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Meet our team: Ellen Osborne, Senior Sustainability Consultant

Meet our team: Ellen Osborne, Senior Sustainability Consultant

What are you working on at Rio?

I’m pleased to be working in a consultancy capacity with a number of public and private organisations. I’ll mostly be keeping up with the latest ESG reporting and disclosure requirements, becoming a trusted advisor to our clients leveraging my background in forestry and water management. I look forward to building that knowledge into the Rio Platform.

Why and how did you get into sustainability?

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when I got into sustainability as it feels like forever, but one of my earliest memories was all the way back in school. We were learning about the atmosphere and Greenhouse Gases, and the teacher rolled the television into the classroom, which only ever meant a good thing - we’re watching a movie! The room was a buzz of excitement, but then ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ came on and the buzz quickly fizzled out. For those that haven’t seen it, it’s a ‘sci-fi’ movie about the planet plunging into an Ice Age. I could see the scary similarities between the abnormally large hail storms in the movie and what was being reported in the news.
So, on reflection, I guess environmental anxiety has brought me here! I went on to study Geography at university before securing various sustainability focused roles in the public, private, and charity sectors. I love all things nature and am passionate about minimising our impact on the planet.

What have been the projects you’re most proud of in the past?

Probably the i-Tree Project I worked on whilst at Trees for Cities, a UK charity working with local communities to plant more trees in their neighbourhood. The project was all about quantifying and applying a monetary value to the carbon storage and ecosystem services provided by Ealing’s trees. It felt good to be a cog in the system making an economic case for trees.

What subjects are you most passionate about in your work?

Trees have got to be my passion. Trees are endlessly brilliant - storing carbon, providing wildlife, improving air quality, reducing flood risk, enhancing health and well-being, providing food and bringing communities together. It’s a shame we can't solve the climate crisis with trees alone.

What do you hope to see come out of COP26?

I hope COP26 generates a renewed sense of urgency and commitment to making real positive change internationally. It might sound perverse to say, but I’m glad COP26 was delayed by a year as the environmental destruction that swept the world in 2020 (the wildfires in US and Siberia, floods in Europe and China, and Typhoons in the Philippines just to name a few) really proved no nation is safe from the climate crisis and global united action is required.

What do you get up to outside of work?

I try to spend lots of time with friends and family, or getting out and walking the dog. A favourite pastime is cooking and eating Chinese food, especially dim sum and Szechuan. If you’re local to North London you must try Xi’an Impression and Kaki, and if you’re not, they’re worth the trip!

Want to hear more about Rio and how our team can support your sustainability journey? Get in touch.