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This post is an interview with Adam Davis of Manidis Roberts. Adam consults in the field of Sustainability and Climate Change and has made a conscious effort from early on in his career to choose roles with the long term in mind. 

The Author of Linchpin, Seth Godin, blogged last year about how the work we choose early on makes a big difference to what kind of career we end up with.

Like bending a sapling a hundred years before the tree is fully grown and mature, the gigs you take early will almost certainly impact the way your career looks later on. If you want to build a law practice in the music industry, you'll need to take on musicians as clients, even if the early ones can't pay enough”.

Adam provides a very positive example of this theory in practice.

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Courtesy www.rudds.com.au
Q1 - Tell me a bit about your contribution to the field of sustainability?

I have over 14 years of industry experience both in the public and private sectors in sustainability, starting at Hornsby Shire Council where I was involved in implementing the largest local government Energy Performance Contract in Australia and an Australian first trigeneration system. Through this climate change work I was awarded the NSW State Government’s Work Energy Smart Champion Award, it also allowed me to participate in a sustainability study tour of Japan and the Philippines.

More recently in my role at Manidis Roberts (www.manidisroberts.com.au) my focus in climate change has been assessing the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, local communities and property developments to the impacts of climate change and providing strategic advice on approaches to adaptation.

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Q2 - A bright guy like you could have worked in a heap of different industries. What shaped your decision to choose the career path that you did?

I originally set out to work purely in the environmental management field, undertaking environmental audits and environmental assessments. However, I soon discovered that a more holistic triple bottom line approach was needed for effective decision making in project delivery and corporate management. Coupled with sustainability I also satisfy my creative side through photography, where I run a business called Frangipani Blue (www.frangipaniblue.com.au).

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Q3 - Where do you go to stay informed about your area of expertise?

I am a strong believer of professional networks and information sharing. As such I am actively involved in numerous professional affiliations including: Executive Member of the newly formed Climate Change Special Interest Section, Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Product Design and Development Working Group – Australian Green Infrastructure Council who are developing a sustainability rating tool for infrastructure. I am also involved on the Australian Water Association’s Climate Change Working Group, Roads Australia’s Sustainability Policy Chapter and the NSW Local Government and Shires Association's Climate Change Reference Group.

Through these networks I can keep abreast of the latest sustainability initiatives being developed, it also allows the fostering of new ideas in this relatively new field.


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Q4 - What project or organisation have you been involved in that you believe is an inspirational example to other sustainability practitioners?

My employer Manidis Roberts (www.manidisroberts.com.au) is a very inspirational place to work for, having just been ranked 8th in the BRW’s Best Place to Work 2010. This place actually walks the talk, being involved in sustainability since the Rio Earth Summit, writing ‘the book’ on the green Sydney Olympics, right through to our GM, MD and Chair of the Board riding their bikes to work each day.

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