All articles

Sustainability UnZipped: Q&A with Oli


Oli Nelson


March 16, 2023

Sustainability UnZipped: Q&A with Oli

We recently sat down with Zip’s Sustainability Associate Oli Nelson to hear more about his career journey as a Zipster, and what he and the team have been up to in support of our global Social Impact and Sustainability initiatives.

Oli tell us about yourself, how long you’ve been with Zip and a little bit about your day to day work here

I’m a Sustainability Associate and I’ve been at Zip for nearly three years. I started in our Customer Experience (CX) team but now lead project-based work on all things Social Impact and Sustainability. My main focus lies with initiatives related to our Environmental Sustainability commitments, but I’m also heavily involved in coordinating our Zipsters’ volunteering efforts, helping them make the best use of their paid volunteering leave entitlements, often working together with our charity partners.

How did the opportunity come about for you to move into the Sustainability space given your background and previous role at Zip?

After my stint in CX, I moved into a newly created Disputes team while also taking on a part-time role alongside our Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility to support work towards our climate neutral certification. I have a Science/Arts degree with a major in Environmental Science and Anthropology, so it was awesome to take the opportunity to work in an area I care deeply about. In October last year I was offered the full-time Associate role given our ongoing commitments in this space.

What was the main driver behind wanting to work in Sustainability?

After finishing my degree I had a very clear understanding about the complex state the world is in environmentally. I knew that I wanted to make a difference and have a positive impact with my career, with a particular emphasis on how I could put my skills and passions to work in the business world. While I was well versed on things like the environmental impact assessment relating to large-scale infrastructure projects, I was relatively unaware of the environmental impacts attached to the corporate space, particularly the tech industry.

It has been incredibly rewarding so far, and certainly a steep learning curve. A lot of the work our team is delivering is also new territory for the business, so it’s been pretty cool to be responsible for some of these new concepts that are becoming a bigger part of life at Zip.

What advice would you give to other Zipsters who are considering changing the direction of their career with an internal move?

I would say always be open to taking on something new, or something you may not know much - or anything - about. I’ve realised that working and learning in another part of the business proved incredibly valuable as I had a great base of skills and knowledge that I could transfer into the new role. I feel grateful that Zip fosters such an amazing environment for nurturing and developing its people and that I’ve been able to take advantage of that. In my experience internal mobility can play an important role in a business’ success. I left CX with a solid understanding of the product and our operations, which I’ve been able to apply effectively to come up with solutions to other business challenges.

What are some of the things we can all be doing more of as Zipsters to contribute to delivering against our sustainability goals?

One thing I’m really excited about is that we’ve just established a cross-functional environmental working group to meet and discuss our Sustainability goals. This is a crucial first step to getting engagement and buy-in from Zipsters in different teams across the globe.

This is really important because teams will need their own specific adjustments and initiatives to help reduce emissions. This could range from choosing to switch to low-carbon suppliers, or looking at the IT devices and software procured locally.

That aside, there are plenty of initiatives and simple behavioural changes we can all be making to support a more sustainable future. From recycling paper, plastic and electronics, to reusable coffee cups and making sure we’re more energy efficient by turning off monitors and any other non-essential devices when not in use. Also, if you used to travel long distances for face-to-face meetings - by car, train or plane - consider alternating with meetings via video conferencing.

What's one thing that people outside of the organisation may not know about Zip that makes you excited about working here in 2023 and beyond?

Aside from our amazing developments in sustainability reporting and the initiatives we are introducing to improve our carbon footprint, what excites me is a perk that many Zipsters may not be fully aware of. We each get two days paid volunteering leave a year, and one of my roles is driving engagement and uptake of this awesome initiative.

I’ve already taken part in three different volunteering opportunities in the last six months, and can’t recommend enough how valuable this experience has been. Thanks to Zip, I’ve spent a beautiful summer arvo cleaning up Coogee Beach, a wholesome experience cooking meals for those less fortunate with OzHarvest, and an eye-opening yet heartwarming day volunteering at the Salvation Army’s Streetlevel mission in Sydney.

I’ve started releasing monthly volunteering newsletters aimed at inspiring Zipsters to get on board with some of the significant opportunities coming down the line. It’s perks like these that really make Zip such a special place to work. Many people may not appreciate how much volunteering and helping others can have on your own health and wellbeing, which is something Zip places high value on for all of its employees.

Great work Oli - we're excited to see what's next for your career with us!

