‘Working in sustainability gives me the opportunity to really make a difference’, Meet Sarah Lawrence

Meet Sarah Lawrence our Global Head of Sustainability passionate about all things nature so naturally, wants to play her part in protecting it! Read on, to find out more about Specsavers sustainability plans and Sarah’s career journey.

What was your background before joining Specsavers?
I have worked in marketing for over 20 years, across many sectors and indeed countries, always in roles and for organisations with real purpose and that do good. Construction (clinical products and early adopters in solar PV – showing my age 😉), education sector, a national healthcare charity, and now Specsavers.

Tell me a little bit about your journey at Specsavers?
I have been with Specsavers now for just over three years, joining just before the pandemic hit in a role responsible for marketing our amazing hearing care and domiciliary business, including the now live ‘I don’t go to Specsavers’ campaign, educating the nation around our homecare services for those who cannot get to our stores.

Specsavers response during the pandemic, solidified for me what an incredible organisation this is. Keeping our doors open throughout the pandemic to support the NHS and providing outstanding support, care and reward for its colleagues for keeping the lights on when most needed.

How has Specsavers helped and supported your development?
After three years at Specsavers, I felt I needed a new challenge and a change. I approached members of the board to express my desire to use my skills in other areas of the business, and there was born the new role I now hold in sustainability! What an opportunity. An area I had no experience in, but bucket loads of passion for. The business saw my wider skillset to drive this transformational change in the organisation and so I took the plunge age 45 to learn a whole new skill! I was immersed in an intense 8-week Cambridge Sustainability Management Program and now continue to learn and grow on the job.

What gives you pride in your role working in sustainability?
Working with and for a team of people who have such a genuine passion for sustainability and for making a difference. Working in a role where I can truly effect the future of the organisation for good, with a focus on our people, our planet and the communities we operate in and source from.

How do you feel like you’re making an impact on our sustainability goals?
It’s early day for us, but I feel we now have clarity and direction on our ambitions, a team determined to deliver the change and I personally have the opportunity to drive the whole agenda forward shaping and directing the strategy.

What have you learnt during your time at Specsavers?
That this organisation is fundamentally different to most! It’s unique partnership model, and seeing the founders, Dame Mary and Doug, in the office every day, completely connected to the business and the people on a daily basis. It is like no other business I have worked in.

What would you say to encourage someone thinking about applying for a sustainability role at Specsavers?
Come and join this exciting journey! As a global, privately owned business, we have an opportunity to really make a big difference.

Why do you love working in sustainability at Specsavers?
The people, the energy and the ambition of the business.

What one word would you use to describe the Specsavers culture?

Finally, tell us a little bit about yourself outside of work
I currently live in Guernsey with my husband (electrician which is very handy!) and my five year old son, Emmett (yes named after Doc Emmett Brown!). My family is my everything, and we have a huge passion for the outdoors, especially beaches. Both my husband and I (and not far of my son), live for adventure sports particularly kitesurfing, which is like no other sport that harnesses the power of all of natures forces. I feel at my best and most content when I am amongst nature, so naturally, I want to play my part in protecting it!


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