Désirée Lucchese

Current employer: Carbon Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), an initiative of CDP

Current job title: Technical Manager

Current location: London

“Be passionate, be curious, be connected. Above all, get involved in initiatives close to your heart and become an advocate for change. The world needs you.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

Following graduation from Plymouth, I started an MSc in European Environmental Policy and Regulation at Lancaster University. Before completing it, I found a job with the Instituut voor Milieu een Systeem Analyse (IMSA), a Dutch strategic consulting firm affiliated to the Club of Rome and Limits to Growth. I was ready to test out the real world and that was a thrilling start! Two years later, my professional path took a series of unpredictable turns and became a truly adventurous journey of new opportunities, learning experiences, and up-swings. My professional experience now ranges from sustainability strategy, carbon management, and business development, to the delivery of renewable energy installations, distributed energy management projects, and green building accreditations. I am a former ESG analyst in responsible investment and an advocate for ethical supply chains.

In my role as technical manager I work towards the adoption in mainstream financial reporting of CDSB’s framework for reporting environmental information and natural capital.

Over the years, I have always been a relentless supporter of both national and international NGOs. Since 2011, I have been an Al Gore Climate Ambassador and I recently joined the Carbon Trust Associate Network.

Has your career path changed since graduation?

By virtue of the broad, at times blurred, definition of ‘sustainability’, my career path has taken numerous forms within my key commitment to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, in any form accessible to me. All temporary setbacks brought me more insight and invaluable experience. All roads lead to Rome.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Despite the often challenging relocations to different countries, the greatest challenge I have faced was the realisation that, as an environmental specialist, I had to fit conventional business models within not fully-fledged policy frameworks. I had to call on my resourcefulness and high level of adaptability to compete for roles. This still remains a challenge, however, I strongly believe that the tide has turned and shared responsibility towards greater social and environmental stability is becoming a reality.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

Participating in, and training for, the Al Gore’s Climate Reality project together with hundreds of other volunteers and future ambassadors across the Asia-Pacific region.

Developing my own brand ‘SHIFTT. Enabling Sustainable Change’ was also a very exciting process.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

I always professed a ‘no regrets’ policy by looking forward and aspiring to further learn and better myself. If there was one thing, it is: I would have sought an internship with a large international company of trusted reputation and possibly built a career within it.

I am, however, very grateful for the outstanding and holistic BSc (Hons) Environmental Science course Plymouth University offered to me! All the field trips we had in the first year of the course were extremely valuable, no matter how cold and drenched we got! Thank you to Plymouth University for inspiring my life path and allowing me to make lifelong friendships.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

Be passionate, be curious, be connected. Above all, get involved in initiatives close to your heart and become an advocate for change. The world needs you.

“True generosity towards the future means giving all to the present”, Albert Camus.

Students sampling dog whelks in Hong Kong