Adam Liddle is Head of Sustainability at RoslinCT
RoslinCT is a spinout from the Roslin Institute, of Dolly the Sheep fame, that produces advanced therapies for metabolic diseases around solid tumours, blood cancers, degenerative diseases.
In this post, I highlight some of the issues I discussed with Adam. I encourage you to listen to the interview, in the podcast episode above, to get much more from Adam’s experience.
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- Niche specialist scientific services
- Creating a sustainability strategy in a new industry
- Strategic thinking & practical problem solving to address sustainability
- Creating an internal sustainability awards scheme
- We’re not far away from sustainability being part of the culture
- Don’t come in as though you think you know it all
Niche specialist scientific services
Q: What is RoslinCT?
RoslinCT is a spin out from the Roslin Institute. CT stands for cell therapy. The company was spun out in way back 2006 and took all the scientific excellence that was within the Roslin Institute that led to the cloning of Dolly the sheep and is now translating that to producing advanced therapies for metabolic diseases around solid tumors, blood cancers, degenerative diseases.
RoslinCT acts as a CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) providing specialist services for large companies.
We’re in Edinburgh, based at BioQuarter, and we’ve recently acquired and integrated with a business in the US called Lycan Biosciences based just outside of Boston in the US.
We’re on a very rapid, high growth journey, with transatlantic operations to provide really niche specialist scientific services.Adam Liddle, Head of Sustainability, RoslinCT
Creating a sustainability strategy in a new industry
Q: What does your role at RoslinCT involve?
I’ve only very recently joined RoslinCT as Head of Sustainability, so it’s a new role for the organization. I’ve come in essentially to set up a sustainability strategy.
My previous experience was ten years working at Jacobs, which is a large global professional technical services consultancy, tens of thousands of employees around the world.
I’ve taken that experience and am applying that to a completely new industry for me in cell therapy in the life sciences sector. It’s a very exciting challenge.Adam Liddle, Head of Sustainability, RoslinCT
- How RoslinCT is contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Opportunities to tackle environmental and social impacts
- Climate change impacts on the business
Strategic thinking & practical problem solving to address sustainability
Q: What aspect of sustainability are you fired up about at the moment?
It’s taking big global themes around health and wellbeing, water, sanitation, clean energy, climate change and helping businesses understand what their role is in contributing towards global goals around climate change and sustainability and taking the company through a journey to understand, well, what can we focus on? What’s our contribution to the world? Where can we have a positive impact?
It’s that stage of things where you can really marry up strategic thinking with practical problem solving to address sustainability issues. That’s the really exciting bit.
Once you’ve done that, then it’s hard work forming project teams, creating initiatives, developing KPIs reporting and delivery, which is equally exciting.Adam Liddle, Head of Sustainability, RoslinCT
Creating an internal sustainability awards scheme
Q: An example of engaging colleagues and stakeholders with sustainability that you’re proud of?
In a previous role we created an internal sustainability awards scheme to incentivise and recognise sustainable behaviours.
It was quite straightforward actually.We put some rough criteria around it: it must lead to tangible outcomes; it must link to one or more UN sustainable development goals; it must be applied in an office, a project, or manufacturing environment.
We just launched it and people embraced it. Every quarter we would love to see the submissions coming in, judging them and just thinking “Oh my God, so this is how this person has interpreted sustainability and applied it to their role!”Adam Liddle, Head of Sustainability, RoslinCT
- The importance of stories to connect and engage people
- How a piping engineer improved welding practices and delivered a range of sustainability and business benefits
- Making sustainability relevant to people day to day experience
- Where to start if you’re creating a sustainability plan from scratch
We’re not far away from sustainability being part of the culture
Q: What’s your priority or challenge right now?
I would really like to get to a point where sustainability is part of the culture at RoslinCT.
So people think in a sustainable way whenever they’re procuring something, whenever we are using something, whenever we are traveling around, whenever we’re attending conferences or getting out there and meeting with clients, meeting with suppliers, promoting what we do.
It then becomes part of how we think, how we conduct our business, part of discussions at the C-suite, all the way down through the organisation.
From what I’ve seen already, I don’t think it’s that far away, because when my position was announced, a lot of people just got in touch and said “I’ve got some ideas”.
There’s a willingness there. It’s on people’s minds and there’s almost a sense of relief that someone’s been appointed to take care of all of these things.Adam Liddle, Head of Sustainability, RoslinCT
- Making tangible, visible changes
- Providing employees with a platform to share ideas
- Understanding the day to day pressures facing middle management
- Creating a sustainability working group with managers across the business
- Communicating sustainability and your role to all staff, including the C-suite
An hour with other sustainability directors and managers to explore the key issues and challenges that matter to you. To be notified of the next event…
Don’t come in as though you think you know it all
Q: What book would you recommend to other sustainability leaders?
When I mentioned that I was moving to RoslinCT, one of my friends gave me this book called “The First 90 Days”. I read it before I started and it just gave me some, some useful tips on how to kind of approach the first three months in a role.
Especially when it’s a promoted role and into a new industry as well, don’t come in as though you think you know it all, and you’re going change the company overnight, because that’s the absolutely the wrong way to approach it.
If people are at this point in their careers where they’re going through a change, it could be internally within the same company, or they just want to read a different kind of leadership book, I would recommend it.Adam Liddle, Head of Sustainability, RoslinCT
These are just some of the highlights – listen to the episode for learn more from Adam’s experience and insights.
Links and resources
Organisations and programmes mentioned include:
- Roslin Institute
- Lycan Biosciences
- Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
- UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Science Based Target
- Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations