Danish advisor Jette Karstoft wants to make a difference for the environment, and she acts upon it.
Portrait

Seeing soil and building materials as resources, not waste materials

Jette Karstoft is one of the Danish advisors, who is a true frontrunner in sustainability. Jette wants to make a difference, and she acts upon it.

Jette Karstoft is one of Denmark's leading experts in sustainable soil management. Right now, she is working with a new forecasting tool for sustainable recycling in construction and at the same time she is also part of NIRAS' Talent Programme.

Back in the days, when Jette got her Diploma in Engineering, she was convinced that her future work should focus on making clean water in Africa. However, the career took an unexpected turn when Jette was employed in NIRAS 12 years ago. Instead of clean water in Africa her focus point became contaminated soil in Denmark.

As a specialist in soil strategies, Jette works hard to change the construction industries view on soil into a resource, instead of something that just needs to be transported away. Jette works focused to spread the idea whether it is with lectures, letters to the government, postings on social media or articles for newspapers and online media.

Even though, she has a pretty busy schedule, Jette cannot stop herself from getting new ideas for sustainable initiatives. In addition to soil strategies, she works with forecasts for the recycling of building materials.

Green transition to small and medium-sized companies

Through the NIRAS Talent Management Program, Jette is undergoing management training. The course includes teaching and workshops and ends with an assignment. For Jette, of course, the assignment has a sustainable message and is about green transition.

“The small and medium-sized companies do not have the opportunity to hire their own environmental coordinator. This is where NIRAS can help. In addition to the specific strategy, we can also assist the customers with particular actions in order to implement the strategy.”, Jette tells about the essentials in her assignment.

As part of her assignment, currently Jette is talking green transition with a lot of small and medium-sized companies. "If you are really passionate about your message, it affect the customer in a good way," Jette explains hoping she can motivate others to do even more in a sustainable manner.

Driven by ideology

Anyone who has worked with Jette knows, that she is driven by ideology. "When I am working on a project, my drive is to help and to make a difference to the sustainability of the project," Jette says, adding with a smile that she obviously knows NIRAS is a business which does not exist by ideology alone. That is why Jette always tries to ensure that her customers get value for money regarding environment and green transition.

Head of department at NIRAS, Mette Neerup Jeppesen, who has worked closely with Jette for many years on numerous innovative projects, is pleased to call Jette a success. "She is a fantastic colleague, selfless and she is always loyal towards herself and the ideology. Jette aims for the goal with team spirit and the ability to be at good listener. This, combined with high professional skills, means that customers quickly feel confident about Jette's proposals and ideas,” Mette says about her colleague.

"Without my good colleagues and customers, I could not do anything" Jette points out and emphasizes that she fortunately has a lot of great people around her. They are working for the same cause and provide space for and support for her initiatives such as her forecast work.

Forecasts of surplus soil inspired new business area

From her work on forecasts for sustainable soil management, a new idea came to mind in Jette’s head. If you could predict the amounts of soil on constructions sites for many years to come, then you could probably also do the same with reusable building materials. This idea has led to several exciting new projects for Jette and NIRAS.

"Someone has to do something now, otherwise we will harm our planet for ever," Jette concludes. At the same time, she is pleased that a lot of customers want to meet the 17 sustainable goals and take care of our planet. Fortunately, they come to NIRAS for qualified assistants, to bring their visions to life in collaboration with people such as Jette.