I spent the next couple of weeks working remotely, however, my induction had provided me with the confidence to reach out to partners at Aquascot to obtain the necessary data on the company’s material consumption, which helped me as I began my research for the sustainability project. Furthermore, I had a solid understanding of the relationship between the company, its suppliers, and Waitrose through the meetings I would attend with my line manager.
I was informed that my key objectives were to:
- Identify unnecessary material usage through data analysis
- Present the findings to the Aquascot partners in the form of a heat map.
- Explore alternative material options with a lower environmental impact
This made analysing the vast amount of data to produce my heat maps a little less daunting. The heat map was one of the primary focuses of my project as it would be used to display material usage across the company over the past couple of years. A heat map is a map used to identify the density of a certain variable, where darker shades of colour represent higher values, and lighter shades represent lower values. Although I had seen multiple iterations of heat maps as a representation of pandemic cases in the UK, I was completely clueless when it came to knowing how to produce one. However, after watching a few tutorials, collating multiple spreadsheets and a little (a LOT) of trial and error, I felt proud when I was able to produce the first iterations of my material usage and financial heat maps.
Although I have completed a sustainability module as part of my degree, my internship role may not necessarily be considered a ‘traditional chemical engineering role’ (which tend to be in the oil and gas, energy, or the chemicals industry). However, so far, I have found that the transferrable skills mentioned have proved useful during my internship as I have been collaborating with different departments within the company and analysing the material usage data to conclude the financial impact on the company.