Emma Keller, Head of Sustainability UK and Ireland
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/ Career conversations

Career Conversations: ‘How I became Head of Sustainability at Nestlé’

What’s it like to be Head of Sustainability at a huge company like Nestlé UK and Ireland?

To mark Earth Day 2022, we’ve been speaking to the woman who holds that role, Dr Emma Keller.

Emma started out doing a biology degree at Imperial College London but, by her own admission, “was useless in a laboratory”.

She says that’s when she realised she was “much more interested in the bigger picture, the systems-change piece”.

After doing a Masters in Environmental Technology, she went on to get a PhD in Environmental Strategy and Sustainable Systems at the University of Surrey.

So, is studying an environmental subject the key to landing a job like Head of Sustainability at a multinational conglomerate such as Nestlé?

Not so, says Emma: “We need a whole wealth of different talents and skills. There are lots of ways to get into this space.”

Listen to the full episode to find out how Emma rose to the top of her profession – including successful stints at Unilever and the WWF – what she loves most about her role, and how she once got to work alongside Sir David Attenborough.

We also reveal where you can go to learn and what you can expect to earn if you would like to follow in Dr Emma Keller’s footsteps.

Dr Emma Keller, Head of Sustainability, Nestlé UK & Ireland

Emma is Head of Sustainability for Nestlé UK&I, focussing on delivering the ambitious net-zero climate commitment and driving the business to be a force for good.

Prior to joining Nestlé, Emma led a team at WWF on food system transformation and before that was in Unilever’s sustainability team working on bringing the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to life.

She also holds a doctorate in supply chain sustainability.

Useful links

The Nestlé Academy – apprenticeship scheme

Nestlé Graduate Programme

The Open University Course – Enterprise and the Environment

The International Institute for Environment and Development – jobs and placements

Hubbub.org.uk – information about sustainability, including jobs and paid work placements

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