Ex-staff Perspective On 10 Years Of CWR: Woody Chan

By Woody Chan 26 October, 2021

On the 10th anniversary, former Project & Network Chan shares how time in CWR has convinced him to continue working in the environmental space

Upon graduating with bachelor in Geography, Chan joined CWR & focused on the water-energy-climate nexus & related risks; he also helped manage the CWR newsletter + engaged with NGOs, schools & businesses
The biggest achievement for Chan is the toxic phone report in 2017 with CLSA along with several public speaking engagements which included TEDx talks & industry forums in Vietnam & Malaysia
Time at CWR convinced Chan that it is both rewarding & impactful to continue working in the environ space; yet he believes challenges will arise in convincing commercial entities to prepare for inevitable water risks
Woody Chan
Author: Woody Chan
Woody Chan leads corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives at foodpanda, strengthening its commitment to grow sustainably with its ecosystem of riders, merchants, and consumers. As an advocate for environmental sustainability, Woody has also participated in various speaking engagements, from TEDx talks and university seminars to industry forums and panels.
Read more from Woody Chan →

CWR: Tell us about your time at CWR…

When and why did you join?

Woody Chan (WC): September 2016. I developed an interest in the nexus between business and environment during my degree and was immediately drawn to CWR’s work and mission after my graduation.

How long did you spend at CWR?

WC: Three and half years.

What did you do?

WC: Newsletter, engagement with NGOs, schools and businesses, analysis, reports and project development

CWR: Looking back to your time there, what do you consider as your biggest achievement? Part of the job included public speaking, any memorable firsts? Were you nervous, any tips?

My biggest achievements would probably be helping with the analysis and drafting of the 2017 CLSA U® report “Toxic phones: China controls the core” along with several public speaking engagements towards the end of my time at CWR, which included TEDx talks and industry forums in Vietnam and Malaysia.

Top tip: really know your stuff!

The first few talks were certainly nerve-wracking but it would have been much worse had Debra not helped me hone my script, slides and delivery, even staying late to do so. Top tip: really know your stuff!

CWR: Is your current work related to water? If so, how? If not, do you still keep tabs on water challenges?

WC: Less so on water but still in the environmental field. The CWR newsletter is still my go-to resource for water-related news!

CWR: Has CWR changed your career aspirations?

WC: My time at CWR has convinced me that it is both rewarding and impactful to continue working in the environmental space. It has also helped me understand the landscape much better and hone my skills to excel in the future.

CWR: Do you think CWR has made a difference over the last decade? What is the biggest challenge you see today regarding water and climate risks?

WC: The simple answer is YES! The conversation surrounding climate is still very much carbon focused but it’s going to be a big challenge for CWR to convince businesses, investors and financial institutions to prepare for the inevitable water risks due to climate change.

CWR: Three words/bullets on what makes CWR unique …


• Strategic

• Flexible

• Driven

CWR: Any comments, advice to CWR on its 10th anniversary?

WC: Keep up the good work and make even more noise!

CWR: Any advice to those who want to join work in the water/climate space?

WC: It’s tough to begin with but there are so many rewarding opportunities as the space is still so new and fast-moving. Take the plunge!

More on CWR 10-year anniversary 

Further Reading

  • YouTube: The Dark Side Of Going Viral – We are already addicted to the internet, YouTube, Netflix, apps and still forecasts show major growth. China Water Risk’s Woody Chan unwraps the darkside of our runaway data use
  • Green Clouds One Day – How does watching online videos exacerbate our climate crisis? Are big tech brands like BAT and FAAG doing enough to source more renewable energy? CWR’s Chan reviews the landscape – it looks like we will see “green clouds” one day
  • Hot, Thirsty, Sweaty & Wet: HK’s Future Down The Drain? – China Water Risk’s Woody Chan & Debra Tan look beyond current tensions and see very real threats to Hong Kong’s future from climate change. Get ready for a hot, thirsty, sweaty & wet future