This month we introduce you to Michelle Redfield, Director of Environment and Process Improvement at Schneider Electric, one of the members who helps make our network so unique.
1. Why did you join NAEM?
It was really to expand my professional network beyond my working environment. I think it’s important to get fresh perspectives around environment, health and safety management (EHS) practices. At my level, I see the value a little more in the opportunity to network, benchmark and bounce ideas off from other professionals who are in the same boat.
2. What do you like about your job?
Diversity is the big thing. It’s a big combination of specifics and strategy. It’s a mix of regulatory and management systems and tools. And no two days are ever alike. I really like working in a learning environment and in EHS you’re learning every day about new ways to do things. And I’m kind of a “greenie,” so I do like spending my career focused on something that I really believe in: people and the environment.
3. Has your environmental program received any awards or recognition? If so, what?
In 2009, we won the prestigious Robert W. Campbell Award from the National Safety Council. It recognizes organizations that achieve business excellence by integrating EHS management into their business operating systems.
4. What are your biggest challenges in your current role?
I’d say the two biggest challenges are ongoing change in the form of globalization and mergers and acquisitions. Using EHS to achieve superior environment and safety performance across new geographies is important, as is keeping our EHS systems standardized and leveraged as we continue to grow and change.
Another big challenge is something I see in the future. I see our EHS professionals aging and I think having good succession planning is going to be an ongoing priority.
5. What advice would you have for someone entering the field today?
Be flexible because things seem to be changing and things seem to be changing more quickly. Focus on technical as well as interpersonal growth.
6. What are the three words your spouse/colleagues/best friends would use to describe you?
Straightforward. Positive. Solution-oriented.
7. What aspect to the natural world/environment impresses you the most? Why?
I wouldn’t say a specific animal or a specific geography. What’s cool for me is the whole of it, the interconnectedness of it. That’s what puts me in total awe. It’s so complex and so intelligently designed.