Soaring towards greener skies: my Oxford journey

3 minute read

Amidst the storm of the pandemic, a silver lining emerged - our chance to reimagine and reshape the world we live in. Governments, industries and visionary firms seized the moment to embrace sustainability and carve a better path forward.

I'm elated to share that the aviation industry, which I proudly belong to, has been at the forefront of this transformation. From ground-breaking investments in sustainable aviation fuels to innovations in electric and hydrogen aircraft technology, we're accelerating towards a more sustainable aviation sector. The tide is turning and it's exhilarating to be a part of the greener skies movement.

I took the opportunity to embark on my own journey of transformation from an aviation economist into a leader in sustainable aviation development. It was a bold step, but one I knew was right for a brighter future. Since then, I have spearheaded infrastructure projects on renewable energy solutions like solar and hydrogen, resource circularity and adaptations for resilience against climate change. And of course, all of these contribute to the quest towards decarbonisation.

The Oxford Leading Sustainable Corporations Programme came as a game-changer for me at the onset of my career transition. The programme was a powerful catalyst propelling me forward in the sustainability domain. By connecting with top-notch faculty and passionate participants from diverse industries, I delved into the true potential of sustainable development. It was a truly transformative experience.

Throughout the journey, I gleaned invaluable insights that are now the bedrock of my development approach. Sustainability must go beyond being an afterthought or profiling of corporate social responsibility -it needs to be woven into the very DNA and core activities of businesses. Likewise, technology is a force to reckon with, but we must harness its power for the greater good, benefitting both people and the planet. A business’ competitive advantage lies in fostering win-win outcomes with its community of stakeholders to enjoy a long-lasting social license to operate.

The programme included eye-opening case studies of companies that have developed creative solutions and even re-invented themselves to truly optimize the triple bottom line. They inspired me to envision an aviation industry that may one day become the leading example of sustainable transformation. But the Oxford programme wasn't just a wellspring of inspiration; it was a practical and action-oriented platform for sustainability leaders like me. I honed my skills in leading high-impact sustainability initiatives and designed my 'change plan' for the year, packed with strategies for various stakeholders and change levers, all set to ignite a positive transformation.

Yet, the most rewarding outcome of this programme has been the network of like-minded professionals I have gained. It's been an incredible journey of sharing ideas and receiving feedback. My peers have challenged me to envision the future of an end-to-end net-zero emission flight and a sector operating within its planetary boundaries. Now that's aiming for the stars. Gone are the days when the pursuit of profit came at the expense of our people and planet. It's time to renew the social compact for people, planet and profit to thrive harmoniously together.

Inspired by the tools and network from the Oxford Leading Sustainable Corporations Programme, I'm thrilled to lead high-impact sustainable developments in my organisation and industry. The transformation is well underway and it's my privilege to be a part of this global push for a greener skies.

Oxford Leading Sustainable Corporations Programme