This month we introduce you to Justin Zimmerman, EHS Professonal for Caterpillar Inc., one of the members who helps make our network so unique.
Why did you join NAEM?
I joined NAEM to leverage the EHS experience and expertise of others in the EHS community. Originally coming from the waste industry, I have a strong background in land regulations, but I knew I had some work to do in familiarizing myself with air, water and other pertinent environmental regulations. One of the tools I found that I could use to gain more knowledge was membership in NAEM.
What are you currently working on?
I currently work in Caterpillar’s Global Environmental Affairs department, and my primary responsibility is gathering and reporting on all of Caterpiller’s environmental metrics from our facilities around the world. As we prepare for 2012, I am currently setting my 2012 job goals, assisting in revising our metrics white papers, working to ensure continued data accuracy and preparing for external communications of our metrics data.
What do you like about your job?
I really like working in Caterpillar’s global headquarters. My job offers me exposure to all of our facilities around the world. It also allows me to assist with a variety of projects that I might not otherwise have exposure to if I were just working in one of our facilities. My position requires a mix of project driven work, as well as steady work, so I like the variety.
What is your biggest challenge in your current role?
My biggest challenge right now is managing the sheer amount of data that comes in each month from our facilities around the world. It is a very labor-intensive process, but I hope to work with our systems group next year to see if we can make our metrics reporting process more efficient.
What advice would you have for someone entering the field today?
My advice would be to get all the experience you can – job shadow and take advantage of the experience that is available to you from others in your company, or in the industry. And be flexible, because the environmental field is constantly changing and adapting as new regulations and information become available.
What are the three words your spouse/colleagues/best friends would use to describe you?
Determined, honest, leader
What aspect to the natural world/environment impresses you the most? Why?
I am not someone that often gets caught up in the aesthetics and beauty of the natural world, but I am in awe of how complex and seamlessly created everything is, and how is all works and fits together.
What do you like to do during your free time?
I like to go tandem bike riding with my wife, take our golden retriever for walks, play the guitar, DIY projects on our fixer-upper house, and hope that someday the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series…maybe next year.