Meet April Sotomayor, Sustainability Consultant for the Investors in the Environment (iiE) East region.
A. I am responsible for delivering iiE in the East region, and this includes everything from environmental management training, auditing, and accreditation. I support businesses and organisations to implement resource efficiency measures, helping them to demonstrate significant cost, carbon and resource reductions.
In my role, I also work closely with the other regional iiE branches to provide support, quality assurance, and collaborative projects for members.
Q. Why did you first get interested in the environment and when?
A. I took the American A-level equivalent of Biology in high school and my teacher, Mr Grembowsky, completely inspired me. He gave me my first experience in water quality monitoring of a local river. We would dredge up samplings of invertebrates – it was fascinating to see all of that life unexpectedly living under the sediments of the river and find out that their diversity was an indication of the health of the stream overall.
Years later, through a career change, I pursued training via the Sierra Club to become a volunteer QA/QC assessor and coordinator for Adopt-a-Stream. I worked with three different volunteer groups involving two countries and four rivers.
Q. What is your professional background?
A. With over 12 years’ experience working on a range of sustainability issues with businesses, communities, and schools, I have supported more than 60 organisations to improve their resource efficiency and environmental performance. In addition to this, I have organised a number of large-scale events, including the Peterborough Green Festival – one of the UK’s largest and longest running environmental events.
I am proud to have achieved a Master of Science Honors Environmental Management and am an Associate member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and an Affiliate of the Energy Managers Association (EMA).
Q. If you weren’t working for iiE what would your dream job be?
A. Travelling the world as a mentee of David Attenborough.
Q. What’s the best thing about helping businesses become greener?
A. It’s rewarding to see measurable success in carbon reduction, but from a personal standpoint, I really enjoy getting to know all of our iiE green champions and seeing them get inspired to do more for their communities and local environment through fun and sometimes touching projects.
Q. Biggest challenge?
A. Changing behaviours of the unengaged.
Q. Greatest success/achievement you are most proud of?
A. I think my strength is linking people, ideas, and projects together. As such, it’s hard to lay claim to any one thing I’m most proud of because some of the biggest achievements I’ve been part of were done through me rather than by me. From water quality improvement to local food education to seeding sustainable communities – it’s all been great work with achievements made as part of a team.
I’m very proud of being a part of PECT (the environmental charity that launched iiE) over the years and the amazing projects we take part in – from helping to make our way of life sustainable, to improving the lives of people in poverty who are made worse off by unsustainable practices.
But from a personal perspective, I’m most proud of my two girls
Q. What superhero power would you have?