Sade Bamimore (her), Senior Associate (Consultant II) within the Corporate Sustainability & Climate Change team at ERM, recently published her book, Reinventing systems for a sustainable future. Here she explains what inspired her to become an author, her interest in sustainability and how we can all be sustainability leaders.
My interest in sustainability developed at the age of 19 after taking an introductory environmental science course in college. Through class projects that allowed me to learn more about my carbon footprint, I began to understand how my actions have a systemic impact on the environment and on people around the world. After completing this environmental science course, my passion for sustainability grew even stronger during two semesters abroad in Copenhagen, Costa Rica and Peru. In particular, during my stay in Copenhagen, I first heard about the Chief Sustainability Officers. After learning about the impact they have on their organizations, I was immediately inspired to pursue this role as my dream job.
After graduating from college, I joined a book-writing program called The Creator Institute to start writing a book about sustainability directors and other sustainability leaders who pioneered the profession. of sustainable development. I started writing my book in June 2019 and as part of my research I interviewed over 60 sustainability leaders across all sectors to understand how they define their roles and see what their visions are for their roles. in the future.
Midway through my book-writing journey, I began my role as a Sustainability Strategy and Disclosure Consultant at ERM in September 2020. As a Sustainability Consultant, I was equipped with the tools to implement the sustainability at a tactical level to help drive sustainable systems in businesses. Working at ERM has given me the opportunity to work with sustainability leaders from the world’s largest companies, which has given me a better understanding of what their roles look like on a day-to-day basis.
Writing a book while working full time was one of my most difficult experiences. Working eight hours a day, then rotating to work on my book for several more hours at night – and sometimes until the early hours – every weekday, then continuing to work on my book on the weekends, was mentally and physically exhausting. Although the three years leading up to the publication of my book were extremely difficult, the reward of Reinventing systems for a sustainable future being released in January 2022 outweighs the hard times for me.
ERM has shown their support for my book in several ways. After my book was published by New Degree Press, ERM promoted my book throughout the company and offered to reimburse colleagues in my business unit who had purchased my book. Twice a year, ERM opens an application window for its Global Technical Paper and Publication Award, a company-wide award that recognizes thought leadership and expertise in alignment with ERM’s global strategy. After submitting an application, ERM selected me to receive a Global Technical Paper and Publication Award for promoting thought leadership in sustainability through the publication of my book.
Being a published author is both exciting and daunting. I have a real sense of relief and peace that something I have worked for for so long has been accomplished. Editing is also an extremely vulnerable experience, as I don’t know how the book is going to be perceived by those who read it. But the idea that anyone can access the knowledge shared in my book is incredibly rewarding to me. Achieving the goal of publishing my book and sharing knowledge about sustainability leadership was well worth the challenges.
I hope that by reading Reinventing systems for a sustainable future, readers will gain a deeper awareness of sustainability leadership and discover how their own ecological selves can propel them toward action, servant leadership, and justice. I want people to see this book as an opportunity to engage in systems thinking, escape the bystander effect, seek equity and justice, and learn alongside sustainability leaders l importance of elevating sustainable development. My book includes various insights into what people can do to be full-fledged sustainability leaders, such as being engaging systems thinkers, change management specialists, and influencers without authority.
Sade Bamimore (her) is a Senior Associate (Consultant II) within ERM’s Corporate Sustainability & Climate Change team. Based in New York, Sade has worked with ERM since September 2020. In 2022, she was recognized as a GreenBiz Emerging Leader by GreenBiz Group.