Jul 14, 2021 — News

This is Inka, our Impact Assessment Trainee

Veera Juutilainen profile picture
Veera Juutilainen
Marketing & communications

The next in line for introduction is our Impact Assessment Trainee Inka-Mari Sarvola.

Inka is finishing her Master’s Degree in Agriculture and Forestry. She specialises in environmental and natural resource economics, more precisely in dynamic optimisation in the field of ecological-economic models of forestry and reindeer husbandry. During her traineeship, she has been learning more about impact assessment.

Nature and the environment are close to Inka’s heart. She has always lived close to nature which makes fighting for environmental improvements almost like fighting for her living habitat. Nature conservation and being environmentally friendly have also been core values in her family. In her day-to-day life, Inka takes part in climate actions by riding a bicycle as much as she can to move around in Helsinki instead if driving a car or taking a bus. She recycles eagerly and avoids food waste and only buys meat products that are about to become food waste. Inka thinks buying discount food is not only budget friendly and reduces food waste, but is also fun: you never know, what new products you can find and try!

As a trainee, Inka has been figuring out emissions factors from literature and different databases, updated emissions calculations to meet the newest IPCC guidelines and modelled life cycles for multiple products. Inka thinks that the fun in carbon footprint calculations comes from the fact that they are simple calculations, but they require multiple details. She can see herself doing impact assessments even after the traineeship, as the work has a good balance of modelling and calculations, literature review and programming.

“It has been interesting to see how interdisciplinary the work of impact assessment specialists and programmers is and how closely they work together. Despite their different fields of expertise, they both require quite a lot of knowledge on the area of the other. I think that commercial climate work should be transparent, simple to use and based in science, exactly as Biocode’s work is.”

Inka-Mari Sarvola

It has been eye-opening for Inka to visit Finnish farms in tours organised by agricultural students of University of Helsinki, and also visiting her friends’ farms. She recommends everyone to get to know where the food comes to grocery stores and how it is produced. This knowledge helps a lot when formulating impact assessments of primary production. Visiting farms on their “open house” days is a great way to see the farm infrastructure and maybe even meet the animals.

Inka would like to encourage all companies to take trainees. Trainees are often motivated to apply their studies in work life. Work experience is important, especially for trainees coming from academia. For the company, trainees offer precious help for a few months, diverge substance knowledge and a great chance to test how well the work is organised in the company. Working might also help trainees to learn about methods they haven’t yet encountered at any lectures.

“I didn’t have experience in LCA before this traineeship, but I had my knowledge of modelling and agriculture to offer. I have brought valuable insights to Biocode, and I have learned about LCA in return.”

Inka-Mari Sarvola

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