was 10 years ago. Have you been keeping your your hand on the pulse in terms of what’s happening in the NGO space now?

Miranda – Yeah, definitely. And then just to cap off where I went with sustainable travel stuff, I mean, in the end, I couldn’t find any way to do it. So I just do it for my own passion projects. I still advocate for it on my own, my little forums and my website and all that, all my social media channels.

But in terms of NGOs, yeah, I the last full time job I had before my current one was working for a uh, it was a not for profit in Sydney who were doing live crowd funding events, raising money for other charities that were specifically focused on social impact issues in Australia, some overseas, but mostly Australia.

And for me, because I’m ready by this stage, a few years ago, I was so focused on sustainability being not just the humans, not just the environment, but everything that when I was working for them for 18 months, I’m like, you’re doing great things, but I’m seeing the same thing. You know, the same same cycle happens where you’ve got one person is super passionate about helping the homeless or helping relieve poverty or the refugees, which are admirable, great projects, but they don’t get the donations.

Or if they get sick or they decide they burn out because they’re so passionate about it, the whole thing falls over. So definitely what I’m saying now is still relevant today. And I know that because I’ve seen that and been in that industry of social impact of charities for about 18 months, only like I finished up last June. So I’m still connected to that to that to that community because there are so many amazing people there. You know, I totally support and love what they do, but I just can’t be part of that in my personal future.

Derrick – Sure Sure, it sounds like there needs to be a lot of a lot more structure and planning to make that stuff work on a sustainable level.

Miranda – Yeah, absolutely. Because everything’s for me, the other part of sustainability is everything’s interconnected. So, yes, you can alleviate poverty or alleviate homelessness, but then you’re elevating these people, taking them off the street and then where they going to? Then you look at, you know, the whole the bigger issue about the infrastructure and access to services.

And maybe, you know, it was that thing isn’t just about them being off the streets. There’s a mental health issue perhaps, or there’s other issues that are related to it.

And then, you know, you think about the world that we live in and how hard it is. It’s a struggle for us from a day to day perspective as well. And you know, you just they just going from one fire into another. I’m not saying that you should leave them on the streets either, but you just can’t. I feel like you can’t just look at those things in isolation because then you’ve got issues like food security at the minute, which is an environmental problem, which then is also a social problem, which is, you know, an economic problem global.

So that’s why it’s yeah, it’s hard to know where to actually start and where you’re where to put your efforts, which is why I like sustainability, because it does have that holistic view looking at everything and trying to do what can.

Derrick – Right, so let’s just take off from where you said you’re in, you’re in Laos, you’ve just finished off this one month trial. Yes. Volunteer. Yeah. What happened next?

Miranda – Well, then I came back to Australia because at the time our sister gave birth to her first daughter, which I was a pretty big life event in our family. So I wanted to be here for then, given that I didn’t have a job and I didn’t really know what I’m going to do next. So it’s quite up in the air as it was.

Derrick – So it’s quite convenient to come back home.

Miranda – It was, yeah. Yeah, it was. You know, I was very lucky that, you know, parents will accept us at any point in time in our lives.

We just come back here and rest for a bit. And so I was like, what do I do now? I don’t want to do accounting. Definitely not. Not really sure I can make the sustainable travel thing work. I want to be in Brisbane, looked around, you know, for eco tourism and that sort of stuff. Ended up, um, landing a job with Apple. Working in the retail store, I thought, oh, that’ll be fun, I’ll just do that for a little while.

Derrick – I’m curious, what made you I mean, this is kind of what made you want to apply for a job at Apple on the retail floor? That’s a very, very like, I don’t know, unrelated kind of. It was a tough position.

Miranda – I just needed a career break. And you look you got an Apple store.

It kind of looks like it’s fun. It’d be fun to work there. Maybe it was just I needed something that was brainless, that didn’t involve spreadsheets. I was more like interacting with people, not interacting with a computer. And I think my affinity for Apple products came from you because like you, you’ve been a long time. Apple fan I grew up with knowing about Apple products and that sort of thing was to an extent

Derrick – and I would like to blame an old friend of mine from university.

I remember I was like I think I was in second university looking to buy a computer. Yeah. And my friend, a good friend of mine, he said to get a Mac. This was at a time actually in 1997 when Apple was at their lowest time in terms of the stock market and everyone thought they were going to die. Yeah. And he got me onto the Mac. And then shortly afterwards he went to PC, which is kind of funny.

But anyway, back to you. You’re you’re working at Apple. You just you needed a break because you’ve you’ve  burnt yourself out from trying to do all the stuff. So then what happens there?

Miranda – So I worked there for in the store for about six months and I went, no, I’m in my early 30s at this point. The people I was working with were teenagers, you know, late teens or, um, or like early 20s who actually thought I was their age. So that was hilarious. But it was also very exhausting being in that environment. When you’re older and everyone else is younger and they had a completely different language, they were using things like SOZ and LOL and these things.

And I’m like, what? And amaze balls? And I’m like, well, I don’t know what you’re actually saying. Can you speak English to me, please?

So at that point, I’m like, OK, I don’t think this is the place for me. Long term I knew it wasn’t. But already after six months, I’m like, OK, I got to get out. I got to find something else. I just started madly applying for jobs. And funnily enough, the day I quit my job at Apple Retail, I applied for a job at the head office in Sydney in Australia, and Sydney supporting an education and education team, just doing office admin.

And they needed someone who knew something about accounting. Not that I needed to be an accountant, but I’m like, hey, I can do that job. They just need someone who’s organised. So I applied for the job and two weeks later I got it. And then another two weeks later, I just took a plane and then like I finished the retail job on a Friday, took a plane on the Saturday and started working in Sydney on the Monday for the Apple office in Sydney and it was amazing.

