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A 2014 graduate In Environmental Management and Technology (EVMT), Michelle FOK now serves as Sustainable Development Manager with the Cathy Pacific Group. Her key responsibilities there include supporting senior/top management in the development of Net Zero/sustainability strategy for all subsidiaries, ensuring all subsidiaries stay on track to meet Net Zero commitment and other sustainability initiatives, and oversight of sustainability plan and staff engagement programmes.
A firm believer in safeguarding precious finite natural resources by encouraging people to make tiny behavioral changes, Michelle’s lifelong passion for sustainability began while at secondary school in HK and later UK. Equal parts intrigued and inspired, the budding eco-warrior was soon designing, manufacturing and selling/marketing eco-friendly products in UK.
Eager to deepen her understanding of the profound impact interactions between people, business and the environment are having on the planet’s future, Michelle was delighted to win a place on HKUST’s highly regarded EVMT course in 2010.
Eight years on from her graduation, she continues to speak very highly of the theoretical knowledge and practical soft skills she acquired as a result of her course’s Interdisciplinary approach to science, business, engineering, humanities and social science. She remains equally impressed by the insights she was able to glean during field trips, company visits and while studying real life business case studies.
Unlike other classmates who built experience via traditional internships, Michelle was determined to accelerate her personal growth and professional impact under her own steam. To this end, she co-founded Echoes, an environmental education initiative which began using informative and engaging interactive learning techniques to boost sustainability awareness amongst around 300 secondary students who will one day lead Hong Kong.
In 2017, Michelle joined Hong Kong Productivity Council as an Associate Consultant in Corporate Sustainability. She proved so adept at meeting the various challenges involved that within just three years she had advanced to a more responsible management-level post. While difficult and working long hours, she feels consultancy work enabled her to see many sorts of real life sustainability problems for corporates and collaborate with thousands of specialists spearheading the broadest possible range of projects.
As both an alumna and an employer, Michelle is generous with her advice to the next generation of EVMT students who are now following in her footsteps at HKUST. “Be humble to learn, be welcome to fail, be innovative to try again are keys in the fast growing industry. Passionate, persistent and dedicated, such individuals know they will be financially well rewarded in the long run and might even end up helping to change the world along the way!”, says Michelle.