Perspectives on how young people can help energy companies reach Net Zero

A blog by Rain Crowson, Group Marketing & Sales Executive at Alderley

2 March 2022

Last week’s Generation 2050 event titled ‘what do different energy companies bring to net zero?’ provided a range of fascinating insights from a terrific line-up of speakers including Adriana Martins, Junior Data Scientist, Arenko Group, Piotr Konopka, Senior Manager, Energy and Decarbonisation Programmes, DP World, Kevin McCann, Policy Manager, Solar Energy UK, Nigel Pocklington, Chief Executive Officer, Good Energy and Louise Kingham, Senior VP for Europe and Head of Country UK, at BP. 

This special event was part of International Energy Week and brought together senior figures from companies, large and small, to discuss key issues related to Net Zero.

Key takeaways from my side are:

  • Net Zero is an imperative but it is achievable for the UK – the country has an opportunity to lead in this area
  • The greatest challenge of the 21st century is to mitigate climate change as much as possible, but it is also the biggest opportunity. We as a generation can influence how we go about doing that.
  • In the digital industry, if you’re a young professional you can’t find someone with 10 years more experience as you, as the new digital technologies have only just come online or are yet to be invented.  Net Zero is a ‘new world’ with new energy technologies and has a similar feel. It’s a fantastic opportunity to become knowledgeable about the subject area, you won’t find that someone’s done it all before, so there’s a compelling reason to build a career in energy now.
  • Some younger professionals might think big companies have known about the effects of fossil fuels on climate change for decades, yet only recently it’s become bad PR.  Why should you join them as they’ve only just begun to make those Net Zero pledges?  It’s about having the opportunity to be a part of the answer. Large organisations that may seem to be part of the problem are now agents for change.  We must act now and certainly quicker than we are now, and we should now encourage transparency, and challenge where we don’t see the answers coming through.

Attracting young talent to the energy sector

I was particularly encouraged by the conversation on attracting young professionals to the energy sector. As we all know there is a global battle for the best talent across different industries. 

A key point was that young people should choose a company with a good collaborative, working culture, where everyone knows what the objective is and what people are working towards.

While younger and older employees might at times seem as though they are speaking different languages, understanding each other is crucial. Older generations shouldn’t profess to have all the answers!

I enjoyed listening to Louise Kingham who talked at length about the opportunities at BP. She was clear that Net Zero requires everyone to bring something to the table and that collaboration is key. 

Large organisations such as BP offer great prospects for those young people wanting to build a career around Net Zero.  Large companies are appealing as they offer global opportunities mixed with cultural differences and technological challenges.

On the other hand, it was mentioned that smaller companies can sometimes make more disruptive decisions, whereas big firms struggle to make quicker decisions. During my time at Alderley SMS, I’ve certainly seen this first hand. Allowing young professionals to be expressive, and make things happen is one such benefit of smaller firms.

For young energy sector professionals like me, it was worthwhile to be part of the wider Generation 2050 discussion. I’d like to thank the Energy Institute for hosting the event.  Young people have the crucial role in making Net Zero a reality.

If you’d like to learn more about how myself and the Alderley team are working towards a lower carbon future, please get in touch via rain.crowson@alderley.com.

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