Like just. Yeah.

Derrick – Super efficient.

Miranda – Yes. Yes, it was amazing. I just changed cities and jobs like that every weekend, the weekend, same company. So it was and was like when I came into the office the first day was so quiet, I’m like oh it was so good.

I didn’t have customers, I didn’t have these teenagers. I love my old colleagues in retail.

I’m still friends with them. Say nothing against them, that was just that environment was just so noisy and it was just so much going on that I was, you know, the introvert in me was getting overwhelmed. Like, this is too much stimulation. I wanted stimulation, but this is too much. So I retreated back into the corporate space behind a computer going, Oh, this is nice because this is so nice.

I don’t have to tell somebody what I’m going to the toilet. I don’t have to tell somebody what I’m going for lunch. You know, I don’t have time to breaks.

I can just like like I was waiting for someone to tell me you can go for lunch now, but no, I could just actually get up and walk to the bathroom myself without having to tell anybody. And it was like a library, it was amazing. I totally cherished it for a while and it was great. It was a great environment being around adults and having adult conversation, people who didn’t say Soz and LOL, and, you know, that was fun.

But like I yeah, it was good being around adults. Like, sorry, nothing against my fellow colleagues. Absolutely nothing against us. It was fun. And there is actually diversity in that workplace. I wasn’t the only mature aged worker there, but the majority were younger, much younger than me.

Derrick – All right. Right. So you’re sorry you’re in Sydney, you’re doing this support admin job in Apple. Yes. Now, I know that while you were there, you did start you did co-found some environmental group.

Miranda – Yes.

Derrick – Yep. Go ahead. Tell us about that.

Miranda – That was amazing, actually, because I’d been chipping away at this, like, OK, I definitely you know, I started volunteering for a beach clean up group in Sydney, cleaning up Sydney’s beaches, which is amazing. That totally opened my eyes to more knowledge and information about what I can do as an individual and learning more about the space, which I was quickly finding, this is really where I want to be after exploring, trying different things, you know, just seeing whether, you know, maybe I’ll just do a job and it’s just a means to an end.

I don’t have to be passionate about it. Right. I was trying all these things and then on the sidelines, I was doing all this volunteering around the environmental space and realized, you know, that’s really where my passion is. So I looked for ways to combine the two and in the workplace. So everyone at work kind of knew that was my passion area.

So it was it was I don’t know how like, I was just really lucky that because I’d been so vocal about what I was interested in, I connected with others who were also really interested.

And I was I was fortunate to be working with the environmental affairs person or representative in our Sydney office who did put me, you know, forward in front of the execs for a plan about how we can build sustainability into into the office environment. And that was a little bit premature, and I didn’t present I didn’t communicate, I didn’t market it in the right way for my audience. So that was a big learn for me that it didn’t actually go ahead to that point in time.

So two years later, I had another colleague come to me and say, hey, I think we should give this another go. I think this is the right time for it now.

Derrick – When was this?

Miranda – This was two thousand and seventeen.

Derrick – Wow, this was not that recent.

Miranda – It was like 2016. Maybe we started talking about 2017 that we’ve been talking about this like I mean, this colleague and I had been exchanging notes on this stuff and sharing information because he was equally passionate about this stuff. We should be able to do more.

And he was working in marketing. So for me, he had the know how, how to communicate this message better than I did. Even though I had done a marketing degree. I hadn’t really formally worked in this space. And I was working the sales team, which a lot of the work I was doing was marketing. I just didn’t know how to communicate it internally to the right stakeholders. But he did. So he got it off the ground. He got the approval for it.

And I was like shocked.

I was like, he’s like, yeah, we’ve got executive approval to do this. I’m like, What? OK, so we did it. It was amazing. We launched it and we were both of us worked quite hard on trying to because it wasn’t our full time job. We just did it on the side as a passion project within our organization. And we launched a community group which, um, and which held, you know, regular events and sharing knowledge.

And we put in a plan for what it was, what we were going to do for the next year. So for me, it was. It was. It was amazing to launch that with my colleague, and then after that I actually left was like I launched it. Thanks guys that was a great experience byeee I’m going to work for a charity. And then everyone was like, wow, that’s amazing. You’re going to work for a charity.

That’s so you. And I’m like, OK, I would have liked to like if I, you know, had I had the opportunity, I would have loved you done that job, you know, that that community thing at Apple full time, which a lot of people who created these community groups would have loved to do that thing full time. But you still had your own full time job.

Derrick – What some just so we can better understand, what kinds of environmental initiatives did you spearhead within this group and for the company at that time?

Miranda – Well, at the time it was because we just launched it was it was very much building a community and spreading awareness. So the only thing I think I can say I was responsible partially for is when we moved office, everybody in when they got their welcome pack to the new office. They all got a Keep Cup. And I know that I was I think I was partially responsible for that because the when they came to me afterwards, I say, you know, we finally did that thing.

And I was like, well, well, that was just like, that to me, was an example. The things that we could do, not the thing to do. It was just an example. And he thought it was the thing that I wanted him to do and he did it. So I’m like, wow, OK,

Derrick – what is the keep cup just so because I haven’t heard of it.

Miranda – Well, luckily, I have an example here. It’s a reusable coffee cup. OK, this is actually  it’s a brand. So reusable cup

Derrick – so Keep is a brand.

Miranda – Keep Cup is a brand. It’s made in Melbourne, Australia,

Derrick – OK, it’s an Australian company that’s awesome

Miranda – Its an Australian company. Yet there’s many. there’s lots of companies that do them and now but they’re just reusable cups. So we actually got given a glass one, which is really it was beautiful. It was nice.

