About Ruyi Teh
Ruyi is our Sustainability Consultant based in the Kuala Lumpur office. Ruyi developed her passion for sustainability through witnessing the disastrous impact of climate change on animals, the environment and people from experiential learning in expeditions and volunteering. We talked to Ruyi to hear about her experiential learning to develop herself and her career in sustainability at BBC.
A Passion for Inspiring
I had never imagined myself being involved in sustainability and environmental causes. The environment that I grew up in does not teach me anything about environmental issues and causes. However, I know that nature is part of my soul and life. I enjoy staying in nature. I love watching documentaries voiced by Sir David Attenborough and travelling to nature scenes. I hate food waste, and feel uneasy seeing plastic pollution by the roadside and in the sea. Animals should have animal rights.
However, I became concerned about sustainability while volunteering with the Perhentian Sea Turtle Conservation Project in 2018. The experience has had a strong direct impact on me. I was healed by nature on the island but felt depressed understanding the truth of the vicious relationship between humans, the environment and animals. The most profound feeling that I had when I was involved in the project was “Why do animals have to suffer from the deeds of greedy and selfish humans? They have done nothing but diligently play their roles in the ecosystem, helping humans indirectly.” I feel a strong sense of guilt because of what we have done towards them. I still remember the overwhelming guilt and sadness of watching “A Beautiful Planet” at the Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom. I was surprised I teared up in the theatre within the first ten minutes of the documentary, seeing how beautiful our planet is and linking back to the tremendous facts on what we have done toward our planet. It was an impactful emotion that I could not ease away until now.
Since then, I have been looking for solutions to address my emotions and get myself involved in the sustainability sector. I studied for a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship as I believe we need a holistic approach to sustainability. Nevertheless, I realized that real change could only start from humanity and ourselves when I began to work with the BBC. Everything has to start with self-awareness and consciousness. It is the secret towards creating a sustainable impact for the planet and people. I aspire to inspire one person at one time with my strength.
“We cannot change the world if we cannot change our way of thinking and our consciousness” – Thinch Nhat Hanh
A Process of Self-discovery
In September 2022, I relocated to Kuala Lumpur after quitting my previous job to assist with sustainability-related projects. I was in the ideal situation at the perfect time when I looked back. At that point, sustainability and ESG were beginning to pick up. Seeing BBC’s aspiration to expand our sustainability practises was incredibly motivating.
Right after I arrived, I was assigned to ESG-related projects, from creating frameworks and educational materials to dealing with clients and creating marketing materials. I was involved in every step of the projects, from marketing to customer service to project management. I was struggling at first at the beginning as the workload can be significant sometimes, and ESG was new in the market. We had to discover and be clear on the clients’ real needs. Then, we customised the solutions and strategies for clients’ business sustainability and resilience.
Through the tasks, I discovered my strengths and weaknesses through experiential learning. The experience helped me use a different lens when dealing with clients’ problems to examine the real issues and innovate with the solutions. Every reflection session with the founder and CEO is remarkable. The experience provided me with the chance to discover my strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, the next step I shall take after each discovery.
Today, I found my talents and strengths in design and marketing through experiential learning in the projects. Thus, besides handling client projects, developing my design, communications, and marketing skills has become an enjoyable time during my work with BBC.
At BBC, we inspire and nurture human consciousness one person or community at a time. Change starts with baby steps. One example that brings this concept to life is our inspirational sustainability training with a hazardous waste management company, which has helped the company build better relationships and understanding with their clients. We share our design thinking tool with our clients in a fun and impactful way. The impact has successfully influenced how our clients communicate with their clients and gained better clarity on their actual needs.
Another incredible part of being a BBC family member is that I can unleash my potential with experiments. I used to see failures in a very negative way. While BBC embraces an entrepreneurial mindset, I learned that success comes after failures. I gain creative confidence from the encouragement from the team. For example, I did a short forest bathing exercise with the client in the inspirational sustainability training. I was nervous, and the session might need improvement.
Nevertheless, I have achieved my goal. The clients were happy, and I successfully delivered my message about the importance of embracing nature and enjoying it to the clients. In addition, I gained more courage to conduct the session.