Sophie Casenave

Job title: Policy Affairs Analyst
Nationality: French
Office location: Lyon
With STX: 1 year

1. Sophie, can you tell me a bit about your current role and what you enjoy most about it?

I’m Policy Affairs Analyst at Strive by STX. At Strive, we empower companies worldwide to transform their environmental challenges into business opportunities.

The private sector’s involvement is essential for driving the transition. Corporate climate actions are driven by both hard regulations and voluntary programmes’ rules. It is my role to advise our global team of Corporate Account Managers, so that they can help their clients decarbonise their operations now and in the long term. I can also help shape the development of new rules to maximize our impact.

I like the variety of the work analyzing and influencing global standards and regulations developing around the world, to customize our offer for each company. My role is key for my colleagues to perform at their best. There is a strong element of teamwork and a sense of adding value which makes the role enjoyable.

2. Can you tell me about your career and how do you see it evolving in the next few years?

A chemical engineer by training, I joined General Electric through their Graduate Programme, which was a fantastic opportunity to build expertise. I stayed with GE for 13 years, in the Netherlands, France and the UK, evolving from technical to commercial roles. When my business unit was sold, I decided to go back to university, and develop knowledge in environmental sciences and energy management. I was proud to get my second M.Sc. with distinction at 40.

I worked in the UK, before being hired by the British Embassy in Paris as Head of Clean Growth within the Department for International Trade. This gave me the opportunity to work with corporates on climate policies, including for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2021 (COP26).

I joined STX in 2022, aiming to support corporates to move from business commitment to tangible actions in the real economy. This is such an inspiring time to work on business decarbonization! This area of work is bubbling with new initiatives and developing regulations to reward the leaders and force the laggards to take actions.

3. If you have to use 3 words, how would you describe STX company culture and how much impact does this have on your job?

Impact: That’s ultimately what we do – support our counterparts to have a positive impact by giving a price to the reduction of carbon emissions and influencing the development of new rules impacting corporates thanks to our product expertise.

Team spirit: To have maximum impact, we cannot work in silos. This is especially true for Strive, where corporates need our full range of products to decarbonize their operations; we therefore all work together as OneSTX.

Fast-paced: There is never a dull moment in Strive. With our growing team of Corporate Account Managers, you can be sure that there are always a few cases that need analysis of the rules or careful interpretation of a regulation to be done as soon as possible.

These three aspects are what makes the job fun!

4. How do you stay motivated and engaged in your work on a –day-to-day basis?

My role involves a great balance of long-term projects – for example monitoring or influencing the development of rules from law makers or voluntary initiatives’ boards, with some short-term requests – coming from corporate demands through my colleagues. There is never time to get bored.

I often feel like I’m working on this complex puzzle, with various regulations, initiatives and innovations having to fit neatly together. This requires a combination of research and analysis, combined with building relationships with the right people internally and externally and many exchanges on interesting projects.  This is super exciting; even if sometimes my brain hurts at the end of the day.

Overall, my motivation comes from looking at the big picture of the decarbonization of corporate activities, the end goal of reaching Net Zero as quickly as possible, to limit our impact on the planet and the sense of value and pride I get from being part of it.

5. Looking back at your earliest career years, is there anything you would have done differently or, on the other end, something that you are very proud of?

Looking back, I don’t think I would have done anything differently. However, I would have told myself not to worry so much. When we are young, we tend to think that our study or early career choices are going to be for ever. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to choose the right orientation, the right course and the right first employer.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter so much; we have plenty of opportunities to redirect our careers, follow our interests, change the sector we want to work in or find the “tribe” we feel comfortable working with.

I am proud of the richness of experiences (with large corporates, SMEs, and public authorities, in different sectors) and the exposure to foreign cultures (having lived in France, the USA, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK) that I have been able to build in my career so far. And it’s not over yet!