Then and now: Heather Bone

Heather Bone today

The group manager of sustainability at Downer EDI Mining has come to value energising, cutting-edge ideas.

I chose the photo in 2011 because it’s one of the few I have left after the Brisbane floods of that year.

At the time I was CEO of the Biofuels Association and we were hosting an alternative fuels summit.

I found the floods were a defining point for a lot of people. Around then, I realised I wasn’t necessarily a climate change believer or denier.

Even if we forget about climate change as an issue we are still far smarter coming up with renewable sources of energy in a world where we’re diminishing those resources.

So that was quite a turning point. I’ve worked in mines, energy and transport for many years and it defined sustainability for me as not being about the green and warm and fuzzy stuff, but about doing things differently.

Heather Bone in 2011, CEO of the Biofuels Association.

Heather Bone in 2011, CEO of the Biofuels Association.

My focus is on where we can make the biggest difference – it might be reducing our greenhouse gases, particulate matter or NOx [nitrogen oxides] emissions, ensuring we’re recycling and using our water and waste sensibly.

My background is in environmental law and my dad has always questioned why a greenie lawyer would be in a mining company.

I remember vividly saying to him: where else can I make that sort of difference?

What would you tell your younger self?

Innovation and doing things differently happens when you least expect it.

Also pick your battles – choose wisely because you don’t have to go to war on everything.

This article is from the November 2014 issue of INTHEBLACK.


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