And the weird irony was that I was saying I was advocating for people, for us not to give it out for free because you give something for free. People don’t value it. Yes. And I was I was advocating for behaviour change, not just as simple quick win like that.

So that’s where I realised that I had an error in the way I was communicating my message, because it turned out to be communicated to me like like, oh, OK.

That’s what you took away from that presentation that I gave you. OK, that’s great. But not quite what I meant. So anyway, but then I became known as kind of like a coffee cup person if anyone  saw me. Not that everyone knew that I was involved  with that.

Derrick – But just because I knew my environmental standards when they whenever I was in the office and somebody had like a takeaway coffee cup, they’re like, oh, sorry, they just had so much guilt when they saw me and they had to take away coffee cups.

So. So the idea is that you you have one of these cups and then when you go and to a takeaway place, you bring that. Yes. And instead of them giving using their disposable.

Miranda – Yes, that’s right. So it was about minimising single use plastic because in Australia there I mean, the production things are changing. We could talk endlessly about reusable and the manufacturing of coffee cups, but for the most part, they may appear to be paper on the outside, but on the inside they have a plastic lining which stops the hot liquids from pouring out. So because it’s it’s layered like that, it’s not easy for recycling companies to separate the two and for it to be recyclable.

So, yes, while the paper might be recyclable, the plastic on the inside isn’t so they always end up in landfill. So they using a reasonable cup is a better alternative to avoid waste going to landfill, which is one of the one of the things within sustainability that you’re trying to do is minimise like go to like zero. Waste is kind of the dream that the zero we have going to landfill the better.

Derrick – Now, one thing that that’s interesting to me is because, you know, Apple obviously promotes themselves as a very environmental company. Whenever they release the new product, they always have all their things, how they’re environmental and the EPA and all this kind of stuff. Yeah. So it’s kind of a little bit surprising that something like this in a environmental kind of sustainable group was kind of it seems like it was kind of a hard push or hard sell to make it happen.

Miranda – No, because it’s not. It’s not discordant to what they what the company believes in, because what the company does from a manufacturing point of view in their environmental practices, I think is I still think it’s almost a world class or their leader. And what they do in that respect, in terms of minimizing environmental damage, what they don’t do is they’re not going to preach to their staff saying you have to do it or you have to do these things.

Right. This is what the company’s doing because they believe it’s the right thing to do. Doesn’t mean that they enforce stuff to follow suit.

Derrick – Sure.

Miranda – So that’s Yeah.

Derrick – So that’s their positioning on the thing.

Miranda – Yeah. So they’re not going to force people to use reusable cups and people want to use it. They use it because they want to, which is I think that’s I think that’s the right way to do it. You don’t want to.

You can create a culture for it, but you can’t you shouldn’t make it mandatory or enforce or, you know, so that’s why there was a little bit of resistance, is that we don’t want to come across as too preachy.

Derrick – I see, OK, so

Miranda – I think it’s respectful.

Derrick – Yeah, sure. So they actually had like guidelines or recommendations or suggestions to to to be like to be more environmental?

Miranda – Not necessarily. But they would just there would be bigger threat like awareness about the bigger issues, like Earth Day was always celebrated, you know, so they weren’t going into the these are the things you could do as an individual, whereas the our approach to the, uh, the awareness or community group was to bring it back to the individual so they could draw that straight line between what are the amazing things that we’re doing as a company and how can that translate to something you could do at home?

So we did that’s what the awareness group is doing, because officially they couldn’t really do that, especially from HR perspective. But it was like telling somebody you should be Muslim or you should because, you know, it’s a blessing in a way. It is a belief system.

Derrick – So it is so right. So that’s why it’s so is actually the best way for something like that to be circulated within a company is from a interest and a passion from within the employees, rather from top down. It should be from within the pool.

Miranda – I mean, it can happen both ways, but creating that culture has to come from the employees themselves in some ways. I mean, in organizational culture, that’s another big topic. And how you change that and whether it should be a bottom up or top down, I mean, you can work both ways. But in this instance, the corporate approach was we didn’t they didn’t want to mandate things from top down, not to say that was the wrong approach or, you know, whatever.

It was just that’s just the way the company rolls. And in that they don’t, the only thing that really hard about is like, um, ethical business, you know, so, um, or code of conduct type stuff, which I think, you know, there are financial legal ramifications and it’s protecting us as employees, as it’s protecting our suppliers, all that sort of stuff.

Whereas the other stuff is kind of like, well, where do you draw the line? And that’s where it becomes when you come back to sustainability is very hard to to say where do you draw the line and how far do you go? Who is responsible for these things? And you know what? So that’s another that’s a big conversation.

Derrick – OK let’s just go back to where you just left off. You left Apple after starting off this initiative and now you’re working with EDGE.

Miranda – I’m working with Edge Environment now, but in between I was working for that. Not for profit. Right. So I moved out of you know, I said, you know, great. It was wonderful to set up this thing. I would love to stay and keep doing it. And, you know, my co-founders were disappointed. I didn’t. But I’m like, this isn’t my full time job and I want to do this full time, so I need to go search for it.

Derrick – Yeah. So that’s actually good that you’ve had this you’ve been touching base with that whole space. So you’ve seen the progression, you see where it’s at and can see probably where the gaps are and how to kind of fill them out maybe in the future down the track or something like that.

Miranda – Yeah.

Derrick – And this space. So you so what’s happening with the current work that you’re doing? What is the what is your role with EDGE environment?

Miranda – So, uh, currently my role is fifty percent marketing and 50 percent project work. So that’s why I was saying earlier, it’s ironic that now I’m working in marketing and have a new appreciation for how powerful and how useful it is. And it can be used for, you know, quote unquote, good. Um, and spreading the messages that you do want to send rather than trying to sell things that people need or, you know, I don’t really I mean, you know, Patagonia is one of those great companies and they’re marketing one of their marketing campaigns.

