This month we introduce you to Ryan McMullan, EHS Programs Administrator, Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., one of the members who helps make our network so unique.
Why did you join NAEM?
I wanted to have the opportunity to chat with very smart folks doing what I'm doing in other companies. I really appreciate the annual Forum for that opportunity.
What are currently working on?
Developing EHS training, our environmental report, greenhouse gas inventory, and our long-term environmental strategy.
What do you like about your job?
Every day I get to live my values of environmental protection, while working with great people at a great company. I get to work for the “good guys”.
Has your environmental program received any awards or recognition? If so, what?
We were just recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the WasteWise Large Business Partner of the Year. It recognizes the efforts of thousands of our people creatively reducing waste and recycling throughout the year.
What is your biggest challenge in your current role?
Managing the competition between compliance-driven environmental activities (such as regulatory training or audits) and beyond-compliance sustainability activities (like recycling or greenhouse gas reductions). Both are critical but people tend to think one is more important and discount the other.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
I was hired by Toyota to improve the recycling programs here. I've since expanded my role and branched out into other areas, but the ground work, teaching, and culture development I did have combined with Toyota's focus on continuous improvement to sustain the program long after I had the time to really push it. From the work of thousands of people here, it has become an example that I'm proud to share with others (and that was recognized by the US EPA WasteWise program).
What advice would you have for someone entering the field today?
Take some 2-3 day workshops on different topics like auditing, management systems, creating training, delivering training, occupational safety, etc. These workshops can give you some good insight into different facets of the industry so you can see what you like and round out your options. Don't neglect the importance of creating good EHS training – if you can develop a good skill set in adult learning and instructional design, you will make a bigger difference and teach important subjects more effectively.
What are the three words your spouse/colleagues/best friends would use to describe you?
After a short survey the ones that came up the most were: patient, strategic, teacher.
What aspect to the natural world/environment impresses you the most? Why?
I love the near-endless variety that nature shows us. Just when we think we have it all cataloged and named, something surprises us.
What do you like to do during your free time?
I like to build Legos with my son, play games with my friends and family, and raise fruits and vegetables in my organic garden.