Dr Liz Shepherd specialises in sustainability and wellbeing with a particular interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Liz works with Cartrefi Conwy to improve their overall sustainability and improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock as a means of addressing fuel poverty and improving quality of life for tenants. Liz is also Bangor University’s Campus Environmental Performance Team’s Energy and Water Co-ordinator. She is resolutely positive towards a transformative future, and we talk about what that would take.
The sustainability as “less bad”, without “more good” is not enough. The world requires a significant change, sustainability has to more revolutionary than that.
We need a transformative level change
The future is bleak without significant change, we’re kidding ourselves with little changes.
Pessimism not a good place to promote change
Nudge and use choice architectures, you should not police
Sustainable: Sustainability is about ensuring that the way we live currently doesn’t have excessive negative impacts on the environment and the people that have to live in it. Mindful interaction
Success: Writing the sustainability strategy for the Cartrefi Conwy and having it being approved by the board without any need for revision. Another personal achievement was getting a food waste recycling system implemented in the Cartrefi Conwy, which dramatically reduced the amount of food waste going to the landfill.
Superpower: I’d like to think that I am enthusiast and I can make other people enthusiast and things that they weren’t previously enthusiast about, including food waste. (as well as making an awesome cake!)
Activist: No, well I am, but not as much as I think I should be.
Motivation: I believe in the work that we do here, I really enjoy working with the people and meeting and enthusing previously unenthusiastic people, getting people interested in sustainability.
Challenges: Definitely taking on the environmental and energy management for the university, it is a big change for how the university on a whole has managed its environmental impacts. On a personal level it’s not something that i’ve done on such a large scale before, so I see a lot of opportunity for improvement.
Miracle: Firstly, Make everyone vegetarian. Secondly, find a infinite fuel for everything that we currently use that doesn’t release carbon into the atmosphere and isn’t nuclear.
Advice: Always keep trying no matter what happens, and try and stay positive!
This conversation was made with help of the Sustainability Lab at the Bangor University.