Responsible Business Sector Lead
Passionate about climate change, Jessica Travers always knew she wanted a career where she could make a positive impact in the fight to save the planet. So, when an opportunity came up for Jessica to influence her projects as well as her peers across the commercial sector, she grabbed it with both hands, now playing a key role at Mace as we collaborate with global brands on their sustainability efforts.
- How did you get into what you do?
I started out as a designer creating environments with light. As I developed my career, I knew I wanted to have more control in project delivery, so I moved into project management. I knew by making that move I could identify wasteful practices and it would give me more opportunities to work more sustainably.
When the opportunity to work in Responsible Business came up, I knew I could drive more opportunities with a keen focus on the environment. Sustainability and the climate crisis have become so critical and urgent, I knew it would be an exciting career move with real purpose. I get to work with some fantastic clients with great ambitions to deliver the best projects in a sustainable way.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
The team here is amazing - a real group of superstar experts! I get so much joy from working with them and learning something new every day.
Discovering new innovations and knowledge sharing while taking our clients on that journey. I also get to work with some of the industry’s best project managers in our private property sector and am lucky enough to support a number of our top accounts who are really pushing sustainable delivery high on their agenda.
- How do you redefine the boundaries of ambition?
I challenge our clients to strive for more to achieve their stretch sustainability targets and actively look for ways to reduce their carbon, equally pursuing carbon savings so that we smash our 2026 goal to save 1 million tonnes of client carbon. We capture all savings and provide our clients with quarterly updates on their own performance and what competitors are doing to drive sustainable delivery and decarbonisation.
- Why Mace?
For me, there are several reasons. The culture and people at Mace for one. I strongly believe in Mace’s philosophy and what the company promotes – and it truly attracts some of the best talent I’ve worked with. There is a real hunger to support ambition makers here, giving them the space and flexibility to grow their careers, which you don’t tend to come across very often.
Secondly, I think it is fantastic how involved the Mace Board is. They listen to the market, the needs of the business, as well as the drivers of Mace’s changemakers. In many companies you don’t often get the chance to sit alongside board members and present ideas, but we do here.
Thirdly, it has to be the clients we work with. There aren’t many opportunities in this industry where you get to work with some truly inspiring and amazing brands. What is really exciting is that we build up a partnership rather than following the standard commission approach, so you’re working side by side in the interest of a clear common goal.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
Persuasion is a key one - bringing clients on the journey of doing the right thing. While the industry is rapidly moving in the right direction, it’s important we ensure our client’s sustainability ambitions remain in focus, particularly when other barriers may be afoot.
Strategic thinking and planning I’d also consider to be key attributes of the role, ensuring the work we deliver is beneficial to the wider goal, without any form of hinderance to the clients' other objectives for their project deliveries and internal structures.
I also believe we need to remain creative and fluid in our approach – this still remains a new topic for some of our clients, so finding creative solutions with our client team and consultants, taking risks to find the best way forward is a daily occurrence.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
Do it! It’s a really fun space to be in, and every day is a school day which I believe is really important in a market that’s everchanging, and equally full of the best talent.
Our team is ever growing, as we further discover the influence and impact we are able to have on our clients' organisations and projects. This actively promotes flexibility and freedom in what and how we deliver – the possibilities are endless!
My recommendation would be to connect with as many Mace RB team members as you can. The team has a such a diverse blend of backgrounds - from ex-military, architecture, geography and construction – which provides such a wide variety of viewpoints and knowledge.
Provided that you can define what you can bring to the team, understand what the expectations are, and have a passion for moving our industry into a better place for the climate, I’m certain you’ll fit right in.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
I did used to see myself becoming a chef one day. I’m pretty steady under pressure, love to cook, and bring people together who share a passion for rustic, beautifully simple food.
I’ve also got a lot of respect for the chefs out there doing everything they can to source sustainably and eliminate food waste. It continues to be a growing problem, and any awareness on the matter truly helps address the issues.
“Seeing the benefits of what we deliver day after day, and inspiring people on the journey. I couldn’t work anywhere that didn’t have a purpose.”