I think it was 2013. We’re saying do not buy our products because they were anti consumerism, because we have too much stuff. What did that do? Their sales went through the roof.

Derrick – So they said, don’t buy our stuff?

Miranda – Yes. It was this massive, you know, tabloid in the newspaper that it was a big campaign. They did because they were trying to say, look, we got too much stuff going to landfill. You know, the last thing that we need as human society need is more things. Yes. We sell clothing and outdoor gear and all those things, but don’t buy our products.

Derrick – Why did they put that out there?

Miranda – Well, I meant because

Derrick – They they did it truly from an environmental perspective. I didn’t think it was this is going to be like this is reverse psychology.

Miranda – I don’t think so.

I don’t think anyone could have predicted the sales that they achieved out of that. So it’s interesting. It’s a really interesting case study. When you look at that, everyone’s like it was, you know, but, you know, baffled by how that actually worked. Not that I don’t think anyone’s really tried to do that since and you look at Coke, it’s not like they’re going to drink out for ice cream because it’s full of sugar. It’s really bad for you.

We’re you know, we’re and we don’t go into Coke because that’s another big, um, rabbit warren of their issues. But, you know, so it’s not like you’ve seen other big brands that followed suit. So I don’t I think it it I don’t think it was intended to drive sales. It really wasn’t. Um, so. Yeah.

Derrick – So. So what’s so projects are you involved because you’re now in the B2B space.

Miranda – Correct.

Derrick – As compared to previously. You’re doing a lot of stuff that was small

Miranda – B to C or C to C really and doing a lot of volunteering type stuff. So now yeah our our clients are corporates that council the state bodies that big infrastructure assets that that our company works on and my job on the projects because I’m just learning the ropes. I’ve only been in the role a couple of months, less than a couple of months, um, is to support all these different areas or service lines that we have with the skills that I have built up over 20 years and working in different corporations and not for profits, that sort of thing.

So, uh, in a way, yeah, I’m learning the ropes, but also just filling in some resource gaps that they have on the different projects, which is good at getting me more exposure to what they actually do and learning more about that and where I can actually maybe where I can be in the future with the organization where the best fit for me is that. So right now it’s more of an exploratory phase for me and also for them to understand what my skill sets are from the marketing side of things.

I’m helping build their brand and do that B to B  marketing with them. Um, and, uh, well, yeah. Currently the big project is with lots of organizations. They’re trying to build a website to be better. And so that the main hub for driving

Derrick – websites. What do you mean how is that being environmental? How do you do a website environmentally friendly.

Miranda – Oh, well, that that’s I’m saying that’s from a marketing point of view, I guess. But you can actually, you know, carbon offset your the power and everything behind, uh, hosting a Web server. So there are there are actually big Corps that that, um, that provide Web services or website services, which means, um, A they’re committed to making sure they’re doing the right thing as a company themselves. And they may do things like donate to a charity, but they also do carbon offsetting of the the server or the energy required to host a website, because, you know, as we know from covid and all that sort of stuff, the amount of data amount of like, you know, cloud services that are engaged and the power and energy consumption behind that is and the resources required to build all these servers and all those sort of things and cooling them.

It’s massive. It’s so that’s not something to just go, oh, that’s just not that much does it does amount to a lot.

Derrick – All right.

So so with regards to like the kind of work you’re doing, what kind of it’s a it’s a consulting firm that helps companies be more environmental. Is that what is sustainable? So the kinds of things do you guys look at and optimize some example?

Miranda – And so basically.

There they are, the one stop, they are becoming the one stop shop for any organization, council or government body or non-government body for wherever they are on this sustainability journey. So depending on what they actually want to do, they basically have the service to provide it. So examples are they started off being life cycle assessment specialists, which means if you say work in the construction industry and you want to know whether you’re better off using concrete or recycled concrete or asphalt or recycled asphalt, they can do the calculations to work out what is the total environmental cost of using a said product.

So it’s like from cradle to grave. So it’s not just how much goes into making it, but also what happens when you’re finished with the product and that. And so what? How the disposal and the rest of it. So that’s what a lifecycle assessment calculation is. And that’s what they’ve done. They started off doing is more very much science based work, including things like helping to to reduce carbon or embodied carbon is a big thing now in buildings, in organisations like for big construction projects or even just property companies about how they might want to reduce the embodied carbon in the buildings they actually exist that exist already and helping them build like figure out what these strategies are, whether it’s buying carbon offsets or whether there are alternative materials they can source or, you know, all these things or things like helping them basically figure out what the strategy is or how collate their carbon footprint to start with, because that’s usually the starting point for any of these.

These companies is just trying to figure out how much your emissions right now and what is a reasonable target to achieve in what time frame and then helping them fill in the blanks as well.

So the other parts that are other parts of the business other than carbon reduction and climate resilience and infrastructure and the building side of things, um, will also help with like things like ISCA ratings, which is a Australia rating for buildings specifically, um, is sustainable and ethical procurement. So that’s looking at hot topics right now is modern slavery and how and that’s really big globally as well as Australia, because we just passed legislation on this in 2018 that’s helping organizations understand what are the risks in their supply chain and in their organization for modern slavery.

And this is where I was saying before, it’s like, where do you draw the line? Who’s responsible for how much? Um, and then helping them put in place strategies, plans to address those risks and to minimise them. So that’s one side of it. And just beyond. Yeah. So, uh, that’s one one example. The other things I like, um, we have a sustainable leadership and communications team that’s helping leadership be, you know, even better at doing sustainability, as it were, in the in the corporate sense.

