Isawan Kaeochotchuangkul is a rising star in the Sustainability sector: she was recently appointed Global Head of Sustainability at Rhenus A & O.
Sustainability is a core value of JacksonGrant, and we welcome the chance to work with our clients on strengthening their Sustainability credentials.
Khun Isawan is an excellent role model for aspiring young female Thai professionals, especially those who are interested in pursuing a career in logistics; also for any aspiring manager who is passionate about Sustainability.
Isawan holds a Masters in Transport & Logistics from Technical University of Munich, where she also studied Marketing and Business Management. She graduated with honours from Thammasat University’s Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology.
Nick Padovan, head of JacksonGrant’s Supply Chain & Logistics team, has worked closely with Isawan on a number of projects.
We hope you will enjoy this conversation between Nick and Khun Isawan about how her career path led to a high-profile global role in the Sustainability field.
Nick: Can you tell us about your career path? How did it start?
Isawan: In 2015, I joined Rhenus as an Asia Pacific management trainee. Rhenus provides a unique opportunity for recent graduates to move between countries every six months and explore multiple departments. This gave me the opportunity to strengthen my skills from various points of view while getting involved in international strategies and several projects from different angle; Product, IT, HR, Commercial, as well as general Management. Over the years, I've come to realise that being able to see the big picture is something that really intrigues me. Rather than simply connecting ideas and getting things done, it's a process of gathering the pieces together to successfully reach a common goal.
Nick: How did you transition into a Sustainability role?
Isawan: Growing up in an area where water flows freely and air quality is ideal, I grew to truly appreciate direct access to it. However, through my travels and a few relocations to different countries, I have seen how fragile these necessities are in some parts of the world; how people who are less fortunate often must simply accept whatever is available to them. This can have huge impacts on their lives, as certain things may be impossible for them to do or acquire because of the environment and circumstances beyond their control. For this reason, I believe that clean air and water should be a fundamental right for all people, regardless of their place of residence. When the global discussion about Sustainability at Rhenus was underway and a position presented itself to be a part of that effort, I jumped right in. This industry contributes 20 percent of world-wide carbon emissions, so I saw this as a great chance to make a meaningful contribution.
Nick: As Director of Sustainability, what do you hope to accomplish? Can you elaborate on Rhenus’ initiatives and the importance of sustainability in the logistics sector?
Isawan: My goal is to ensure the organisation is working together towards a clear, achievable strategy for reaching sustainability. It is important for organisations to have a clear strategic direction that is communicated and adopted by every division and all employees. This intent should be communicated and cascaded down to each Rhenus employee so that everyone has a shared understanding of our goals and objectives, as well as how their job contributes to achieving them. With this understanding in place, we can work together towards a common goal – sustainability.
At Rhenus Air & Ocean division, We separated our initiatives into three key areas:
- Transport Solutions: We highly focus on providing emissions visibility on the shipment level to our customers before providing options to make their supply chain more sustainable, cleaner, or carbon neutral. We are also focused on building long-term relationships with partners who have the same values as ours.
- Environment: We care deeply about managing our emissions scopes 1 & 2, from our assets and energy use to the materials we acquire for operations and our level of internal decision-making. Moreover, we strive for a positive impact in our scope 3 activities derived from assets outside of our ownership or control. We track all the data and work on a roadmap for continuous improvement to ensure that we remain accountable to society.
- People: We place importance on the good health and well-being goals as well as gender equality from the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. We develop initiatives in our training that are implemented within our organisation and bring visibility of these decisions to key decision-makers.
NICK: What makes Rhenus different from its other competitors in terms of its Sustainability drive?
Isawan: We are in a period of unprecedented change, as we transition from a carbon-emitting economy to one built around sustainable energy. As we attempt to meet this challenge, I strongly believe that logistics providers should be able to provide accurate, trustworthy figures regarding their emissions to design an effective strategy that can achieve carbon neutrality.
At Rhenus, we understand the importance of sustainability, how it is crucial to our customers, and most importantly, to us all as global citizens. We've collected data from all aspects of our operations to create a comprehensive picture and solid plan to drive our sustainability agenda. We share this information with our key stakeholders and clients to help them make informed decisions that reduce emissions and maximise their savings.
Rhenus strives to make a long-lasting and positive impact on sustainability. We aim to deliver value to our customers that will help them revolutionise their supply chain.
Nick: Do you have any advice for fresh graduates and young professionals pursuing a career in sustainability logistics?
Isawan: Sustainability is a (very) broad topic, and in my opinion there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Therefore, don’t stop learning, be creative, and keep challenging the status quo!