In the latest interview with HR in ASIA, Senior HR Manager Puja Shah from VFlowTech shares tips and practices on how businesses can overcome climate change and kick start their career in the clean tech industry.
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More companies are claiming how they have been going green in their business operations, but how to make this more than just becoming a mere employer branding? Through an interview with Puja Shah, Senior Human Resources Manager of VFlowTech, HR in Asia seeks to understand the current state of green technology. We discuss how both employers and the workforce can help in pursuing a more environmentally-friendly business climate.
Question: Puja, climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world today. And yet companies are reluctant to shift to green tech due to a belief that its infrastructure cost is expensive. What can green companies like VFlowTech do to change this mindset?
Answer: We cannot afford to ignore the effects of climate change anymore, and high infrastructure costs are a better price to pay than the effects of climate change. Many people around the world have started to experience the rising global average temperature first hand, such as heat waves and large storms, which are becoming more frequent. There are many benefits that can convince companies to make the big shift to green technology. Building renewable energy infrastructure creates thousands of jobs, reduces the cost of energy, improves lives, which then reduces societal costs, and significantly reduces pollution. Increased use of green energy can only help the economy to grow and prosper.
Question: As more organizations go digital, reliance on electricity has significantly soared. Meanwhile, electricity production generates the second-largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. If adopting green tech is not affordable (yet), then what green initiatives companies can do to balance their massive use of electricity?
Answer: Companies can offset their electricity usage by reducing energy consumption in the office. Paying more attention to daily routine activities can make an impact on the climate. Simple everyday actions such as turning off the lights in the office in the evening, lowering the air conditioning, or taking devices off the plugs when it’s not in use are some good practices to implement. Choosing more environment-friendly infrastructures and office equipment is also another great way to balance electricity consumption. When buying new printers, air conditioners, laptops, screens, and other office materials, remember to choose more energy-efficient and sustainable options based on their origins or manpower ethic standards. On a bigger scale, especially for tech companies that demand significant use of electricity, commitments to procure the same quantity of electricity from renewable sources that match their annual consumption is also a good way to keep up with climate and energy strategies.
Question: So, what are the next-gen green technologies deemed as relatively low in terms of cost, such that more businesses can adopt them?
Answer: Vanadium redox flow scale batteries and sustainable microgrids are an example of next-gen green technology that is a relatively low-cost solution that businesses can look into for the fight against climate change. The Vanadium flow technology makes electricity more accessible thanks to its significantly low cost of ownership. Installing renewable microgrids is much more affordable than traditional energy infrastructure, and they perform better than lead-acid and lithium-ion, which are extremely sensitive to high temperatures that can cause widespread damage. Our recent joint venture with Sing Fuels, VFlowTech Africa uses both of these infrastructures to provide clean energy in Africa.
Question: Despite renewable energy growth poised to accelerate, skills shortage remains an issue in 2022. In your opinion, what is the solution for this?
Answer: Good training and more apprenticeship opportunities that are part of university education can attract more workers. VFlowTech is a strong advocate of mid-career switches and we provide training for interested candidates who wish to excel in this industry. We have a presence in university networks and career fairs to build awareness for our company and the skills we are looking for. Funding in industry, academia, and government will also help greatly. The Workforce Singapore [WSG] that is working with partners to explore a Career Conversion Programme [CCP] for sustainability professionals, is an example of a great initiative from the Singapore government.
Question: Reskilling can be a great way to get non-STEM professionals involved in climate change initiatives, but what skills are actually in demand at renewable energy companies?
Answer: A keen understanding of evolving technologies and a passion for the future of green energy, in a larger global context, is critical. Having like-minded colleagues who are passionate about their job makes it even more rewarding when we are tackling the challenges in the energy sector. Complimentary soft skills such as project management and communications are also valuable.
Question: What value-based jobs are said to be in high demand as well as well-paid in the green industry?
Answer: Advancements of technology in the industry have created new roles over the last five to 10 years. There are many well-paid green job opportunities across sectors that are in demand, such as financial services, energy, and power, engineering, construction, and manufacturing.
Question: Last question, can you share some tips on how fresh graduates and talents alike can get exposure to green jobs at renewable energy companies like VFlowTech?
Answer: Get exposure as early as possible and educate yourself about the opportunities available. Internships are a great way to start, as well as attending trade shows and conferences, networking, and self-study outside your core curriculum at university.
VFlowTech is reinventing energy storage with Vanadium redox flow technology right here in Singapore. We welcome interns and graduates as well as professionals that are either already in the renewable sector or looking to make the switch.
We’re also partnering with Local universities like Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) to embark on an Industrial Postgraduate Programme [IPP] program to support Ph.D. students who are currently training or working at VFT. We are working closely with Energy Research Institute at NTU EcoLab to sign an MOU and reach out to more students and promote to faculties that we would either sponsor their final year semester or final year project if they choose to complete the project with us.
About Puja Shah
Ms. Puja Shah is a Senior HR Manager at VFlowTech Pte Ltd. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Management from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and has a deep background in HR, managing stakeholders, end-to-end employee cycle, and digital marketing functions in start-ups and SMEs.
Puja has gained experience in both external & internal recruitment at boutique recruitment firms such as Blake Dair Consulting and has then progressed onto leading the human resources department at Sing Fuels, a global energy trading company. She is actively involved in spearheading the Project Management Office in aspects of human resources, people & culture, and business support operations.
About HR in Asia
HR in Asia is a human resource online media publication. We cover Human resources News, trends, interviews, and events articles across Asia. We covering the latest developments in the domains of employer branding, recruitment, retention, employee relations, people development, HR technology, and outsourcing.
HR in Asia seeks to connect psychological insights with the best practices and experiences of HR professionals, business owners, and C-level executives in the corporate sector. In addition, we provide the latest developments and trends in the regional HR space for employees and job-seekers that seek to understand.
With our brand, we seek to facilitate and create the convergence of an informed professional community of HR professionals throughout the region. We commit to provide and contribute to the latest in industry knowledge and practices via content from influencers, coaches and industry thought leaders from around the world, while maintaining a local context.