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Insights How I became a specialist in Biodiversity Net Gain

Rachel first wrote a blog about working in her dream career at Atkins in 2020, and since then her career has blossomed in many ways. In this update, she tells us more about how she's creating a better future for the planet and the natural world. 

"I started at Atkins (a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group) in September 2019 and I’m now a Senior Ecologist specialising in Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), an approach to development and/or land management that aims to leave biodiversity in a better state than before."

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How do I make an impact every day on the world around me?

It’s a real pleasure to work alongside clients who share the same vision of creating a better world for nature and people. A key part of my role is measuring the impacts that developments could have on biodiversity and advising on how habitat creation and enhancements can be incorporated into a development to help it achieve a measurable gain in biodiversity.  

What am I proudest of having achieved at Atkins?

I’m particularly proud of the work I carried out with my colleagues to bring awareness to the United Nations Biodiversity conference in December 2022 (COP15), which took place in Montreal, Canada. As part of this we produced a COP15 bulletin, which some of our clients inputted into by sharing their hopes for COP15 and outlining how their business is responding to biodiversity challenges (Cop 15 Magazine (snclavalin.com). AtkinsRéalis (which Atkins is part of) also sponsored the World Biodiversity Summit in Montreal, which took place during COP15.

My team and I...

Within the Environment Practice there is a great deal of support and encouragement to work on projects that interest you and to develop specialisms in areas of work that you particularly enjoy. Over the last couple of years I’ve been guided by a fantastic mentor who introduced me to BNG and has had a huge part to play in the satisfaction I get from my role at Atkins. After having had so much support in developing my BNG knowledge and experience, I now enjoy passing those skills on to others who are starting to develop an interest in the topic.

What might surprise potential candidates about working at Atkins?

One thing that I didn’t realise when starting my role at Atkins is how much opportunity there would be for inter-disciplinary working and collaboration. In particular, it’s been a pleasure to work on projects with related disciplines such as natural capital and carbon, which has allowed me to really appreciate the multitude of benefits that thriving biodiverse landscapes can provide and has widened my perception of what the role of an ecologist is. 

Check out our live jobs where you can join Rachel and her passionate colleagues in Atkins' Environment Practice.