This month we introduce you to Shannon Tyndall-Mundy, North America Environmental Manager at Novelis, one of the members who helps make our network so unique.
Why did you join NAEM?
NAEM seems like a good network of individuals and companies that align with our company goals to reduce environmental risk, achieve our sustainability goals, and identify potential resources.
What are you currently working on?
Novelis currently has a goal to obtain zero landfill globally by 2020, increase recycle input content to 80 percent reducing the GHG and carbon footprint, and reduce our water use intensity by 25 percent. In North America, we have several projects in place to support the overall global Novelis sustainability strategy. The biggest focus project in my role is finding zero landfill solutions in North America.
What do you like about your job?
I love the environmental project opportunities and the diversity in the projects that I work on. Novelis has a strong team of environmental professionals that are driven to achieve the same goal to improve our performance, support the business, as well as protect the environment. The best part about my job is people and working with the team to achieve the same goals that support the overall business strategy.
Has your environmental program received any awards or recognition? If so, what?
2012 American Metal Market Environmental Responsibility and Stewardship Award
2011 New York CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity Business of the Year
2011 "The Return on Environment Award" from General Electric Co.
What is your biggest challenge in your current role?
Currently the company is working to harmonize the business globally in every category including environment, health and safety (EHS). While this effort will reap strong benefits in the end, the process to get there has its unique set of challenges.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
As a mother of three children ages 5 and under, I most proud of my ability to balance work and career. Recently I obtained my MBA in Engineering and Technology during the time between my second and third child. I have a strong passion for Environmental responsibility, so my free time is filled family time that includes looking for opportunities influence others to recycle or reuse. This makes the balance much easier if what I do at work is also equally important at home and in the community.
What advice would you have for someone entering the field today?
It is important you have a passion for the work you do. If you believe in the career you pursue, it is a less work and more fun and engaging. It is so easy to gain environmental experience and make sustainability a part of your daily life if it is something you believe in. In the end, employers are looking for someone who has passion to take the company to the next level. Many people are looking for a job, but not every candidate has passion for their career.
What are the three words your spouse/colleagues/best friends would use to describe you?
Driven. Passionate. Independent.
What aspect to the natural world/environment impresses you the most? Why?
Nature has an uncanny ability to naturally clean up the disasters that man creates over time if man does not continue to degrade the area. A prime example would Chernobyl. According the environmental historian John Perkins, who has studied the site, today there is wildlife such as bald eagles, bears, and wolves inhabiting the restricted zone. This is largely due to the ecosystem starting to naturally recover without the presence of man in the restricted area. After visiting the site multiple times, John Perkin's interpretation is, "That humans are more dangerous than radiation." While the disaster remains to be devastating to human health and future environmental impacts loom, I am so impressed with the way nature has this ability to heal itself over time if left alone.
What do you like to do during your free time?
I love to spend time with family attending and watching sports events (primarily UGA football), volunteer service, and being an influence to the community.