Louise Marix Evans
BA (Hons) Modern Arabic Studies
Director, Quantum Strategy & Technology Ltd
How are you helping to tackle the climate crisis?
My work links national policy with local delivery – working with local authorities and organisations supporting them to act on the climate crisis in practical ways. I also lobby and produce research and guidance on powers local authorities have to tackle climate change for UK100, IPPR and the Climate Change Committee.
How did you get to where you are now?
After working at Amnesty International and Mines Advisory Group (NGOs) where I used my Arabic, I worked briefly at Business in the Community then moved into a corporate to work on Corporate Social Responsibility. Following that I was a freelance consultant on ethical business for charities and companies including work on women workers rights in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and India. A link from a communications company I worked with to my current organisation, Quantum Strategy and Communications to lead climate change workshops with councils in the North West of England led me to joining the consultancy where I have been ever since, working on renewable energy, community energy, local authority climate mitigation and adaptation and service design and green finance on innovation projects. I became a Trustee of Ashden Climate Solutions three years ago. I have also done two contracts for the Climate Change Committee on local authorities and the sixth carbon budget and on local climate action. I have a really varied role, and am now also a spokesperson on climate change for the New Economy Organisers Network doing radio and TV interviews on climate change.
What do you do as part of your role?
I work hands on with local authorities to support them in reducing emissions and adapting to climate impacts, at both a strategic and project level. I deliver innovation projects aiming to unlock scalable solutions to heat decarbonisation and building retrofit. I conduct research with a focus on how to actually deliver emissions cuts in practice and provide insights to NGOs and local authority organisations, as well as academics and government, MPs etc to help change policy. I sit on various advisory groups at the national and local level to inform policy and practice. I also deliver training, for example, Green Finance training with Adept and CIPFA for local authorities.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the variety of what I do, contact with people whether that’s officers and councillors at local authorities, running workshops on Service Design and carrying out research and interviewing people. I also enjoy speaking at events and panels and chairing events. Best is when something happens because of my work and when it seems government is listening. Seeing action in communities and councils, businesses and universities gives me hope – as does being a judge in the Ashden Awards – seeing solutions for the climate challenge happening in practice.
What advice would you give to University of Leeds students wanting to pursue a similar career?
Say yes to opportunities; ask questions (there is no such thing as a stupid question) especially about technical jargon – we all need to understand the solutions to climate change and be able to communicate it clearly; don’t get bogged down in your spreadsheets and speak to real people – technology and funding won’t get us there without people being involved in the solutions. Also, get a mentor – I mentor a couple of people and learn as much from them as they do from me. Lastly – we need more diversity in this sector so support a wide range of people to get involved and say yes to speaking on panels and at events and challenge all male, all white and all able panels and ask for more diverse speakers and representation in governance – we have to foster diversity in the sector to succeed.
Are there any resources that you would recommend to individuals interested in pursuing a climate-related career?
The free Women4Climate Leadership online course from C40 Cities is for everyone not just women – I co-wrote weeks 3 and 4 and it’s very useful.
Check out Natural England, Wildlife Link and Full Colour’s report ‘Changing the World from Within – understanding what is helping and hindering the environmental sector from becoming more ethnically diverse’.