Sustainability Intern – South West Water

Universtiy of Exeter Internships, UoE Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

The main role during the internship was to produce a professional report to be uploaded into the documents library on the Exmoor Mires website. The Exmoor Mires project implements sustainable peat land restoration by blocking ditches to store more water and carbon and reduce water flow. The project brief was to undertake a sustainability audit of the project, comparing the carbon stored by the restoration work with the carbon released from running the project (transport for staff and volunteers, contractors, office energy use). I was responsible for collecting data on each of the sections of identified potential release of greenhouse gasses and calculating their carbon emission equivalent. This was the first carbon audit to be conducted of the project and will be used subsequently as supporting evidence of the project applying to be credited with the Peatland Code status, which assures that restoration provides climate change mitigation. I also conducted a separate energy audit for the Exmoor Society to provide some baseline information of predicted energy costs and consumption.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement over the course of the internship was producing a professional report, and completing a large project in the short space of time of 3 weeks.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I completed a project that lightened the workload of the rest of the project staff…. It was identified as a gap of information which could be filled by a report using the skills I had gained from the Green Steps training program.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

One problem that I encountered was collecting some of the information, especially from the contractors…I learnt that to get information needed, sometimes you must breakdown the questions and explain things more clearly, to make it easier and less time consuming for people to respond.

“We were very pleased with Anna and her skills and commitment. We would have liked her for longer than 3 weeks” – Line Manager