Claudia Amos featured

Inspirational Woman: Claudia Amos | Technical Director for Circularity, Resource Efficiency & Waste, Anthesis Group

Claudia AmosClaudia is a highly experienced waste professional with over twenty years’ experience with all relevant waste treatment technologies across the waste hierarchy, circular supply chains and the renewables sector.

She provides in-depth knowledge for route to market evaluations, value chain evaluations and feasibility studies, project and business plan development support as well as investor ready business case presentation and commercial due diligence services for new projects, re-financing opportunities and acquisitions. Claudia leads Anthesis’ global waste commercial due diligence team and provides waste infrastructure expertise covering a range of international waste recycling, recovery and technology, secondary material and renewable energy projects.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I have worked in the waste sector for over 20 years and currently lead Anthesis global waste commercial due diligence team. This covers a range of international waste recycling, recovery and technology, secondary material, and renewable energy projects and companies. Anthesis Group is the sustainability activator, and we help our clients to focus their sustainability goals for the Decisive Decade. Having recently achieved B-Corp status, we are determined to globally accelerate impact for organisations, creating a more resilient world.

My role in sustainability, more specifically in waste, has become more important as we navigate through COVID-19. The pandemic has accelerated the need for change and organisations are gearing up to adapt their processes to match global climate change goals. Sustainability has gone mainstream and material circularity is finally being taken seriously after 20 years.

The Anthesis Spirit of collaboration, curiosity, fairness and willingness to listen and learn is fundamental to improving sustainability. This is also my key motivation ‘to do a bit of good every day’ and to make a step in the right direction by providing more infrastructure to recover waste and contribute to protecting our scarce resources.

I really enjoy the constant developments in the waste and resources sector, in terms of international regulatory frameworks, technology and approaches. The vast area of technical and business approaches to recovering resources is fascinating and supporting new waste infrastructure is very satisfying part of my job. While commercial due diligence transactions are often stressful, they also provide a real sense of achievement and it is great to attend plant openings and seeing circularity in action.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Yes, I purposefully chose an MBA with a focus on environmental management at a university. And I followed this up with an MSc in Ecology and Society in the UK to better understand the social component to solve the conflict between business goals and environmental protection. As part of the MBA, I did an internship at a large German white goods manufacturer and was part of a student team designing reverse logistics to take back white goods via their existing distribution system. This experience led me to develop my interest in waste. Then, whilst studying my MSc, I was working for a consultancy specialising in plastics and helped to set up their first publication and guide to plastics recycling businesses in Europe. Eventually, I joined an international environmental consultancy, which was a step on the ladder to becoming a ‘career consultant’ and finally joining Anthesis.

My cultural understanding and language capabilities helped me to immerse myself in waste technology transfer across continental Europe and the UK. Simultaneously, I had the opportunity to learn from a key technical lead about gasification and pyrolysis technologies. This experienced was invaluable as it helped me gain a technical approach to complement my business acumen and provide a basis for my future career. This provided opportunities such as working on Defra’s (the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) first waste new technology demonstrator programme at a large environmental consultancy.

I have been fortunate during my career to continuously learn from colleagues, clients, as well as like-minded business and partnering consultancies to stay at the forefront of key developments in the waste and renewables sector. This has led to my current responsibilities in leading the global waste commercial due diligence team at Anthesis working on waste infrastructure projects, market and business development and waste asset portfolio mergers and acquisitions around the world.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

As a young woman it has sometimes been difficult to build relationships in a very male dominated industry, but I overcame this by staying true to my female self and connected with like-minded young professionals and developing expertise my areas of interest. As I gained more access to clients and become more established with my work, my persistence became a success as people respect and appreciate the work that I do.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I think my proudest achievements is transitioning from a small German town upbringing to working with a range of high profile clients around the world. It is a real achievement for me to work for an international consultancy as well as staying at the forefront of my profession for the past 20 years by listening to the market, learning from my peers, and finding opportunities to develop the business into new and exciting areas at an international scale.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Perseverance

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

My top tip would be to look beyond the local environment and explore opportunities further afield. Try and consider options that may not be as obvious as they can provide potential for an accessible, exciting and satisfying career.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Yes, I do believe there are still barriers for women working in tech. To overcome these, it is about confidence, determination and adapting to unusual environments. People often enjoy the familiar feeling of being around peers with similar experience and backgrounds and this can hold them back. For instance, it can be daunting to enter a male business environment as a woman and the other way round etc.  If we make our environment and businesses more diverse and open to people of different genders, colour, nationalities, and backgrounds, then we can help everybody to achieve their career goals without needing additional qualities or drive to overcome the existing hurdles.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

It is important for companies to have a diverse board of employees from board level to floor level. If a business does not promote diversity and inclusion, it does not attract or retain talent.

Companies must do more when it comes to DE&I. Introducing unbiased recruitment processes and addressing the gender pay gap are important things that businesses need to implement. Initiatives such as mentoring, creating employee support groups, offering support for working parents are all things that can help support the career journeys of women.

As networking has become difficult due to remote working during the pandemic, it is important that businesses maintain communication with their staff and continue to evolve their internal business processes to help colleagues to adapt to working from home whilst encouraging them on their career journey.


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