And also how you communicate that the reporting side of things they report sustainability reporting is very big right now because it’s like quite a few different methods or approaches.

And it’s quite confusing. If you haven’t done it or even if you have done it, what approach do you take and how do you implement it in your organisation?

Derrick – So, yeah, so what kinds of things would be included in a sustainability report? I assume that carbon offset how carbon emissions supply chain, making sure it’s all clean and whether

Miranda – it depends on because there’s so many different approaches that it’s really confusing because there’s no consistency. So there’s lots going on in the world right now about the harmonisation of reporting, which is where I’m coming at.

It also from an accounting perspective, because a lot of the times annual reports are also with the financial report. Um, and so I’m currently doing I like working with Sustainability Management Advisory Committee with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, trying to figure out what is like not just supporting them as a member. Um, what you know, how do we integrate or make sustainability reporting easier for corporations? Um, so that’s just and also promoting the fact that companies should be doing the sustainability reporting, because right now there is a massive upswing in the uptake of corporations reporting on this stuff.

But it’s very new, like some of these initiatives have only been around for three or four years.

Derrick – What other things that you think should be included in the reporting?

Miranda – What should be included in the report?

Well, I think one of the approaches which I think is would be the gold standard is called an integrated report. So it’s it encompasses everything, which is the things that you were mentioning, you know, what is their carbon emissions? What is their plan to reduce the carbon emissions?

You know, how are they tracking from modern slavery front as well as, you know, what are their overall company strategy or plans? And how much is sustainability embedded into how they operate? It’s not meant to be a siloed thing, it should be embedded throughout how the organization operates from the from the Ground Zero all the way to Exec, and that’s where sometimes you this is definitely where you need exec buy in to be able to thread it through the whole organization in terms of operations, everything.

Um, so that and reporting on that, saying what you are doing in that front should be included as well. Um, so I’m not the expert on reporting so i’m still finding out that, I’m still learning so much about this space. There’s so many certifications people are doing, like going climate neutral, carbon neutral. Um, so there’s lots of different targets. But, you know, one one the other parts of it. One of the other popular approaches to make sure you include Science-Based Targets.

So ones that are aligned with the Paris agreement back in 2016. So that’s still the things that came out of that, like the Sustainable Development Goals, Science-Based Targets, all these initiatives that come out of that that landmark agreement. are now, you know, we’ve only now got a couple of years where people have to be able to make it happen. So everything’s still very new, which is why it’s hard to say what should everything be included. And then there’s another initiative called the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial  Disclosures.

Um, for climate disclosures. Um. Climate related disclosures and they include scenarios so that if the worst case scenario by 2050, we still continue the way we are.  What does your business look like in that scenario? And that’s usually quite shocking to some of these businesses. They won’t exist at all. So including those sort of scenarios and what their plan is to mitigate that would be included in the sustainability report.

Just on one one particular thing, which is probably something that everybody can look at. And, you know, obviously when the consumerist society, a lot of things are produced, products with products everywhere, supply chain management and support include ensuring the supply chain is clean. I mean, I’m curious as to what kinds of things you can do to make sure that, you know, whatever you’re buying or as a company or as an individual is is sourced and procured in a proper way.

Well, OK, from the individual point of view, there’s a lot you can do in terms of just researching your company before you buy. Sometimes there’s a lot of companies now that have done things like certifications. It makes it easier for you looking for like there’s websites that now have lists of the, you know, companies that are ethical or are sustainable or responsible. The responsible and ethical are the two terminologies that you search for you’re, trying to find.

I’m looking for responsible underwear, for instance.

Derrick – You know, um, so there’s there’s no kind of like seal, you know, how or certification. It’s just kind of just these random people that are very interested in this that are saying that this is responsible.

Miranda – This is not that there are multiple certification, so there’s no loop. So if you look at every industry in Australia for building products, there’s something called GECA Good Environmental Choice Australia. So they sort of certify certain products. But within like construction is a big industry, which is why I keep referring to it as well. There’s so much going on in that space. You’ve got Green Star, you know, for buildings in America, they’ve got the LEED certification. In the UK, it’s BREEAM,

Derrick – so it’s very fragmented.

Miranda – Yeah. So like there’s not, there’s a I think that would be very few like.

And if I look at travel, there’s a company here that not in Brisbane called Earth Check and they certify um travel service providers as being like environmentally sound practices and they have tiers. So you have gold, silver and and platinum, you know, that sort of thing. So there’s a lot of certification and labels out eco labels, which.

Derrick – Yeah, one of the things I’m concerned about with relation to all these certifications and labels is that, you know, I mean, we’ve seen it happen in the food industry where they’ll come up with a heart whatever. And then it seems to be you just pay people off to get these certifications. Yeah, I don’t know whether there’s any whether what kind of regulations are around or these certifications to ensure that they actually, you know, mean what they say.

Miranda – Yeah. So that is difficult. That’s why as a consumer you have to do your research. So there’s definitely greenwashing. And, you know, unless you really investigate a certain label and their procedures and, you know, unless and this is where I think consumers have a lot of power as well, um, if they they they definitely have purchasing power. You put your money where your values are, right. So you do the research and then you only pave or you only spend your money on those companies you really think are aligned with your own values, because some people, if they’re more interested in animal cruelty free stuff, so there’s a lot of certifications

But, you know, every thing, every country almost has their own certification thing. Um, you know, with coffee, you have things like Rainforest Alliance, which are more global and recognised or fair trade. But there’s been, I think recently fair trade has come up in the media is going well. Is that really like, you know, have they had the similar sort of thing of some sort of corruption in their supply chain as well? I’m not sure.

