Making PoliNations sustainable with Helen Freudenberg

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Helen Freudenberg, PoliNations Sustainability Consultant

Tell us a bit about your role in PoliNations.

I support the whole team but particularly the sustainability lead in making environmentally sustainable decisions. I advise on and research things from materials for sculptures to energy use for the site and think about the carbon impact of the whole project.

How does sustainability fit into your role?

It is everything! I sleep, eat and breathe sustainability.

What has been the biggest sustainability related surprise for you since starting on PoliNations?

How responsive people are. I was expecting to have to convince people to do the most sustainable thing but if you show people the impact, they are very happy to adapt to make things more sustainable.

What has been the most challenging aspect of trying to be sustainable?

Sometimes society isn't ready for the most sustainable option. It's not always possible to make the most sustainable decision because the systems aren't in place or are not affordable.

What advice would you give to other members of your profession who also want to put sustainability at the heart of what they do?

Go for it! Just get on and do it. We don't have time to be perfect and it’s easy to spend a lot of time dwelling on things rather than actually reducing your environmental impact.

What sustainability initiative are you most excited about for PoliNations?

I'm a data geek so I'm really exciting about measuring the carbon impact of the event.

When I need a boost, where can I get inspired about sustainability?

Positive News - positive global news stories with a social/sustainability slant

If you had a sustainable super power what would it be?

To digest plastic and turn it into something useful.

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PoliNations and Trigger
Trigger, Unit 1.1 Streamline Building, Paintworks, Bristol BS4 3AS
Funded by
HM Government
Northern Ireland Executive
Scottish Government Riaghaltas na h-Alba
Llywodraeth Cymru Welsh Government
Belfast City Council
Cymru Greadigol Creative Wales
Branding and website by Peter & Paul