skip to content



This month we are welcoming two new members of our team, Kat and Fiona. Read the interviews below to get to know them better. 

Katarina McCartney, Carbon Manager 

Katarina McCartneyWhat does your position involve?  

My focus is on reducing our scope 3 carbon emissions. I will be working with the team and stakeholders to consider the most significant and accessible scope 3 emission areas; including work on data collection, setting targets and planning and implementing projects to reduce these indirect emissions, upstream and downstream in the university’s value chain.

What is your (education/qualification) background and how did you get here?  

I have a MSc in Environment, Science and Society from UCL and a BSC in Environmental Science from UEA. I am also a qualified teacher having chosen to teach geography. My educational background was shaped less formally at a young age, through the Woodcraft Folk youth group. There I was able to learn and discuss how we can better value our planet and each other, that’s how I got to this point today!

What were you doing before joining the Sustainability Team?

I had been teaching geography to secondary school and sixth form students prior to coming to the university. Teaching has been a very fast-paced, exciting and thought-provoking, many students showed wonderful interest in sustainability, it was great to hear their views and ideas. Also, for me, going back to considering the science of climate change and the environment helped refresh this knowledge.

What are you looking forward to getting your teeth into in the coming year?

Scope 3 emissions are wide-ranging and likely to make up a large proportion of the university’s inventory, so working to reduce this sphere has huge potential to minimise the university’s contribution to climate change. Forming partnerships and building projects, once we have identified the material areas of most concern/opportunity, will I feel be very rewarding.

Who is your inspirational figure (real or fictional)?

I have two relatively new inspirational figures in my children. They inspire me to keep questioning the world – they are certainly very good at asking questions! They inspire me to keep optimistically challenging unsustainability and doing my part to drive change so that they can themselves have the opportunity to live their best lives.

Do you have any hobbies?  

I play Salibandy (or floorball) and I like to garden both in our back garden and on my allotment. I like camping, mostly in England, and I love visits to see my family in Finland, especially swimming in the lakes and browsing through the kirpputorit (flea markets).

What do you think is the biggest environmental challenge?  

Globally, perhaps it will be overcoming the impacts of climate change which are already disrupting lives and environments around the world. In terms of a more local challenge, I think it tends to be around attributing quantified ‘wins’ to projects, so that they can ‘out-compete’ comparable but less sustainable options.

What gets you out of bed (and into work) in the morning?  

Enjoying my job, working with people to build together, learning new things and applying what I have learnt.

What is your environment-related pet hate?  

The notion that one person’s actions can’t make a big enough difference so there is no point in changing.

What is your proudest professional achievement?

It’s a long term sense of pride felt that I have built a career with meaning, with opportunities to feel like I am supporting society in protecting the future. It’s great to have been able to work with organisations on their journey towards sustainability.

What is your favourite green gadget?  

I have a staple-less stapler which is an amazing piece of engineering!

First impressions of Cambridge?

I have lived in Cambridge for nearly all my life. I have left and returned a few times, but it’s a city where I have made many friends and lived many experiences. While the parts of the city change and grow, the feelings of familiarity and uniqueness are not lost, it’s a very pretty, open-minded, place to live.

Energy Coordinator (Maternity Cover) – Fiona Tonyin

When did you join the Sustainability Team? 

I joined the Sustainability Team in 2019. I started out as a temp and became a permanent staff member just in time for Christmas that year.

What else have you done within the Sustainability Team before this?

Before covering the Energy Coordinator role, I was an Energy Assistant and I focused mainly on ensuring the accuracy of the utility bills charged to the Cambridge Colleges.

What is your (education/qualification) background and how did you get here?

I have a background in marketing and finance and, prior to joining the Sustainability Team, I spent a few years working in the public sector and in education.

What does your position involve?  

I am responsible for ensuring the smooth running of  utility supplies across the University Estate. This means I am involved with anything from day-to-day supplier management, to monitoring building energy usage data, compliance checks and supporting the Energy Manager with annual reporting.

Which projects are you looking forward to seeing come to fruition?

I’m looking forward to (and hoping) my team move to an automated invoice validation process, to free up time to get on with everything else!

What is your environment-related pet hate? 

I have a deep dislike of waste and rubbish

What is your favourite green gadget?  

My favourite green gadget has to be my Smart Nest Thermostat because it helps optimize my energy usage!