WasteMinz CEO Marion Short
Marion Short is the CEO of the Waste Management Institute of New Zealand (WasteMinz). WasteMinz are an incorporated not-for-profit organisation that seeks to bring all the different interest groups together to “enable the achievement of an environmentally and economically sustainable waste minimisation strategy for New Zealand.” You can read more about what they do here. Below are Marion’s answers to our Green Collar Job questions.
1. What do you do to live more sustainably (with a low impact) in your life?
We do all the usual good things at home and also try to buy well – a sort of smart shopping philosophy: buy quality (and environmentally friendly products) so that they last longer and also items that have less packaging.
2. How do you live more sustainably at work?
At WasteMINZ we live and breathe our environmental policy in everything we do. Plus I also try to work from home during peak travel times so I can be both more effective and minimise the time I spend driving my car and adding to Auckland’s traffic congestion. The time saving for me is slightly over an hour a day (unbelievable)!
3. What do you think is the biggest environmental issue we need to deal with in Christchurch/New Zealand?
I still believe there is a lack of understanding and action in regards to living in a more environmentally manner. This requires a significant attitude shift by individuals, communities and industry. We need to encourage people to make that change now and preserve our beautiful country and the value of New Zealand as a brand.
4. What makes you smile?
I smile and laugh alot – I guess I enjoy the little things and am an optimist by nature. I love taking my dog for a walk – he is always so thrilled. I love sitting down to a big family dinner – my husband is one of six boys and family is really important to us. I love the huge hugs from my boys who are both over 6 foot tall. And I love results – when you look around and you say – wow that is done – great job!
5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People throwing rubbish out of their cars, or just leaving it behind – what is up with that!
6. What is your favourite colour and why?
I love orange – I think because it is so bright and happy – you can’t feel miserable wearing orange.
7. Do you have a favourite place in the world? Describe why?
My favourite place is with my family and closest friends, enjoying their company, great New Zealand food and a glass of fantastic New Zealand wine (either a chardonnay or a pinot noir). Hopefully it is a sunny day (I live in Auckland – so that doesn’t always happen) and we have a nice shady spot to sit and tell each other all our news.
8. What’s your connection to the Sustainable Initiatives Fund Trust?
Sift are members of WasteMINZ and we share linkages in a network focused on great good outcomes!
9. Do you remember your favourite teacher and why they were your favourite?
My favourite and first teacher was my Dad and to this day he remains my favourite teacher. Growing up we had a saying ‘it can’t be that hard’ which was always said as we plunged into difficult and exciting projects and journeys. I think I was only 8 years old when Dad let me paint the VW combi van that he restored – so I always felt he had so much faith in my abilities to give something a go and not completely bugger it up. I hope I am teaching my children that lesson.
10. What do you want to leave behind?
I want to leave happy memories, I want to have made a difference in people’s lives and I want my children to grow up happy, healthy and strong contributors to a positive and more improved society/world.
11. What do you think the future will bring?
I believe that collaborative operating models are the way of the future. That in order to achieve the best results it requires multiple stakeholders working together on greater good (or at least common good) outcomes.
That in the future. closer attention and value will be placed on the importance of relationships, and that we will move away from having a short term focus to being focused on longer term sustainable strategic outcomes.
I want to have faith and believe that we will get it together and make the changes necessary for a sustainable world.
I want to believe that people will recognise that being environmentally sustainable is the only way, not just a green choice.
12. Who is someone you really admire and why?
I admire many people for many different reasons. It is possible to admire someone for what they have achieved but not necessarily for who they are.
The group of people that I admire the most are the ones that make an effort to ‘pay it forward’. These people give something of themselves without expecting anything in return, in order to make a positive difference in the lives of the people around them.
A challenge – what can you do to ‘pay it forward’?
13. What is happening outside your window right now?
Sunny Auckland day – and I feel like everything is right in the world – but of course I haven’t hit the traffic yet!
14. What is your favourite breakfast?
15. What is the best piece of advice you can give us?
Sit down and think about who are your stakeholders – then think of them in terms of high and low interest and high and low power.
Those that have both high interest and high power are really important to what you are trying to achieve. Likewise those with low interest but high power need to be actively managed and kept informed, otherwise they could be potential roadblocks.
Are you communicating with your stakeholders? How often and how? Are there other communication tools that you could use, or leverage off your stakeholders communications tools (remember we are all part of a big network – you just need to use it).
Are the relationships working? Could they work better?
Do you have a communications strategy?
Do you know what your key messages are and your key points of differentiation?
People are so often scared of communication – and for no real reason.
Communication is such a powerful tool. Reach out and start improving your communication with your stakeholders today.
That’s two challenges (pay it forward and improving your communication) – good luck.