The Sustainability Lead turning strategies on paper into concrete changes on the ground

Anastasiya Popova, Staticus’ Sustainability Lead, loves to make an impact. And because she gets to work both on Staticus’ overall sustainability strategy and on project-specific carbon assessments, her impact is being felt far and wide. With a background in environmental engineering and innovation, she is used to a fast-paced environment, jumping into different projects and service areas all the time. And when she is not helping to preserve our natural environment through her work, she is outside enjoying it.

What was it like when you first started at Staticus? And how do you take care of new colleagues that join your team?

I joined just over 1 year ago. I remember that it was super welcoming. Everyone in the team was very open and ready to answer the questions I had. Of course, in my first weeks, I had a lot of them, but I never felt like I was bothering people by asking. 

What I also noticed was how involved and interested everyone was in what I was doing. Sustainability Lead was a completely new position, so people were asking me a lot about what I would be doing, and I spent time explaining my goals to them. 

For new colleagues, there is an onboarding process led by HR – it is all very well organised and structured.

What is the single best thing about working at Staticus?

I feel that what I am doing here has an impact. I’m involved in project-specific tasks like embodied carbon assessments. But I also work on the overall strategy and processes as well, which includes thinking about business problems such as how we penetrate new markets.

I really like the diversity of the activities that I have and the exposure I get to different topics and projects, plus I enjoy the fact that I get to co-create with other teams.

What new perspectives have you gained while working at Staticus?

At Staticus, I now have the opportunity to specialise in corporate sustainability, as that wasn’t my focus before. I’m learning more about the business side as well.

What new skills and competencies have you learned while working at Staticus?

It feels like everything I am doing is somewhat new. My background is in environmental engineering and innovation, so I am used to this environment of constant development. And sustainability is a field that forces you to learn all the time – it is very broad, and there are always opportunities to gain new abilities that I can apply to my work.

What makes Staticus a unique place to work?

I think the full value chain that Staticus has – design, manufacturing, delivery, installation, maintenance – is what makes it unique. As Sustainability Lead there are so many services we cover that I can be involved in – sustainability touches all of these processes. Usually, you only get to work on one stage of the process, but Staticus has it all.

What do you find most interesting in your work at Staticus?

I’m really interested in bringing sustainability strategies to their completion. It’s not just about writing reports on what you need to do. I get to talk to people (for example, my colleagues in our production unit) and develop measures, then implement them in real life. And it’s exciting to see the impact on business. It’s not only about being compliant but also about exceeding client expectations and being more profitable, more resilient to change. It’ll take a couple of years to really see the impact of sustainability actions on the company, but we are already getting there.

Which project are you most proud of?

There are a lot, but the one that immediately comes to mind is the Forskaren project in Hagastaden near Stockholm, Sweden. This is one of the first projects where we conducted a very comprehensive carbon assessment. And what is memorable for me is that we did this carbon assessment at the concept design stage without the client initially asking for it. The client noticed this, and it eventually helped us to secure the tender. And after securing the tender they continued to ask for more details on the project’s sustainability. 

For me, when a client reacts like this it’s a great sign that you’re on the right track.

Tell us a bit about your life outside of work.

As I live in Switzerland, of course, I get outdoors a lot. I love hiking and going for walks with friends or taking trips to the lake. This makes me feel fit, healthy, and well – my motto is, the more time outdoors the better. I also like to spend lots of time with my family.