Géraldine Pelissier
Corporate Reach - The Matcha Initiative
Géraldine's introduction

Most of my professional career was in Sales and Marketing for emissions-intensive sectors (automotive, telecom, oil and gas industries) to say the least…. But I always knew I had to look for a greater purpose. Covid19 slowed down my professional activities and helped me to follow my passion. I decided to open a new chapter and follow a new career path, but to do so, I had to study sustainability.

I particularly like innovation and tech, so I wish to pursue my career with a tech for good angle.

What brought you to sustainability?

Back into my 20's, my diploma thesis was “how to Market Fairtrade”; at that time, I was already concerned about bringing more equity and sustainability to businesses that were doing the right things. Soon after, I joined a small enterprise in the UK, collecting leather waste from the automotive, furniture and shoe industry that had no value for those manufacturers, but a real one for other players, who were giving scrap a second life. We were not yet talking about circular economy or cradle to cradle at the time, but this was creating value, and decreasing waste.

While in Malaysia, I helped to grow a marketplace for discarded IT equipment that were still of use in developing countries.

These experiences have forged my belief that we can reverse Climate change but we must all act collectively NOW.

What type of sustainable studies did you decide to pursue?

I went through various curriculum online before choosing the Cambridge Business Sustainability Management “CISL” for a 9-weeks program online. I could have chosen the one from MIT or Yale, or the NUS, but the timeline of Cambridge was more alined with mine. They have about 4 cohorts a year.

To be noted also, as a business case study, you need to choose one company for three of your assignments, with the intent to present your Sustainability strategy to the CEO. It’s said to opt preferably for a company that has already published a sustainability report, and that any company, even the most sustainable one like Patagonia, can still have room to progress.

How intensive and extensive is the course? To whom would you recommend taking such a training?

Be ready to study hard!

Weekly assignments are to be delivered and some require researches and long report-readings. It is a rather academic approach (Cambridge-style and living to its reputation), where you must use the right count of words and references.

I wish I had known how intensive the program was. It was mentioned 8-12 hours per week, which turned out to be closer to 20-25 for me. If you want to get good grades (yes it feels like going back to passing the Baccalaureate or the A level ; p),

I would recommend the CISL program for newly appointed or soon to become sustainability officers, with no prior knowledge to get the broad spectrum of all ESG concepts relation to an enterprise. It could also be well fitted for executives that want to lead the CHANGE in their organisation.

Finally, it is a MUST to have TIME to dedicate and not for a full time working and busy employee.

Concretely, what sustainability topics did you learn and what did it change in your perception of sustainability?

The program is divided into 8 weeks = 8 topics - You can get the curriculum here.

Even if it is rather academic, well-documented program, it is also full of concrete examples, videos, and interactions with others students.

I personally enjoyed working on the practical cases (materiality assessments - risks and opportunity matrix, how to write a convincing speech to your CEO, establishing your SMART objectives…).

What are you most proud of?

I am proud to have joined The Matcha Initiative Core team and help to grow the community of buddies, suppliers and fine-tuning our corporate offer to be fit for purpose and help SMEs accelerate their sustainability journey.

We are now fully ready to propose programs of :

  • Mentoring
  • Executive Fireside chats
  • Trainings and workshops

At The Matcha Initiative, I am also in charge of improving processes for our platform to grow global and get suppliers, buddies around the world.

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to the Matcha Initiative users?
  • Start small but start now!
  • Brainstorm with your team to make them aware of the changes that need to happen in the organisation / Organise a Climate Fresk
  • Book your appointment with the The Matcha Initiative team for an executive Fireside chat :)
Please describe how you could help The Matcha Initiative users?

As part of the Matcha Initiative Core team, I have the broad visibility about the Sustainability players in Singapore, so I can help our users to make their first ESG assessment, find the right mentor or guide them in starting their sustainability journey.

Géraldine's 3 main sustainability skills

Cambridge / Tech for Good / Innovation

Géraldine kindly accepts to answer your questions.

If you need additional insights, you can send her a message.