“Sustainability is entering all aspects of our lives – and policies”

“Sustainability is entering all aspects of our lives – and policies”

— 10 September 2021

An interview with our new team member, Alex Braley

Our new colleague, Alex Braley, is a bit of an atypical Brit. He doesn’t drink lots of tea or coffee — preferring to go for hot chocolate — and he has lived ‘abroad’ for many years.

Alex’s European upbringing, having grown up in both the UK and different EU countries such as Germany and France, has defined his career moves.

Having acquired a Master’s at the College of Europe in Bruges, he started working at the European Commission in the Secretariat-General on inter-institutional relations. Following this, he worked as an EU expert at the UK government: first the Perm Rep in Brussels, then two years at the Foreign Office in London followed by some time in the Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street.

To expand his horizons Alex moved to the private sector back in Brussels and chose to work on environmental policy at Fipra International, delving into topics like the circular economy, decarbonisation, biodiversity and sustainable finance. Now he has joined #SustainablePublicAffairs and is ready to play a bigger, more vocal role in advocating for sustainability.

What will you be doing at SustainablePublicAffairs?

“I have joined #SustainablePublicAffairs because it matters what we advocate for” and “I also want to help build an exciting project like this from its early stages”.

Alex adds that #SustainablePA is the right place for him because he believes “the biggest issue facing us all is how we have pushed beyond planetary boundaries, and we need to act now – everyone has their role to play and everyone can make a difference” and that “supporting businesses doing the right thing is critical and a privilege, as they can really drive change on the ground and on a larger scale”.

He also feels he’s in the right place at the right time: “There is a lot happening in the EU right now on this topic with the Green Deal”.  “Sustainability is no longer narrowly about managing waste or cutting emissions — it’s entering all aspects of our lives and therefore policies, from biodiversity through to employment skills and the sustainable finance agenda”.

What is the biggest opportunity to improve sustainability?

Alex explains that biodiversity is probably the biggest opportunity to have a major impact. “Decarbonisation has always been a big part of the debate and there’s quite a lot of action already ongoing there, while biodiversity is a great opportunity, but a lot remains to be done if we’re going to protect and restore nature”.

On the topic of the circular economy, he says that it is “increasingly being accepted, but we are going to have to overcome huge logistical, behavioural and cultural challenges as we are aiming to do nothing less than reshape the entire economy and its workings”.

Sustainability is more than just climate change and waste, Alex adds. “We should take the opportunity to empower people with information and it’s great to see that younger people are also getting involved”.

#SustainablePublicAffairs future

Alex tells us that he wants to continue learning and to grow as a consultant, as well as to empower his colleagues and those advocating for the same cause:  “I would like to build up and empower my colleagues, helping to give input and guide teams”.

In addition, he explains that “it will be great to seek out sustainable frontrunner companies and help them push for their best practices to become the norm”. But, above all, “I want to be a consultant with an opinion”, Alex adds, saying that he wants to bring his passion for the sustainability into his work.

We lobby for climate positive impacts.
But we also operate climate positively.

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