Meet the Members: Jessica Ferrow
This week we caught up with Jessica Ferrow, sustainability strategy and communications consultant. Her ambition? To bring ‘activism into the boardroom’.
We talk Stephen King, the ecological crisis, Doc Martens and Jessica’s top tips for reducing your carbon footprint.
Can you tell us what you do and what an average working day looks like?
I’m the co-founder of climate impact agency, Twelve, we help purpose-led businesses respond to the climate and ecological crisis. My work is all about bringing activism to the board room – challenging and supporting leaders to think boldly and creatively about how to change their business models and get to net zero emissions as fast as possible. I also do a fair bit of pro-bono work in Bristol around the city-level climate ambitions, and I mentor young women who want to get into sustainability careers via a great organisation called Catalyse Change.
My days are super varied. One minute I’m working with specialists to calculate the lifecycle impact of packaging, the next, I’m delivering a board-level presentation or facilitating a strategy sprint workshop. I used to visit my clients in person regularly – I put a special no-fly clause in my contract with my Belgian client, so I would only take the train and Eurostar – but I’m on Zoom calls a lot these days.
What are you watching/reading at the moment?
I’m reading The Stand by Stephen King and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. It’s a post-apocalyptic thriller about a pandemic – much more dramatic than the one we’re living through! It’s flawlessly written with some incredible characters. I can’t put it down, literally thinking about it now and when I can read the next chapter!
What kit/tools can you not live without?
A bit of a weird one but I’d have to say my trusty Doc Martens. I always wear them, so I can get out into nature whatever the weather. They remind me to stay true to myself and do things in my style – even when I’m in board meetings with people in suits. I absolutely could not live without them.
To be honest, all my projects excite me - I wouldn’t be working on them otherwise!
Anything you’re working on at the moment that’s exciting you?
To be honest, all my projects excite me – I wouldn’t be working on them otherwise! I’m doing a project for Unilever which is cool because they are so massive and I just helped create an Ecological Emergency Strategy for Bristol, the first of its kind in the UK. I’m also advising one of Europe’s fastest growing scale-ups who want to become the world’s most sustainable pet food company – that’s really exciting!
What top tips can you offer to people or businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable?
People, if you haven’t already done it, switch your home energy to renewable. It’s often a similar price and takes five minutes, so there is really no excuse. Especially if you’re working from home these days. Stop reading this and switch to Good Energy or Ecotricity now! Beyond that, discovering the joys of flight free-travel and eating more plant-based foods are the next best things you can do.
Businesses should look into certifying as a B Corp, it’s an incredible blueprint for how to run a business sustainably.
Essentially, it’s all about being curious and educating yourself. Watch documentaries, read articles and follow people on social media who are talking about the big issues. To be honest,
I think a lot of people actually know what they need to do, they just need to do it. Set a goal, set a timeline and get it done.
Where’s your favourite place to eat in Bristol?
Root would have to be my top pick. It’s so special to be able to get locally-sourced, seasonal food prepared in such a creative way with veg front and centre. It has a lovely warm and casual ambience too.
Why did you choose to join Gather Round?
I’ve lived in Southville for about 8 years, so when I spotted Gather Round opening at the end of my road I couldn’t believe my luck. I’ve never looked back – awesome concept, beautiful space, great people 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Jessica! If you want to find out more about Jessica’s sustainability strategy and communications business, check out Twelve! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to meet our other lovely members.