Starting out as a Saltire Scholar

We were invited to come to the office for a welcome session on the first day; I was so excited to get to meet some new people that four of us even organised a meet up the week before. It felt so refreshing to see some new faces and get to go into Exchange Place, a place I had so often walked past! Because IGS is an agricultural technology business, operating in a sector that’s defined as part of Scotland’s critical national infrastructure, we’ve been really lucky to be able to do a mix of home and office-based working.

I was determined to use some quiet confidence mentioned by Mark Beaumont in a Saltire webinar on my first day; I was able to clearly and confidently introduce myself and why I chose the project at IGS to my fellow Saltire peers as well as the IGS staff present on Welcome Day. The day was very engaging, and I met other interns who had been there for a few weeks who reassured me that IGS welcomes questions and are great to work for.

That first week did feel like jumping in the deep end, my working background was mostly hospitality and I had to find my footing. My Saltire peers were extremely supportive, and we would go for lunch in a nearby park and share how we were finding the experience and reassure each other. It was great to have such a supportive network.

The IGS team were also very easy to talk to, my project involved reaching out to many people across the company and I was very grateful to all the staff members who took time to talk with me about my project and supply the data necessary for my project. I was anxious due to the novelty of the experience and because I cared a lot about the project I was undertaking.

Measuring and understanding a company’s carbon footprint is a large and important task and I was eager to get started. This was the only project I applied for, and I am extremely grateful to Edinburgh Napier’s Careers Consultant Emma Hill who guided me throughout my Saltire application process! Thank you Emma!

The Story so far!

I have enjoyed working independently and appreciated IGS’ flexibility around working from home or the office and choosing the hours we worked (as long as it was 8 hours between 8am and 6pm). This made the transition from a university schedule a lot smoother. I really appreciated the amount of trust IGS gave me, I felt that it allowed me to be more proactive with my time.

A lot of the data I have gathered from IGS has been from IGS’ company accountant, Martin Creegan. Thank you Martin, for all of your patience and for sending through everything I asked for so quickly! This was fundamental to my project and for me to have been able to get as far as I have in these few weeks!

My project required a lot of research, as there are specific guidelines and ways of reporting and calculating carbon emissions. I am extremely grateful to Jean Lowes from GHG insights, Jean has offered me so much help and time which significantly improved my work and motivation for this project.

In addition to my project at IGS, I created a Teams channel dedicated to providing a weekly “planet-friendly” topic, as posts go up every Friday the channel was called Planet Friendly Fridays.

I have used this as a means of engagement with the entire crew at IGS and have so far shared information on companies such as The Eco Larder (an Edinburgh based zero-waste store), Ember (Scotland’s first electric coach service), Alternatives to Amazon (such as World of Books); topics also stem from my degree in Animal and Conservation Biology, and I have provided posters on how to recognise different types of grass (no its not all just one type 😉!), Seaweed (to show off next time you go to the beach with friends) and Sandworms (also known as Polychaetes – warning, you may never look at a beach the same way again!)

This has been lots of fun creating these posts and sharing information all the while raising awareness about the environment with my colleagues

Written by: Amber Baker, Edinburgh Napier University. What is our Carbon Footprint? Intern, Intelligent Growth Solutions, Edinburgh (In person)
Amber Baker