I think it was a fair trade that might have got caught up. But, yeah, there’s definitely this is where as a consumer, if you find something and we had the power with social media to say, hey, what are you doing X company, because this isn’t right. And so’s I think social media is powerful in that way. And we do have a lot of power as a consumer to find this information out because back in the day, we probably would be able to find the stuff that it’s not that easy, but now it’s a lot easier.

And then from a corporation point of view, everyone’s just starting on their journey. Some places like, you know, you got your Unilever’s or the world, which are like massive global corporations who are doing a lot of work from a modern slavery point of view and looking in the supply chain and seeing how ethical it is and how they’re procuring their raw materials.

Erm, you also like people like Apple who have done some work and looking at where is the cobalt coming from that goes into all that electronics where all these precious materials being sourced from and allegedly these companies say, oh you know, we’ve done our check when we’re definitely not employing slave labour. But there’s a certain point where you’ve got many, many, many tiers of supplies in use in most bigger corporations, supply chains. It’s knee deep in there. It would take a long time before them to go through all their supplies to find out where the risks are, but that’s where from.

Um, that’s the work of my my colleague at Edge environment. She helps organize organizations, assess the risks. So whatever might be a high risk. Let’s look at that first and sort that out. Focus on the things that you can change that are going to make the highest impact first. And that’s what a lot of in terms of going back to your question about reporting, one of the gold standards is doing a materiality matrix. Have a look at what’s important to your stakeholders.

And when we say stakeholders, we’re being very careful not saying shareholders and stakeholders. It’s your customers, your suppliers, your employees, what’s important to everyone in the value chain of the of the company. And look at what are the what are the issues that are important? And let’s focus on those issues as a means of where to start in terms of addressing all the sustainability things, because there’s just so much that could be done.

Derrick – All right. Yeah, this sounds this is a super I mean, from our brief conversation here today, sustainability is obviously a very, very big subject. There’s so much that we could dig into.

Miranda – Yeah.

Derrick – What is something? And, you know, it would be great to have another conversation, some other stage, but what are some what are some simple things that we as individuals can do today or in the next week that can make a difference in terms of contributing to being more sustainable as as a person on this planet?

Miranda – Yeah, that’s a great question that I do get asked a lot, because there are so many things, as we just discussed, that you could possibly do so for me and my advisors to people. Just pick one thing that you are interested in and just tweak and slowly chip away at changing that. You’re going to change radically or you can chip away at, you know, gradually changing this one area that you’re interested in. So, you know, for example, if you love food, then the thing is hate waste.

So food waste is a big thing. So try to minimize the amount you purchase from a week to week basis so that you don’t end up with food waste or find creative ways to deal with the food before it goes off. Or if it’s just on that borderline, there’s you know, there’s recipes, there’s things you can do. So you avoid any food going into landfill or you compost. So there’s things like that that people can do from a food waste perspective.

Like if you love coffees, then, you know, and you’re always going to take away coffee cup easy win is get a reusable cup. The thing is, you have to use it, right? So that can sometimes be a barrier. So just pick the thing that you think you can do. Start with that one thing. That’s how I started.

I didn’t start being the sustainability, you know, guru, for example, by overnight. This has been years of me slowly changing my individual behaviour and the things I was my own test case. I’m like, if I can’t do it myself, then I can’t ask anyone else to do it. So I wanted to definitely experience and lead by example because, you know, ten years ago, yeah, I was drinking and buying water in plastic bottles, which, you know, today would be like, why would you do that?

Right. Well, most people still do it.

So I’m not yeah. I’m not shaming anybody from whatever practices they do. Just do the thing that makes sense to you. So, um, or just pick the one thing that you’re passionate about

Derrick – Just to help people come up with or have a lot of suggestions or ideas of what they could do.

Can you just share like a list of a few different things that you’re doing right now? Yeah, that is sustainable.

Miranda – Yup, also if you are trying to do that sort of materiality matrix, I think what is the highest impact you can have? You know, there are lots of scientific studies about these things. So one of the number one things in terms of reducing your carbon footprint is not having any children, which is interesting. So, you know, for me, I’m like, yeah, I don’t have children.

So I’m helping the world sort of thing.

Derrick – Really, that is the biggest thing that people do, that no one should use a condom, just don’t have kids, not Asia.  Asia is doing really well there, you know,

Miranda – But not to say you shouldn’t have kids, it’s just that that’s what you have, one less child, you know, then the next thing is like you take less flights, which I think everyone’s fortunate that, you know, people don’t want to take flights right now. There’s not as many flights going. So that’s another thing that if you’re doing Yay or if you are still having to take a flight, carbon offset.

Derrick – How do you the carbon offset, taking a flight.

Miranda – Well, and when you book flights, there’s always that carbon offset thing. And it’s only really like a dollar or a few dollars and it can make a difference.

Derrick – What does that actually do? Because, you know, for me as a consumer, if I see that, I just like I just want to take more of my money. How does that actually offset the carbon by by paying that extra dollar?

Miranda – So they’ve done a calculation. And the these the airline companies have partnered with a carbon offset program, which often is tree planting in a place that needs reforestation because deforestation is a massive thing. It’s taking carbon out of that.

So by planting a tree, it might take 20 years, but then it will eventually they’ve done the calculation as to how much it would cost to plant enough trees now to offset the carbon flights are very carbon intensive. Sometimes it’s water  programs. So it could it’s not just tree planting, but tree planting is the most common project.

Derrick – So that’s where the money goes yet to contribute to for that, right?

Miranda – Yeah, yeah. And the programs these days, there was a lot of contention, like maybe 20 years ago was really that effective?

