With the UK’s rapid transition towards net-zero emissions, efforts are now being made to create a sustainable, circular economy for end-of-life wind turbines, solar panels and other green technologies.
EMR, a global leader in sustainable materials, is committed to working with the energy industry to deliver this.
As Energy Infrastructure Lead, Charlotte Stamper - who arrived at EMR approximately five months ago - has direct experience of how the renewables sector operates and has been tasked with ensuring that the resources used for the switch to clean power are safeguarded for generations to come.
“What attracted me to EMR was its ambitious sustainability goals, its investment in innovative technology and its desire to be a B Corp. All of these things were very important to me when looking for a new opportunity,” says Charlotte.
Modern wind turbines contain a wealth of materials, including high-quality construction steel, copper and rare earth elements, which if not sourced from recycling channels, must be mined. Charlotte’s position is the first of its kind at EMR, Charlotte explains:
“End-of-life management of renewable energy infrastructure is both a new challenge and an opportunity. I love the fact that I can really make the role my own and have the chance to do something new and innovative. The first generation of renewable assets, such as wind turbines and solar panels, installed in the UK and Europe are now coming to the end of their usable life, and it’s my role to find a way of recovering and returning valuable resources back into the circular economy.”
“We have the freedom to think about new business models and what the recycling industry will look like in 25 years’ time - to be at the forefront of this change is so exciting!"
With the metal recycling industry traditionally seen as more ‘male dominated’, EMR prides itself as an equal opportunities employer by championing diversity, equality and inclusion. This is something that Charlotte has greatly benefited from in her short time at the company: “Being new to the metal recycling sector, I’ve felt extremely supported by my colleagues. I've now travelled to sites around the UK and Germany, and everyone has been so welcoming!
“There is definitely a positive change in the sector as a whole. At EMR, we have lots of female engineering students on year-long placements, which is great. Traditionally, growing up as a woman, you’d not necessarily see yourself in a role handling heavy materials, or having the skills or training to be able to operate weighty machines. EMR offers these opportunities, so it’s important to make people, especially women, aware of the wide range of jobs and training opportunities available here."
Someone Charlotte really admires is Emma Cudahy, an Operations Manager at one of the major EMR sites situated in Glasgow:
"When I first joined, I was like ‘wow’ it’s fantastic to see a young female, like Emma, in a traditionally male perceived role. She clearly thrives in her position and does an amazing job, which I found really inspiring as a newcomer to the company."
Charlotte would love to see even more women join the industry:
“The next generation are so passionate and knowledgeable about the link between materials, climate change and sustainability. At EMR, you’ll be part of a team where you can make a real difference. Don't be afraid to have confidence in yourself and your skills. Regardless of gender, everyone shares ideas and works closely together here - which is something to celebrate!"
As a global leader in sustainable materials, EMR has a wide range of career opportunities ranging from engineering, site operations, marketing, commercial, shipping, to health and safety. Read about other people who make EMR a great place to work, learn about our culture and values, or see our latest vacancies.