CSR Changemaker - Amanda Keogh
Wednesday, 12th December 2012 at 10:51 am
The Head of Sustainability Asia Pacific and Australia at Fuji Xerox Australia, Amanda Keogh, is profiled in CSR Changemakers – a new column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the CSR and social enterprise sector.
Amanda has chaired the board of Forest Stewardship Council in Australia and worked with the Australian Information Industry Association and Federal Government responsible on new e-waste regulation.
Amanda joined Fuji Xerox Australia as environment and sustainability manager in 2007 and quickly
brought the company recognition for its advanced approach to sustainability, culminating in winning the Banksia award for large organisations leading in sustainability.
What are you currently working on in the organisation?
We are reviewing our community engagement strategy. The review involves asking challenging questions such as: what outcomes are we actually delivering to communities in need, and are we contributing to a lasting positive impact?
What drew you to the CSR sector?
I never felt I had a choice. Once I really let myself engage with sustainability issues I was compelled to find a way of applying my skills to the field. A masters degree in sustainable development allowed me to combine sustainability with my background in marketing and technology.
How long have you been working in the CSR sector?
Nine years in total. I studied for three years and have been working with Fuji Xerox for six years.
What was your first job in the CSR sector?
After I finished my masters, I spent some time as a research assistant pondering whether a PHD was part of my future. It was a great opportunity to become familiar with best practice and let the ideas I had been exposed to in my masters mature and take hold.
What is the best thing about working in the CSR sector?
I love what I do, so it’s not work. Of course it’s a tough job and you have to be very resilient because there are lots of knock-backs in this business. The best thing is getting paid to make the world a better place.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
The people and the opportunities. Fuji Xerox is a very authentic company and sustainability is highly visible across the organisation. Working for Fuji Xerox has given me the chance to channel my passion for sustainability and link it to our core business. A lot of what I do is around helping our customers become more sustainable. Decreasing environmental impacts from print with customer organisations helps me feel like I’m making a difference. We can have so much more of an impact when we look past Fuji Xerox boundaries and start working on broader sustainability up and down the value chain.
I consider my greatest achievement to be…
Winning the Banksia Award for Large Organisations Leading in Sustainability in 2010. I will never forget that night, but it is not my award, there are people who came long before me and laid some important foundations that are still in place. One of these is our commitment to zero waste products from zero waste factories which was established in 1995; we still lead the industry in that area.
Mine is a Guinness.
I’m always being asked…
Which is the best (greenest) paper to buy.
I’m very bad at …
Doing my expenses, detail is not a strong point.
What are you reading/ watching/ listening to at the moment?
I have just finished Paul Gilding’s latest book, The Great Disruption. This really is a must-read for anyone interested in why and how Australia, and in fact the world, needs to transition to the new low-carbon economy.
If you could be or do anything else, what would it be?
Well if I followed my Mum’s foot-steps I’d be married to a potato farmer in North County Dublin with 10 kids!!
If you could have dinner with 2 people from history, who would they be?
The first would be Stewart Parnell; an Irish political liberator from the 1800s. The other would be William Wilberforce; the man who played a leading role in the abolition of slavery. Interestingly enough, ending slavery was as much about a transition to the industrial revolution as it was about human rights. It seemed unthinkable at the time but Wilberforce made it happen. There are a lot of parallels we can draw with the transition to a low-carbon economy.
My greatest challenge is …
Taking on too many projects. It’s hard to say no when an opportunity to create change arises.
School taught me …
How to think. Thank you to my philosophy professors back in Trinity .
What does a typical day for you involve?
A lot of meetings, I tend to have a lot of conversations with other people inside Fuji Xerox so they can see the relevance of sustainability to their roles. I know I’ve done a good job when they can see what’s in it for them.
What inspires you? Who inspires you?
Nature inspires me. The staggering beauty and diversity of life on this planet is a constant source of inner strength and provides all motivation to protect it.