Fiona Martin


IMG_0949This time we speak to Fiona Martin, and find out what’s involved in her role as SEPA’s Chief Officer, People and Property.

What attracted you to working in SEPA?

SEPA has a great reputation and sounded like an organisation that wanted to be versatile, innovate and really make a difference. My environmental knowledge was pretty limited and I thought that might be a draw back. However, having a different perspective has helped and I’ve learnt a great deal about our environment which has influenced what I do at home and at work.

The people that I have worked alongside in SEPA have been amazing, warm, knowledgeable, innovative and committed to making a difference. This has been one of the most inspiring aspects of working in SEPA.

What work are you involved in?

One of the aspects I love about my job is the variety, and having the opportunity to work with different people. At present I’m helping with SEPA’s new people strategy, to make it clear, simple and real. I’m also working with Agency Management Team colleagues, using feedback from the people survey and staff sessions that our Chief Executive Officer, Terry A’Hearn, held earlier this year.

In the last twelve months I have worked more closely with colleagues, looking to improve the environmental performance of our buildings. Progress has been good, though we have more to do.

Today (5 July 2016) I’m chairing the Agency Management Team for Terry, a prospect which earlier in my career would have been scary, however, like life generally, when you get experiences to try new things and to learn from others how to do them, it’s not nearly as scary as you might first imagine. Now I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance.

This afternoon I’m focussing on a planning response, getting ready for the next People Board in August and publishing the draft people strategy to get feedback on whether our efforts to date are resulting in a simpler, clearer strategy that focusses on the right areas to help us move from good to great.

What are your green credentials?

I’ve learned a great deal about the importance of greening since joining SEPA. As a result, I recycle a lot more, i.e. our food waste is fed to our chickens, and I’ve become an arch buyer, spotting second hand clothing bargains on eBay.

What is your favourite Scottish environment?

This is a really tough question as there are loads of places in Scotland that I think are stunning. My favourite place changes, however, today it is Luskentyre beach in Harris, which always takes my breath away.  Sandwood Bay at Cape Wrath is a close second, and sometimes the best place is simply at home with my husband and our cats.


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