Olivia McFarlane – The batteries of today may not be as good as you think… but they need to be…


The batteries we make, use and rely on today cannot and will not be the batteries that will get us across the line of achieving net zero goals and sustainable success in the long term.

To make a battery today is carbon intensive and has many negative impacts on the environment. But, are consumers and policy makers that are driving demands thinking about this when they are asking for more of the final product aka. a complete made battery (which yes, does bring many sustainability benefits)? Or are they just seeing the battery for the many sustainable benefits the batteries of today will bring once they start to use them and disregard what it took to make the battery? If it is the latter, then what will drive batteries to change over time?

The whole life cycle of making a battery isn’t hidden knowledge, it is just knowledge that is not widely known. This needs to change. Final consumers should be able to trust policy makers to make well informed and sustainable decisions e.g. setting mandates around amount of EV purchases by certain years. Therefore, key influencers such as Governments and those directly involved in the battery supply chain should be responsible and demand for more transparent supply chains. This transparency needs to be from mine all the way to assembling the battery, to ensure sustainable batteries are being built.

So whilst batteries today are good, they could be better and transparency of the supply chain will be key to achieving the better battery for tomorrow.


Olivia McFarlane is a Business Development Manager for Worley’s Battery Materials Growth Unit. She was driven to join the team by the exciting pace of the battery market, rapid amount of changes, future prospects and opportunities for innovation that clearly lay ahead. In her current role she focuses on building and developing client relationships, understanding their needs and exploring innovative opportunities with them. Additionally, Olivia focusses on developing the Battery Materials strategy and vision for Worley. She believes in developing the most sustainable battery and being part of a team that she and the next generation truly believe in and want to be part of.

Olivia joined Worley as a Graduate in 2021 into the Transformation Team and has been involved in developing and launching Worley’s 5 year Ambition and change management of implementing the Ambition across the organization of 49,000+ employees. Additionally, Olivia has been involved in growing all Worley employees knowledge. She did this through developing Worley’s Digital Passport and Energy Transition Passport – a learning accreditation offered to all Worley employees, enabling passport holders to expand their conversations with customers and consider the future energy landscape at every stage of a project.