Jonathan Edmunds

MSc Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy (2012)
Current Job: 
Recycling Coordinator, DS Smith Recycling

Why did you choose Cardiff University as a place to study?

Cardiff was the only place I had been interested in for this course. For me it was important to undertake an accredited MSc, from a well respected university. As well as this, I would need to travel each day to university from Newport and so location was also a big factor.

What was the best thing about your time as a student at Cardiff?

The quality of lecturing I found to be very good compared to previous educational institutions I have attended and the support and guidance of lecturers was superb. The specialisation that the course offered in the environmental and sustainability field was excellent, and has proven to be very useful in my current role.

What thing or person inspired you most whilst you were a Cardiff University student?

Whilst no single person inspired me in particular, I found that the course as a whole inspired me to pursue a career in the environmental field.

What one thing would you tell someone else about the School of Planning and Geography at Cardiff?

I would tell them that it is a very worthwhile, enjoyable and interesting school to be a part of, especially the SPEP course.

How did your degree most help you in the career or job you have now chosen?

My current role I obtained towards the end of my MSc. My knowledge of environmental policy and sustainability was vital in helping me obtain this role, as I use this knowledge on a daily basis. I need to be aware of environmental licensing and regulations, and the course gave me an up to date, detailed knowledge of this through Environmental Management and Environmental Law modules in particular. Further sustainability modules helped form the understanding and reasoning behind these environmental regulations and their implication upon the waste and recycling industry.

Tell us a bit about your current job, how you got into what you are doing and what you enjoy about it most.

My current role combines a number of different elements, from environmental auditing, to commercial sales and purchasing of material. My day to day workload consists of coordinating the purchasing and sales of recyclate from large retail customers, local authorities, and other waste management companies to reprocessors or exporters. Along with this I am responsible for auditing our non-paper customers, and checking the validity of their environmental credentials and licenses. It is important for us that our customers adhere to environmental law and regulations, and that we have a sound audit trail to show this. It is the combination of commercial, environmental and sustainability that makes the job so interesting. It has seen me travel around the UK on a regular basis, and even out to Poland to visit customers.

What opportunities do you feel have opened up to you as a result of being a student at the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography?

I don’t believe that I would have obtained my current job without being a student at Cardiff. It was vital in providing me with the knowledge of the environmental sector that I could demonstrate when interviewed. In such a harsh economic climate, where jobs for graduates are difficult to come by, and even more difficult to successfully obtain, I would say that the SPEP course gave me something that would stand out on my CV and was definitely worth while in undertaking. Being a student at the Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning has given me the massive opportunity of being able to build a career in a fast growing sector, and a fast growing company.

Tell us any interesting facts about yourself, hobbies or interests that you have.

I like to play cricket in the summer, although my sporting ability is pretty low! But I enjoy the socialising that is associated with the sport, and seeing some beautiful grounds around the country. I have even travelled as part of a centenary tour to Barbados, where I played four games over two weeks, including grounds which had been played on by England just two weeks prior. I enjoy films, going to the gym and the outdoors also.