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Q&A with new elected director: Jessica Ferrow

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Jessica Ferrow was elected by Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s members to join the CIC’s board of directors this May for the next two years. Elections from the membership have been held annually since 2016. In this blog, she answers a few questions about her experience and ideas for the Partnership. You can see other CIC directors here.

Hello, I’m Jessica Ferrow, and I’m really happy to join the board of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC as elected director.

What do you do for work?

I’m a self-employed sustainability consultant – specialising in business strategy and communications. I’m lucky to have worked with some really great organisations over the last few years. I recently helped Ella’s Kitchen to build their sustainability strategy, and I worked with Pukka on their sustainability report that’s just come out. And I’ve also just launched a podcast with the brilliant Livvy Drake which is an amusing foray into the daily dilemmas we all face when trying to live sustainably. It’s called Woke & Confused – give it a listen!

How long have you been involved in the Bristol Green Capital Partnership?

For several years now. Back in 2015, when working at Low Carbon South West I set up and ran Go Green – the business programme for Bristol’s year as European Green Capital – and we worked really closely with the members of the Partnership to do this. I wrote all the content for the tool – an ‘off the peg’ sustainability strategy that more than 1,000 businesses used. Unfortunately, Go Green is no longer running, but in writing the tool I built up a rich mental map of stuff going on in this amazing city. With new things cropping up all the time it’s hard to keep up, but being a member of the Partnership is a great way to keep a finger on the pulse.

Why were you interested in the director role?

Well, to me the Partnership is all about connecting and inspiring people to build a sustainable future, which is what I think I was put on this planet to do.

I’m really excited that part of my role as non-exec director is about overseeing the Spark Forum – a member-led initiative which I’ve been involved with since the very beginning. Members can come together at these events and make a short pitch to fellow members for support, connections or advice.

We’ve had two Spark Forum events since we set it up in November 2018, and the response has been amazing. We’ve heard a range of wild and brilliant ideas from building mini-nature reserves in schools all around Bristol to planting living walls under air conditioning units around the city and scaling a local plant-based Tiger mylk delivery service. 96% of people who came said they’d recommend it to a friend or co-worker. The next event is on 26 September at Triodos Foundation – put it in your diaries!

What are you looking forward to in the next two years?

With everything that’s been going on recently, the IPCC 12 year climate warning, Greta Thunberg and the school strikes, Extinction Rebellion and the climate emergency, after a decade I’ve spent working in the sustainability field it finally feels like the world is waking up.

I see the Bristol Green Capital Partnership as an amazing lever for change in these turbulent times. There’s already so much going on in Bristol, and to me it’s about making use of those pre-existing structures and networks and maximising their potential.

What I’m really interested in now is how we step up as a society and as a city to meet our ambitions to become zero waste and carbon neutral by 2030. There’s a lot of work to do and I’m excited to get stuck in.

How can people get in touch?

I’ll be at most of the Green Mingles (except the one in June!) so do come and say hello. Or you can contact me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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