Caroline originally joined Reckitt as a marketing professional, before she moved to our Global Sustainability team in 2017. Since then, she’s combined her knowledge in both areas to help shape and promote our work in this vitally important area.
It’s a key part of my role to tell Reckitt’s sustainability story and show what we’re doing in a wide variety of areas. Environmental impact, human rights, farming…there’s a lot to consider.
Freedom to Succeed has given me the opportunity to move from one area to another and learn from people who do things differently. That's the reason I took the job. It was an opportunity to explore something that interested me, bring my own skills and develop new ones.
I grew up on a farm in New Zealand, so maybe that’s given me a better awareness of some of the issues. For example, lots of the milk we use to make Enfamil is supplied from New Zealand dairy farms. Last time I travelled back there, I visited one of our suppliers – which reminded me how important the relationships are with our farmers. Having the freedom to go home and still work on a project connected to what we do was really exciting.
We’ve got ambitious environmental targets across Reckitt, like reducing global warming and achieving water positivity – which is basically about creating more water than we use.
Right now, Biodiversity is a key theme. That’s connected to our oceans and forests, but also how we manage our soil. And that takes us back to the quality of grass, and the dairy, and animal welfare.
For me everything’s interconnected. It’s been great to remind people what responsible sourcing is all about. But looking after all these things makes sense – not just for our business, but for the livelihoods of our partners and for the whole world.
With more people working from home right now, the dynamic’s changed a bit. It's given me the freedom to work with a wider bunch of people. In some cases, we’re seeing each other’s faces for the first time. Technology’s definitely changed things. Some people are more confident stepping up and getting involved in great projects.
Our products are meeting fundamental needs. I think we’re taking a lot more pride in what we do. With COVID-19, there was always the worry that sustainability would drop off the radar. But in some ways, it’s actually sharpened our focus. The global social impact we have as a business is lot more obvious. I think we’re part of a massive cultural shift.
On a personal level, I’m always focused on reducing waste. The way I look at it, it's about using your common sense and having an inkling that it's probably not good for the world if you're using way more than you need. I’ve always recycled. It’s a basic for me, although I know there are still people who need to be educated about that and get into the habit.
If you can identify what's important to you and make it work for you, you can find your own unique role here. Everybody's different, and Reckitt feels like a company that sees you, and supports you as an individual.
Shaping a more sustainable world
Caroline Stewart is part of Reckitt's Global Sustainability team
and has been exploring how all of us have the freedom to make a difference, both at work and beyond.