Meet the climate team

Emily Cromwell

Consumer leader and allotment fan
Emily Cromwell

Climate change is complicated. But that’s not stopping people around the world from making a difference. We’re lucky to have some brilliantly diverse people leading our climate work across the firm. In this series, we help you get to know them, their areas of expertise and why they’re passionate about the planet.

We sat down for a virtual cuppa with Emily Cromwell, who leads our responsible business work for our consumer industry clients. She takes us on a journey from her childhood riding horses in the middle of America to her love of her pet greyhound and growing spuds.

Meet Emily

It’s easy to see how Emily’s early years growing up in the Wheat Capital of Oklahoma have shaped her and her love of the environment.

“Looking back, I was lucky to have grown up in a small town with mom and pop stores that people picture as the best of America. My sister and I were raised in Enid, Oklahoma, a town surrounded by acres of rolling wheat and grass as far as the eye could see. Our family had a menagerie of animals, including rabbits, chickens, dogs, cats – even a parrot. I rode horses right up until university,” she recalls.

As an undergraduate, Emily gained a humanities degree in Oklahoma, before studying law at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. “I’ve always been interested in human rights and international public law, which ties in to so many of the things I’m doing today,” she says.

The early days

“My first job was in the US Senate for a Senator from Oklahoma in an office opposite the Senate floor – I’ll never have an office that nice again! It was here that I learnt a lot about politics and human nature and how people have to compromise and trust each other,” she reveals.

Emily then landed a global role with an American company setting up a programme to address anti-bribery sanctions, non-proliferation regulations, export controls and their ethical policy.

“I travelled the world and built my experience of taking regulations, laws and policy requirements and figuring out how to embed them in a business so they’re aligning with all targets and obligations.”

Finally, Emily moved to the UK to join Deloitte and her now husband in London. She’s been with us for nine years and has never looked back.

Asked what made her first become interested in climate and sustainability, Emily was emphatic: “It’s the biggest issue of our generation. As a professional, there’s no bigger challenge.”

Check the label

Emily works with some of our biggest consumer clients across a variety of sectors, including retail, travel, fashion, automotive and hospitality sectors.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work on sustainability labelling, helping organisations include more transparent information on their products. Once you share the provenance of food (or any other product, really), consumers feel more empowered to make decisions that align with their values,” she explains.

“For most of my clients in the food and retail space, over 95% of their emissions come from their value chain – this is what we call Scope 3. A concept like sustainability labelling could be a key driver to influence behaviour and reduce this footprint.”

And what about the future – what’s big on the agenda?

“Biodiversity. There’s been a lot of focus on COP26 and climate change, but biodiversity is an absolutely pressing issue too. I anticipate that natural capital and biodiversity will become a part of our more regular conversations in the future.”

Emily's allotment

Allotted time

When Emily’s not at work, she’s either taking her lazy rescue greyhound ‘Bernie’ out for a sniff and a stroll or getting her hands dirty in her allotment with Florence, her five-year-old daughter.

“It needs some attention, but the allotment is a lot of fun. We grow potatoes, blackberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, peas, chard, green beans – lots of different things. Letting Florence explore and harvest whatever’s in season is like a treasure hunt! I really enjoy teaching her to have a more personal relationship with food, treating it less as a commodity and more as something that’s precious.”

Emily’s daughter is also her biggest source of inspiration. “There’s a lot of wisdom in children. They see moral imperatives more simply than we do, and there’s a lot to learn from their perspective. Throwing myself in this type of work is much easier knowing that the outcome of our collective efforts will have a direct impact on the type of world she inherits.”

Emily and her daughter Florence

Meet the others

We hope you enjoyed finding out a bit more about Emily. Our climate team are here to help you, so please get in touch if you’d like to find out more. And if you’d like to meet the others, please keep reading below. We’ll introduce you to new people every month.

Jess O'Neal

Jess O'Neal

Climate change consultant and escape room designer
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Gavin Harrison

Gavin Harrison

Internal sustainability lead and eternal optimist
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Veronica Poole

Veronica Poole

Corporate reporting leader and transparency advocate
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