Atli is passionate about sustainability

34-year-old Atli Rafnsson is doing his internship as an environmental officer on Samsø.

Once a week, Atli sails on the Samsø-Aarhus Express. He is doing his internship as an environmental officer at a consultancy, MEINUNG, on Samsø, and dealing with the environment, sustainability and marketing.

A job he is crazy about.

‘It’s perfect for me. In particular, the project on the optimisation of the waste sorting system for the northern part of the island, which I’m currently working on, is super exciting.’

Loves waste

But what is it about waste that excites the 34-year-old Agricultural and Environmental Management bachelor student, who is specialising in the environment and nature?

‘Waste is just mega exciting. We produce an awful lot of it. Waste is a great resource. Just look at food waste and packaging. We need to get better at reducing and recycling.’

Highly educated academic

Besides being a university educated historian, Atli is in his 3rd year of his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Environmental Management specialising in the environment and nature (Atli is studying on the international line) at Business Academy Aarhus.

‘This programme is great for what I actually want to do.’

‘My academic background has been a strength. I think more analytically and can contribute with a more source-critical approach to things,’ says Atli and adds:

‘It’s been super exciting and fun. The programme makes sense and we learn a great deal. We learn for example about sustainability, microbiology, wastewater, waste management, preservation of animals, leadership, project management and economics - all of which focuses on the environment.’

First studied on the Environmental Management AP degree programme

Atli comes from Iceland, but has lived in Aarhus for the past nine years with his wife and their two small boys.

Before Atli started on his Bachelor programme, he completed the Environmental Management programme at Business Academy Aarhus.

‘It was hard to find job as a historian, so I decided to try something totally new and educate myself within the environmental area. It is an area that concerns me greatly and where it is possible to get a job afterwards. I like to work with something meaningful.’

Wants to work with public traffic or waste sorting

After graduation, Atli would like to work with sustainability.

‘This could be within public institutions, where society and the environment have to go hand in hand, for example Midttrafik or Aarhus municipality’s technical and environmental department. Or with tourism and sustainability on Iceland. I would really like to work with social and environmental sustainability - within urban planning, transport or waste management.’

Need people like Atli

And according to Atli, we need people like him.

‘Our lives influence much of the environment we are in. We don’t understand or respect the environment enough. This creates a lot of problems. Therefore, we must find better and long-lasting solutions, which are not just temporary solutions. It must also make sense and be useful for the future.’