Making ends meet

Ahead of the release of the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, Resource sat down with EEF’s Susanne Baker to discuss the package’s potential and how close the manufacturing industry is to embracing circularity.

This article was taken from Issue 82

As Senior Climate and Environmental Policy Adviser at manufacturing trade association EEF, Susanne Baker has more than a passing interest in the governmental machinations surrounding resources. Whilst leading the group’s work on resource scarcity and recovery, she has been a keen observer of the shoots of circular development sprouting in her industry.

Baker credits her interest in sustainability to her Danish mother and childhood walks in the Peak District. Indeed, she was embedded in the culture, with several family members working in environmental regulatory roles in Denmark.

It was all but a given, then, that she would go on to study environmental science at university, which she says was “absolutely instrumental” in setting her up for her current role. An internship at Green Alliance during her third year was another “really helpful” string to her bow.

Desperate to get into the environmental sector, Baker took on a role as press officer at the Environment Agency (EA) and loved it, though she admits that it was “super hard work”, especially when floods and BSE brought intense media scrutiny. A move to the ENDS Report followed before a realisation led her to EEF: “With all the things I’ve done – governments, regulators and some NGO work – I realised that I knew nothing about business. How can we drive sustainability without actually having a knowledge of how business really thinks and how they do it? That was my motivation coming to EEF.”