Portrait: Denis Jorisch
Denis Jorisch, Consultant
Denis holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Zurich and a Master in Atmospheric and Climate Science from Swiss Polytechnic University (ETH) Zurich. Prior to working at South Pole, he was actively engaged in energy efficiency and innovation projects with the Swiss Climate Foundation. During his academic career, Denis focused on atmospheric dynamics. Using the COSMO model, he performed a case study for heavy snowfall events in the Swiss Alps.
Not missing a chance to get literally knee-deep into his subject matter, he has also spent the past five winters working as a snowboard instructor at the Freestyle Academy in Laax, Switzerland. Our Consultant works with colleagues across the globe. He is fluent in German, English and French.
Tell us about your work at South Pole
A normal day for me would include a bike-ride to our offices in Technopark, Zurich, and a cup of coffee to kickstart my activities. I work on on topics at the intersection of finance, cities and climate change. I'm, among others, currently responsible for managing the EU-funded Low Carbon City Lab flagship programme where our team is developing innovative measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) solutions. One of these is based on mobile phone signals for the transport sector on city level. I'm also actively engaged in assisting in the strategy development of the programme until 2020. Another interesting project I'm working on entails promoting renewable energies at a political level in South East Asia, in preparation for the setup of a renewable energy impact investment facility. A lot of my work centers around proving that climate protection measures are not expensive nor difficult: projects of climate protection not only reduce emissions, they also have many great side effects, so called 'co-benefits'.
If there is some time left at the end of the day I like helping out the other South Pole penguins wherever help is needed!
What inspired you to work at South Pole?
South Pole consists of a great bunch of people with various backgrounds from all over the world. But all of them have the same goal: to fight climate change. This ultimately creates a strong team of climate specialists. I started to study Atmospheric and Climate Science because I was curious to learn more about climate change and the processes behind it. Instead of going into research I actually wanted to contribute in a more direct way to fighting climate change - South Pole's Young Change Maker Programme gave me this opportunity! I've had the possibility to develop from a Young Change Maker to a Consultant, and actually lead some of the interesting projects we work on at South Pole.
What is the best thing about working at South Pole?
There is very little daily routine here: you have the opportunity to work on your projects and you face new challenges everyday. I must also say that we have some awesome colleagues! With South Pole being a multinational company, it additionally provides the possibility to work and develop abroad.
What do you do when you're not in the office or at work?
During winter I spend most of my waking hours in the mountains snowboarding, either on the slopes or free riding somewhere in nature. Spring/summer is definitely soccer and surfing time! I also enjoy riding my bike through Zurich and meeting friends near and far - even beyond the Swiss border.