Our former colleague and Integrated Business Planning consultant Marisa Seth shares how she was able to bring her commitment for social issues to CAMELOT and pursue her passion for travel alongside her consulting career. The creation of our CAMELOT Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Council results from her drive to put sustainability into action.
Marisa joined CAMELOT as a master’s student and has followed a remarkable career path in consulting within five years. Along the way, she has never given up her social commitment and her urge to travel. Marisa shares her motivation and experiences:
Social Responsibility: Everyone Can Make a Difference
The issue of sustainability and social commitment is so complex. Nowadays, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, not knowing where to start and often feeling blocked or powerless. I decided early on that I didn’t want to just let things happen but would like to make my own contribution by taking small steps. The 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) serve as my orientation. I am firmly convinced that together – and by that, I mean politics, business, and society –, we can make a difference. The SDGs give you a goal and the feeling that you are working together on something big and that you are not alone.
Not only for me personally, but also for CAMELOT I had and still have visions, because as a company you have a lot of leverage. So, I went to our CEO Dr. Josef Packowski with these 17 SDGs and discussed some ideas with him. He immediately had an open ear for these ideas. The entire management was behind it from day one and gave me the opportunity to build up the CSR area at CAMELOT.
Corporate Social Responsibility is now an integral part of CAMELOT’s DNA
As a CSR team, we set out to implement the first projects quickly. One was a social sabbatical program to give all employees the opportunity for social engagement without barriers. Secondly, we installed drinking fountains in our offices to reduce plastic waste, and also more than 20 tons of CO2 annually.
To analyze our company’s carbon footprint and find ways to operate more sustainably, an interdisciplinary team within CAMELOT got together and initiated a project focused on analyzing, designing, and implementing measures to reduce the carbon footprint. In workshops, we collected ideas for savings measures. We validated the acceptance of the proposed measures using surveys throughout CAMELOT. The biggest drivers of our emissions are business travel and commuting to work. Appropriate solutions such as introducing a travel policy for fewer short-haul flights, hybrid delivery of projects (virtual & on-site) in the new Flex Work model, and a switch to an electric vehicle fleet in the near future met widespread approval across the organization. With these and many other smaller initiatives, we plan to reduce our carbon emissions by approximately 50 percent per employee by 2026. We are currently working on external certification of our carbon emissions via Southpole for 2019 and 2020. The emissions identified will be offset by investing in climate protection projects, so that we are considered “carbon neutral”. But that’s not enough for us: the goal is to emit as few emissions as possible while striving for sustainable growth.
CSR: not only looking inward, but also outward
From the very beginning, it was important for us that we not only act within the organization, but also use our expertise as digital innovators and supply chain experts for sustainable purposes. For example, we participated in the Climathon and supported participating teams on the topic ‘Circular Economy’ as a business expert.
Climathon is a year-round program with a hackathon at its core that translates climate action solutions into tangible projects, supports climate-friendly businesses and startups, and seeks local policy change.
CAMELOT received feedback for being one of only a handful of companies committed to impactful ideas and sustainability.
Three ideas and prototypes were developed by 17 participants on our Circular Economy theme. One of these three teams won a prize with our Business Challenge and made it into the global competition. It received financial support and mentoring from the organizing committee to continue the project for a year.
Work-life-purpose balance with a consulting career? Definitely!
CAMELOT has supported me as an employee in integrating my passion for sustainability into my professional life – both in the CSR team and during my regular sabbatical phases. These sabbaticals have always been very important for me to internalize that many things that are status-quo for me in Germany in my private and professional life are not so for others. After each time-out, I always looked forward to my consulting job again. In short, these times gave me a lot – energy, experience and understanding.
Iran, Turkmenistan and Mongolia: 20,000 km with a camper van
A good friend I met during my master thesis time at CAMELOT asked me if I wanted to drive his camper van from Mongolia back to Germany. I thought: A very good idea – time for a new adventure!
The most exciting experience on this trip was the hike to the highest mountain in Iran, the Damāwand, which is 5,600m high. There I reached my limits both physically and mentally. Overall, Iran was a special country for me. I have never experienced more hospitable people. And the best barter of my life was an Iranian sim card, which I traded for a giant pumpkin.
The biggest learning was how important it is to get completely involved in foreign situations and not to take anything we know from Germany for granted. For example, we spent entire days at border crossings and had to endure complicated entry procedures that were incomprehensible to us. The ease with which we can cross borders in Europe is a true gift.
At CAMELOT, your voice counts – you can make a difference
On an interpersonal level, it has been exciting for me to experience that every voice counts at CAMELOT. CAMELOT always has an ear for you if you want to contribute your ideas. My needs were supported so that I could combine the balance between an interesting and versatile job with my private, social commitment. If you are looking for something like this, CAMELOT is the place to be!
Thank you, Marisa! We wish you and your family all the best for the future! We are very sure that you will still move a lot.