Chartered Scientist


About CSci

Helen Wright


I started out as a Chemist in the water industry, working on the analysis and testing of rivers, focussing on potable water. From there I went on to spend three years at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa looking at innovative techniques such as mass spectrometry and NMR, which was a great learning experience.

I then joined Strathclyde Regional Council where I was Senior Enforcement Officer responsible for looking at trade effluents, their impact on sewers and ultimately the sewage works. I dealt with developing consent conditions for what could enter sewers, from whisky manufacturers to cheese traders in Campbelltown – I came across a fascinating range of types of trade waste. Later, I moved to the British Standards Institute to work on ISO14001, the environmental management standard against which organisations are assessed.

Currently, I am the Environment Manager for O2 UK where my work centres on the development and implementation of corporate risk based strategies for managing the environment, with clear focus on organisational alignment. The biggest environmental impact for us as a Company is energy usage and it is a challenge to decrease our carbon footprint whilst continuing to grow the network but I believe that reducing energy consumption is critical to building a sustainable business. We have already set goals for energy reduction and waste management.

I have been a Chartered Chemist through the Royal Society of Chemistry for many years, but as my work has taken me into new areas, I have sought membership of other professional bodies such as CIWEM, and more recently I became a Chartered Scientist. The work I do on climate change modelling uses other science disciplines and so I found that being defined first and foremost as a scientist was more relevant.

The Science Council is a wonderful platform for scientists with expertise in such diverse areas to come together. It allows us all to learn from each other and broadens networking opportunities.