Was it really going to those programs? But now my understanding is that most of these programs are legit and they’re doing the right thing and they are picking the areas that really need it. So they’re focusing on being the most effective and they do. They check where it’s not. So it’s not just planting in the backyard going, oh, I got a dollar, I’m just going to plant a tree. And that’s, you know, that’s my money.

No, they’ve actually figured out where the best places are. So then the fourth, I would think, sorry. The third thing is you drive less or don’t own a car, so you go Carless. That’s amazing that public transport, walking, cycling, running, you know,

Derrick – maybe a bike.

Miranda – Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah.

You know, rollerblading, ice skating, whatever it is, skiing. So then the in the fourth thing is actually to eat less meat or or really a plant based diet, but eating less meat, just one meal, less of meat a week can make a massive difference.

Derrick – You know, I mean, I’ve heard a lot of this, you know, that whole argument about the amount of land it takes to keep up. But I’ve also heard that that the amount of land you need to plant, the number of plants you need to create, the same amount of protein or whatever is, is just as much or maybe more. I don’t know.

I’m just saying something that I remember hearing

Miranda – there is or really arguments on either side in science backing both sides of it. But basically the ideal situation is Regenerative agriculture. That’s where they actually do crop rotation. They do animal rotation like sort of livestock rotation as well as, um, as well as crop rotation on a piece of farming land. And what that does is it will naturally fertilize the ground. It will naturally till the ground. So you don’t need to use pesticides, use less water because the soil is nutrient rich and your crops are healthier.

So there’s ways that you can actually, you know, have your cake and eat it, too. But regenerative agriculture is, ironically, the way we used to farm up until we got the industrialization with all the pesticides and all that sort of stuff. So that is making a comeback with small farming in a small scale.

Derrick – Yeah. What’s that? What’s that called? There’s, it’s become very popular edible and there’s a lot of these edible garden places that promote

Miranda – urban farming

Derrick – Urban farming, growing, growing stuff in your own backyard.

Miranda – All that stuff can help because ironically, things like planting basil and carbon, sequestering, it would take carbon out of the atmosphere. So you like I live in an apartment and I have a balcony, so I’m planting as many herbs and all that sort of stuff as I can because I can use it. Herbs are so expensive in the supermarket and theoretically should be taking carbon in the atmosphere. So it’s kind of like a double, um, double happiness.

Derrick – So is there a website or a place where people can go to kind of get ideas on ways they can modify how they live to be more sustainable?

Miranda – There are so many out there. There is a lot of information. People just start looking at their interest area. I mean, I’ve written articles on it on LinkedIn. I have my own website where I’m, you know, in my social media

Derrick – Whats your website?

Miranda – TravelBunnyblog.com.

Derrick – So you can check that and check that website up. But what should you watch? So I guess just do a Google search on being sustainable living or something like that.

Miranda – Yeah, just stuff.

There is so much. And because you want to you want to find information that’s in your area as well, because the way the things that you can do in Australia or even in my local council area, because they do send recycling practices or that sort of stuff is different because I just spent I spent like six months travelling the world just last year before covid hit.

Derrick – Lucky you.

Miranda – Yeah, lucky me. And I went around having a look at what the sustainable practices are that, you know, the, um. Sorry, the. Like the not just the things that are from a living perspective, but from a travel perspective to what are the practices that are in place and what can you do? And each country was different than some countries were amazing. And even within the U.S., I know it’s very topical right now.

You know, states like Washington State and the Pacific North West where Oregon is, all that stuff. They had amazing like in a restaurant, they would have a bucket for organics for composting, which you can’t get in some places here in Australia, but not everywhere. So that’s why pick find your local information, because there’ll be somebody who’s absolutely passionate like me in the area that’s trying to put that information out there. So I recommend either getting involved local groups or finding the information it’s local to you about what you can do.

Derrick – Are there any, like, big global trusted resource websites like you were saying definitely check local stuff, but what about just ones that are fairly trusted in this space right now?

Miranda – I think there are. But again, it’s going to it’s not going to be one. You know, silver bullet, oh, yes. I’m just saying sustainable living, dotcom, maybe that exists. All right,

Derrick – let’s get it

Miranda – whoever that is. You’re welcome for the traffic lights. But, uh, so, yeah, I can’t think of any off the top of my head. There are more global, but though it’s definitely very industry specific. Yeah. No problems. I mean, if you do come up, anything will add up to the podcast notes.

Derrick – I think we we’re running out of time. So let’s tie this up now because I know that I thought it would be good just to tie it up with what you’ve been doing with you’ve kind of, as you said, come full circle.

And now that you have you told me that you’ve been invited to speak with Accounting Australia whatever, about this subject, about sustainability. Yeah. And I’m curious as to like what sorts of things were you speaking? What did they ask you to speak about and what kinds of things that you share with them?

Miranda – So a lot of the work I’ve been doing the last year has actually been trying to encourage accountants not to leave the profession, but the things that they can do as an accountant, which I didn’t know about when I was, you know, as an accountant, that can help from a sustainability perspective.

Accountants, you know, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England. I think so. The previous governor, he actually said accountants can change the world. And I you know, I believe that because I feel like every individual can change the world, but definitely accountants, because there’s an accountant in every single organisation, people come to them for advice and to give them information to help with their better decision making, most mostly.

So if they put the right information in front of people, you know, they can they they can influence decisions. So some of my work was helping with young charter accountants and showing them like in and speaking about what it is that they can do and how they can be influential in this sense. And the other part of it was I was talking about sustainable business models. So more from more mid career pitched accountants about they’re probably getting a lot of their internal and external stakeholders coming to them, asking them what can they do about the sustainability things that they’ve heard about it.

They don’t know what to do or if they’re in your organisation, how can they transition to a sustainable business model? So it’s incorporated all the things that we’ve been talking about, but there are different models that are out there, but we talking that in that specific webinar we spoke about the future fit model, which is incorporating a lot of the things that we were talking about today.

