Why did you decide to do this V.I.E?
After graduating with a diploma in engineering from AgroParisTech, I wanted to move away from France for a year or two to gain professional experience abroad and heard about the V.I.E program. It was a great opportunity to not only find a job abroad, but to also stay in a French company. I also wanted to work in the environmental field. When I found the V.I.E offered by Rémy Cointreau on Civiweb’s website, it had exactly what I was looking for.
What is unique about your V.I.E?
My V.I.E was unique because it was the first V.I.E in Barbados offered by the Rémy Cointreau Group. My role is unique for Mount Gay, as it was a new position that solely focused on CSR and especially the environment.
My main mission is to work on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), which includes all of Rémy Cointreau’s environmental, social and society-oriented projects. The scope of my mission also includes Westland Distillery in Seattle and Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay. My missions are diverse, but to summarize: My main projects are water reduction, energy optimization, effluent treatment, and carbon-emissions calculation.
What could a day at work look like?
My days at work are very diverse. Most of the time, I am working at the distillery in St. Lucy on projects: for example, how we can be more energy-efficient or how we can reduce water consumption. I am working from my office, but I also have some missions on the field and in the distillery, on projects that I implemented or that already existed at the distillery. For both Westland and Bruichladdich, I identify the environmental indicators needed to calculate carbon emissions.I also research what other companies on the island are doing to become more sustainable. My mission is very interesting. Moreover, the lifestyle suits me.
What is it like living on Barbados?
Barbados is a country, like France, but we are on a small, 430km2 island, meaning that a lot of products are imported. Not everything is available. As for the physical parameters, as a tropical country, the sun shines all year long, the seasons change (a dry and a rainy season), and temperatures are high. All of this makes my missions more interesting, because there are challenged, as well as opportunities, that we don’t have in France.
What do you like to do for fun in Barbados?
Barbados enables me to do a lot of water sports, so every week, I am trying to enjoy it to the max. Sometimes, you can go to the beach and swim before sunset. I am kiting, sailing, surfing, diving, but I also take my time to relax on the nice beaches we have here. I also went sailing in the Grenadines for a week with some friends, and it was one of my best holidays.
What most about Mount Gay surprised you the most?
How much the island culture revolved around Mount Gay. This rum is part of this island’s lifestyle and its notoriety has no limit. You have a lot of rum shops painted with the Mount Gay bottles and logos. People are so proud of Mount Gay that they consider as their own.
Advice for future V.I.Es?
Rémy Cointreau is located all over the world in very different places, and each have their own charms. A V.I.E will always have the opportunity to discover a new culture. When I arrived in Barbados, I was introduced to the team, and everything was prepared for my stay. It enabled me allowed me to settle in more easily without having to look for accommodations and transportation. Overall, I think it is a great experience, as it allows you to live in a foreign country and improve in a new language. Just go for it, as it can only bring you new knowledge.