Pauline Frison
Business Development Director - Second Life
Pauline's Introduction

With over 6 years of expertise in global markets, particularly in Asia, I am a dedicated professional in business development and project management, passionate about driving impactful initiatives to tackle environmental and social challenges.

I am the Business Development Director at Second Life, a leading social enterprise dedicated to ocean plastic collection and recycling in South-East Asia. We've recycled over 4,000 tons of ocean-bound plastic since 2020, working closely with local collectors.

My current focus lies in plastic footprint reduction, circularity, plastic-credits mechanisms, ocean-bound plastic waste management, and the associated environmental and societal considerations.

What brought you to sustainability?

I come from a completely different sector – the dairy industry. On a personal level, my concerns about environmental and social issues had been growing for a few years.

However, the turning point came during my participation at a Climate Fresk session in Taiwan. There, I was suddenly struck by the urgency of taking action, not just on the sidelines, but making it a significant commitment.

With so many hours spent at work, I felt it was the ideal and most effective way to contribute positively. Consequently, I immersed myself in sustainability courses, networked with various professionals from the industry across the APAC region, and ultimately joined my current company to make a meaningful impact.

Which sustainable actions are you in charge of or have you implemented in your organisation?

The plastic waste pollution is still a new topic within the private sector, so I would say my primary objective is to raise awareness about plastic waste pollution and inform companies on how to effectively address it within their organizations.

Fortunately, there are already companies that are highly conscious of their plastic footprint and have comprehensive sustainability plans in place to tackle this issue.

I am actively partnering with these companies to scale up our project, enabling us to recover larger volumes of plastic waste from the ocean and reintegrate it into the value chain.

Which challenges did you meet and how did you overcome them?

My main challenge was shifting from the dairy industry to the field of sustainability, while simultaneously relocating to a different country.

When changing jobs, we say three critical factors come into play: role, location, and sector. It's relatively easy to change one, but managing two or three can be daunting. Surprisingly, I successfully navigated two out of three by relocating from Taiwan to Thailand, where there is a stronger concentration of sustainability initiatives. I also transitioned to working for a social and environmental enterprise, where my skills as a business development professional could be effectively utilized to support project growth.

To overcome these challenges, I carefully selected relevant training programs to enhance my skills and knowledge, made frequent trips to Singapore and Bangkok to meet and learn from various sustainability professionals, and most importantly, I didn't give up in the face of this major challenge! Instead, I focused on taking small steps to reach my goal.

I hope my experience can serve as a hopeful example for others undergoing a similar transition. It's tough, but don't give up – it's possible!

What are you most proud of?

To making the shift to sustainability. Waking up every morning to work for a cause I believe in and having the opportunity to collaborate with inspirational people from various industries who are all working on making a positive impact at every level is truly priceless.

It automatically gives me an extra boost of motivation.

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to the Matcha Initiative users?
  1. A sustainability job isn't exclusive to highly trained professionals in the field. This sector is still relatively new, and many individuals currently working in sustainability didn't initially pursue specific studies in this domain. Instead, they learned on the job within their organizations or pursued additional education and training to shift into sustainability roles. Identify the skills and experiences from your previous roles that can contribute to a sustainability position; you may already possess valuable assets.
  2. Meet people and ask questions. Collaboration and knowledge-sharing are actually key values of the Matcha Initiative, and for good reasons. By connecting with individuals in the field, exchanging ideas, and learning from each other's experiences, we can collectively enhance our impact and effectiveness.
  3. If you're aiming to shift into the sustainability sector, go ahead and don't give up! Establish short, mid, and long-term goals, and remain flexible in adapting them to your current circumstances.
In which field could you help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?
  • Best Practices sharing
  • Experience Sharing
  • Expertise Sharing
Please describe how you could help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?

I can share my experience with people interested in shifting to sustainability, engage in discussions on plastic waste pollution and potential solutions, facilitate connections with individuals or companies who share common interests or goals, or simply have an interesting conversation!

Pauline's 3 main sustainability skills

Plastic Waste / Plastic Footprint / B Corp

Countries where Pauline can help you

Worldwide with a focus on APAC: China, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand

Pauline kindly accepts to answer your questions.

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