Shannon West

Sustainability Operations Senior Manager
Verizon

How is your job related to climate and/or sustainability?

My role on Verizon’s Sustainability Team is focused on “Green Operations”. We are responsible for emissions reporting, sustainability metrics tracking, and third party verification of our key public goals. Our focus goes beyond energy and emissions and includes things like reforestation and conservation, water reduction, and e-waste recycling.

What training was particularly important to enabling your work?

My work in sustainability is more technical in nature. My background is in audit, data analytics and synthesis, systems administration, and quality assurance. This past experience while not specific to sustainability have proven valuable toward our work with data management and third party verifications. I am continuing to expand my education and formal training in audit and GHG emissions accounting. These skills further our efforts with outside organizations to complete external validation/audit, create SBTs, and drive supplier engagement. Sustainability is a true multi-disciplined role.

What advice do you have for people looking for careers in climate and/or sustainability? 

There are many different paths to arrive at a career in sustainability. A formal degree in climate or sustainability is not necessarily required. At Verizon, our success has involved many varied organizations across the company including engineering, real estate, finance, audit, legal, and IT. Each organization brings different strengths and influences to our efforts. So my advice would be to follow your passion in your professional career, and look for ways to intersect with sustainability.