Please join us in welcoming Dr. Pernilla Sörme to the My Green Lab team! Originally from Sweden and residing in the UK, Pernilla recently signed on as Technical Program Director. She's a sustainability advocate who loves spending time in nature and at her farm with her animals.
Learn more about Pernilla, her interests, and her sustainability journey below!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself & your background.
I was born in Sweden but live in the UK since 6 years back now. After receiving my Ph.D. at Lunds University in organic chemistry, I made my way north to AstraZeneca Gothenburg where I worked in the lab for 8 years designing and synthesizing candidate drugs. After a while, I wanted to try something different and ended up in Pharmacovigilance, where our group was investigating the adverse effects of medicine. During that time I happened to cross paths with the global sustainability group, as I was helping them out in setting up the new Eco-Pharmacovigilance processes at AstraZeneca. It was like coming home, and I knew that’s what I wanted to work with. At that time, I went back to school and did a masters in environmental risk analysis and got myself a job in that very same organization. That’s where I worked on green labs and started the Green Lab movement at AstraZeneca. A match made in heaven!
What is your role at My Green Lab?
My role as Technical Program Director is to project lead the improvement and update of the My Green Lab Certification Program. I also support the implementation of the My Green Lab program across various organizations and give guidance on how to best implement the program. I run a variety networks, like the My Green Labs BioPharma network, and lead our technical and steering committees that support us with the My Green Lab program.
What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
I am so lucky to be able to combine working with reducing environmental impact, as well as collaboration with research groups all over the world. In the end, I just hope it somehow may contribute to a better place.
I love to work with people. The interface of a meeting is fascinating and is one of the most important aspects of life, I think – how working together can lead to a much higher outcome.
What are your personal sustainability goals?
I have loads! My carbon foot print is not what it could be (if you haven’t calculated yours, try it ). One step at a time, I hope to get my carbon footprint down this year. My New Year’s resolution was to do one action each month. In January, I changed the laundry powder to more a more environmentally friendly brand. I love to grow my own vegetables, too, and I try to plant more trees when I can. It will be a busy summer in the garden!
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I live with my James. We share our space and time with 2 beautiful Rhodesia Ridgebacks dogs, 10 sheep, 7 ducks , 2 chickens and, Lilly the pony. They all keep me very busy most of the time I am off. As well as looking after the land at the farm.
I love nature and try to spend every second I have outside and outdoors. To live and breath as close to nature as I can makes me the happiest.
What are your favorite books / movies?
I am a film buff and watch way too many movies to pick one! I used to help run the local cinema before I left Sweden. We had shows on Tuesdays and I used to run the machines – it was a true joy.
I do like to read and the last book I read that keeps lingering in my head is Firekeeper's Daughter. On my top list is The Birth House and Witch Light.
Where do you call home?
UK is slowly but surely becoming my new home. I always say my heart is big enough and has room for both Sweden and UK. So, I no longer need to decide which I call home.
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