Like what you've read?

Check out these other articles

September 21, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Celebrating Wear it Purple Day

Author: Zach Rennick

We recently sat down with CX Superstar Zach Rennick in celebration of Wear it Purple Day, an annual LGBTIQA+ awareness day especially for young people, based in Australia.
Zipsters support the Future of Finance

Author: Lucy Lindsay and Jimmy Kelly

Hear from Sydney-based Zipsters Lucy and Jimmy who volunteered their time to partner with Young Change Agents, a nationwide social enterprise helping youth from all backgrounds see problems as opportunities

June 6, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Risk UnZipped: Q&A with Priyamvada

Author: Priyamvada Kamra

Meet Priyamvada, our Director, Risk Strategy based in the US. Read on for her career story, the work she's leading at Zip and how she brings her true, authentic self to work.

May 2, 2023

Life at Zip
Celebrating our Zipsterversaries: February - April

Author: Multiple contributors

Each month we recognise the tenure of a Zipster who has truly lived our values during their time here. This article re-caps the stories of the three Zipsters who we celebrated from February to April
Zipping it forward - our partnership with The DV Collective

Author: Anna Wei and Ying Zhang

Meet two of our fearless Product Managers, Anna Wei and Ying Zhang, and learn how they used their Volunteering Leave to support The DV Collective, a national domestic violence initiative

March 27, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Inspiring our next generation of female sales leaders

Author: Karen Farrar

In this article, Senior Director, Commercial Karen Farrar reflects on this year's International Women's Day theme and how it resonates given her experiences as a Zipster.

March 16, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
How we celebrated IWD 2023

Author: Multiple contributors

Learn all about how we recognised International Women's Day 2023 and what a gender equal future looks in the eyes of four of our fearless Zipsters

February 16, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Building a fit-for-purpose modern data stack, part 2.

Author: Moss Pauly

In this second part of a multi-piece article, Moss Pauly, Senior Manager, Data Products, deep dives into the key decisions the team tackled when modernising Zip’s data stack

February 13, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Building a fit-for-purpose modern data stack, part 1.

Author: Moss Pauly

In the first instalment of a multi-part blog post, Sydney-based Zipster Moss Pauly introduces our ANZ data platform and the team’s journey over the last 18 months.

February 15, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Risk UnZipped: Q&A with Mohamed

Author: Mohamed Afifi

Meet Mohamed, based out of our NYC office, who's leading our Enterprise Risk Management strategy at an exciting point in the journey for Zip in the US.
All Things Product: Mel Hambarsoomian

Author: Mel Hambarsoomian

Our Director of Product Design, Melanie, recently sat down to reveal her career highlights, sharing what she looks for in talent, her insights on design maturity, product thinking and design leadership

January 29, 2023

Life at Zip
Celebrating our Zipsterversaries: November - January

Author: Multiple contributors

Each month we recognise the tenure of a Zipster who has truly lived our values during their time here. This article re-caps the stories of the three Zipsters who we celebrated from November '22 to January

January 26, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
How our Zipsters celebrated Lunar New Year

Author: Multiple contributors

Hear about the significance of Lunar New Year to Jess and Clement, and learn how they celebrate
Making use of our Volunteering Leave

Author: Multiple contributors

Every year Zipsters get 2 days of paid Volunteering Leave. Here's how a couple of the team used theirs...
Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Philip

Author: Philip Laureano

Meet ANZ Engineering Manager, Philip Laureano, and learn about the technology that decides which Zip customers are approved for credit
Engineering Unzipped: Q&A with Autumn

Author: Autumn Ragland

US-based Engineer Autumn shares her experiences as a Zipster
Atomic change and the future of Technology at Zip

Author: George Gorman

ANZ CTO George Gorman gives a glimpse into the opportunities that lie ahead for the team

November 11, 2022

Data, Analytics & Risk
Moving at Zip speed while building data that stands the test of time

Author: Tal Bergman

ANZ Director Data Tal Bergman offers insight into life in the Data & Analytics team
Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Kalpana

Author: Kalpana Chandrasekar

Meet ANZ Engineering Manager, Kalpana Chandrasekar, from our Shop & Rewards team

November 11, 2022

Data, Analytics & Risk
Master these three skills to grow your data and analytics career

Author: Will Walker

Looking to grow your data and analytics career? ANZ Senior Manager, Analytics Will Walker shares his top tips
View all articles