Associate consultants play an important role in progressing client projects. They have to be equal parts analysts, project managers, and sustainability experts. We are excited to welcome Associate Consultant, Paroma Chakravarty to our team, and would like to give you a chance to get to know our new team member through a Q&A.
Tell us about your background and what led you to Paladino.
I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world, especially by conservation of natural places and endangered species. Ever since I was young, I’ve sought out ways to help protect these spaces and animals. I chose environmental engineering in school because it was a major that helped me explore the intersection between the natural and built worlds. I made my way to Paladino after I had an extremely positive experience working with consultants from the construction side of the green building industry. Paladino values sustainability in an incredible way. I love that we frame sustainability not as a concept based in scarcity, but as an opportunity for projects to reach their full potential and help their occupants enjoy their spaces in the most beneficial ways – both for humans and for the planet.
Where do you find inspiration in your work?
I love the ocean. I love everything about it. I even got my scuba certification to have another way to explore it. Since marine systems have some of the highest vulnerabilities to climatic warming, working in the sustainability field is an important personal aspect to contributing to protecting these vulnerable systems. Buildings are the second highest carbon emitting sector behind transportation, so if we can shave some carbon output off – even a little bit – we can mitigate harm to the ocean.
What direction do you think green building is headed? Where do you see the industry in ten years?
I love the philosophy presented by the Living Building Challenge – a building should interact with its environment in the same way a plant interacts with its ecosystem. We will see the green building industry move towards buildings giving back to the communities where they are located rather than merely consuming resources.
What role does sustainability play in your life outside work? What does it mean to you?
Sustainability shapes most of my decisions about where I live relative to public transportation, how I buy food, and where I buy my clothes. Viewing decisions through the lens of making the most sustainable choices helps me avoid buyer’s regret since I know I made that choice for reasons beyond just my personal preferences. By practicing sustainability whenever I can, I feel that in small ways, I’m helping protect this Earth and its natural areas.
What is one positive impact you feel sustainability will support in the world?
I firmly believe that environmental degradation leads to social degradation. Everyone should have access to healthy spaces that help them perform at their full potential. The green building industry is creating these spaces for people to live, work, and play.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I enjoy hiking with my friends, running very slowly, listening to podcasts, reading about food and travel, and enjoying DC’s incredible food scene.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My dog, Pedro. My National Geographic subscription. Indian food.
What are you most proud of?
I have fostered ten dogs and two cats through a local DC rescue. It is so fun and fulfilling to see my past fosters happy and healthy in their forever homes. I’m most proud of the ones who were completely shut down when they came to me from a shelter and have totally bloomed with their adopters.
Is there anything else that you’d like to know about Paroma? Ask away in the comments section below!