Derrick – So basically, you’re kind of looking at using the accountants as a network or a mouthpiece to help put this message more in front of people in within the kind of business space.

Miranda – Sure. But it’s even better than that. I feel like they they are in a position to influence change and better decision making.

Derrick – What would be one example of something that you’ve suggested that they could take on to have that effect?

Miranda – Well, the first thing is that they actually have to start having that conversation. They have to first of all, they either if they don’t know anything about it, to start learning a bit more or engage people, you know, engage experts to help them with that. But the first step with any of this stuff is just open the door to communicating, because the thing about sustainability, we can’t do it alone. We it’s definitely a group effort. So you don’t you’re not expected I’m not expected to be the expert in anything in my organization.

Now, even though I’m working for a consultancy, people turn to us for expertise. We can’t know everything. So it’s about finding the solution together, which ironically, is something I learnt at Apple as well. Like you come to an Apple store, right? You expect the person there to know everything about every single product in that. It’s like, no. And they teach you that you can’t know everything. So the catch phrase is always, let’s find out together.

So I feel like, you know, it’s funny how the way things come around and thread through your life, there’s definitely some sort of consistency that comes through. Yeah. With sustainability is totally about let’s find the solution together, but let’s at least start put the conversation out there, put it on the meeting agenda and you’d be surprised. I think I think most times and I’m surprised at how many people coming out of the woodwork because they see that I’m interested in sustainability.

I’ve had so many candidates now connect with me on LinkedIn going, oh, it’s so nice to meet someone else who’s passionate about sustainability issue. What can we do about it? It’s like, well, OK, let’s figure this out together. Yeah. All right.

Derrick – I think that’s a great way that we can finish off this podcast. And certainly you have definitely opened up the conversation about sustainability, definitely up in my mind in terms of what it incorporates and how deep and how many levels there are involved with all of this. So definitely great stuff there. So what are the where can people find you? They can find you at your blog, travel bunny

Miranda – travelbunnyblog.com Instagram. LinkedIn is the same. It’s @TravelBunnyBlog is on Instagram.

Same thing on Twitter, on Facebook, LinkedIn as well. So yeah, on, on my website and my Instagram. You probably see if you’re watching. Um, if not I’m, I’m holding up little hemp scrubbie thing which is made by my friend and completely zero waste and sustainably made and ethically made. So that’s an example of where I’m trying to live.

Derrick – What do you use this for.

Miranda – This is for either exfoliation or you can use it on your body or you can use it to. I wouldn’t recommend doing both with the same one. You can wash your dishes and

Derrick – OK, so it’s like a reusable.

Yes. So this is like better than us because we don’t. Yeah, because I know we use here at home we use this yellow green things.

Miranda – Yeah. Plastic and nylon. And

Derrick – how long is this last as a as a as a washer.

Miranda – So our cousin Lucinda bought one off me in March and it only started falling apart in the end of November. So it lasted for about nine, ten months. Well that’s pretty decent. And that’s where the five person household I had one with a two person household for maybe fifteen months.

Derrick – Wow, that’s great. So you use this to wash dishes? Yes.

Miranda – Yes. And it’s it’s antibacterial. It’s antifungals, so we won’t get any mould growing on it.

Derrick – So even if it’s wet, you leave it there dry on the thing. I won’t no mould,

Miranda – Not because hemp is naturally anti antifungal and it’s and it’s fire resistance like heat resistant as well. I dropped it in our state not on purpose, but dropped it in a steaming hot pan. Then it was burnt and I and after it cooled down, I fished out. Nothing would look like nothing had happened to it at all.

Derrick – Well, this is really cool. How much is something like this. Uh,

Miranda – $17.95. It’s handmade as well. And when you’re done with it you just put it in the compost and if you don’t have a compost, dig a hole in your backyard have just buried it there.

Derrick – OK, that’s great. What do you call this.

Miranda – It’s a hemp dishcloth hemp dishwasher. OK, great. So these are the sort of things you can find my website and I try to give suggestions and examples of what you can do in your own personal life.

If you feel like you can’t do anything more than in your own personal circle, just start with yourself.

Derrick – All right. Fantastic. Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure having you on this podcast. And I certainly look forward to our next conversation, probably more on sustainability, maybe on some other topics, but definitely. Thank you again, for joining me here today,

Miranda – Thanks Derrick.

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Derrick
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2 years ago

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2 years ago

hello

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puravive ratings
4 months ago

It was great seeing how much work you put into it. The picture is nice, and your writing style is stylish, but you seem to be worrying that you should be presenting the next article. I’ll almost certainly be back to read more of your work if you take care of this hike.

Fcaebookkbba
3 months ago

Wow wonderful blog layout How long have you been blogging for you make blogging look easy The overall look of your site is great as well as the content

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Derrick
Derrick
2 years ago

Test

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2 years ago

Testing

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2 years ago
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hello

Dev
2 years ago

hello

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2 years ago

test

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2 years ago
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testing

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2 years ago
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hello

dipjyoti team
Admin
2 years ago

Testting

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2 years ago

update

Dip Jyoti
Dip Jyoti
2 years ago

Test Again….

dipjyoti team
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2 years ago
Reply to  Dip Jyoti

Yes

puravive ratings
4 months ago

It was great seeing how much work you put into it. The picture is nice, and your writing style is stylish, but you seem to be worrying that you should be presenting the next article. I’ll almost certainly be back to read more of your work if you take care of this hike.

Fcaebookkbba
3 months ago

Wow wonderful blog layout How long have you been blogging for you make blogging look easy The overall look of your site is great as well as the content