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Getting to know... Aoife Hutton

A blog post by Aoife Hutton

Aoife Hutton
Climate Change Officer

Posted 11/06/2020

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This is the first in our series of 'getting to know' blog posts. In these we will talk to those who work for our charity to find out a little bit more about what they do and how they came to work with us.

In this post, we meet our Climate Change Officer, Aoife Hutton.

 

When did you start work at Keep Scotland Beautiful and what does your role involve?

I first joined Keep Scotland Beautiful two years ago, working on the marine and coastal side of our charity’s work. I co-ordinated our Beach Awards scheme and My Beach, Your Beach – a campaign to reduce beach litter and help improve bathing water quality.

In September last year a role came up in our climate change team. This was a really exciting opportunity as responding to climate change is big motivator for me. I got the job and from there have been developing our climate emergency training for organisations and businesses to support them to respond to the climate emergency. This is a really rewarding part of our work – to see ambitions and ideas translate into real tangible emission reductions.

I also work with hospitality and tourism establishments – like hotels, B&Bs, and visitor attractions, to help support best practice in sustainability through the international Green Key eco-label accreditation.

 

What does your typical day look like?

Like many, I usually start with a coffee and some emails. We get lots of enquiries from organisations and businesses wanting to know more about climate emergency training and I’ll arrange some meetings to discuss the best solutions and approach for different clients.

I’ll spend some time developing content – ensuring our training materials meet the needs of different audiences and remain up to date and engaging. At the moment, this involves developing online training resources and mapping the best digital solutions to deliver our training.

Whether we deliver our training online or in-person, we use a mix of training techniques allowing learners to discuss climate problems and solutions. We know that the causes of climate change are rooted in systemic issues of inequality, and its solutions are highly intertwined with people’s lives. This means that creating space for discussions is a really important part of facilitating good training.

I’m mostly office based, but a usual week also involves some travel to meet with partners, deliver training or visit sites. I am looking forward to visiting Green Key applicants later this year in order to audit these hotels and venues for environmental sustainability.

 

What are you working on right now?

At the moment, I am working on developing bespoke Carbon Literacy training programmes for several organisations. Carbon Literacy training can be seen as a ‘101’ on climate change, which gives learners the relevant information: what is climate change and how do we know it’s a problem, and what can be done to tackle it. We want to make climate change education available for everyone: knowledge catalyses the changes we need to make to transition to a low carbon Scotland.

 

What are your hopes for Scotland’s climate?

I am excited for the ‘co-benefits’ of climate action: building a fairer, more sustainable society. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2019 commits Scotland to net-zero emissions by 2045. Many of the big changes we need to make to reduce emissions, will improve the quality of life for people. Imagine a vision for Scotland where homes are warm and insulated, fuel poverty is an issue of the past, there is clean air in cities, public transport is reliable and accessible, people have access to affordable healthy local food. There is lots of good ahead if we all get on board.

 

How can people get in touch if they are interested in the support you offer or want to find out more?

To find out more, get in touch with me at aoife.hutton@keepscotlandbeautiful.org

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