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Leading Voices in Global Sustainability

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Hedvig Lyche

CEO, Petrichor Planet

10 Questions to Change The World

December 2021

How does climate change and the global sustainability agenda impact on your corporate strategy for the next 3-5 years?

It’s two-fold really. It helps us focus our services and solutions more to better cater for the requirements and demands put on corporations to demonstrate real impact and ethical behaviour. It’s still a very new space for many companies, but the urgency of the threat means they have to act fast and that means we need to be even more targeted and effective in our processes to help facilitate these necessary changes. It also puts the focus back on us to contribute more bilaterally, so while we help companies and NGOs deliver on their purpose and report on tangible, positive impact – we also have to contribute directly as a company. That means reducing our own footprint, making sure we really embed a culture of sustainability within the company and with our partners, and actively contribute back to the community through our local programs and initiatives.

How do you describe your corporate purpose and what are you doing to help realise that purpose?

Our purpose is crafted around SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals and our reason to exist is to help facilitate and enable really powerful, positive collaborations between companies and NGOs and support corporations in creating a strong culture and operation of sustainability throughout their value chain.  

We’re developing a proprietary climate-tech platform that is designed to effectively connect companies and NGOs working towards the same SDGs and to easily and seamlessly facilitate positive and successful collaborations that can help deliver impact that matters. For the organisations, the people and the planet.

Our reason to exist is to help facilitate successful cross-sector collaborations for measurable planet positive impact.  

What could stop you from achieving your sustainability goal?

As with our solution, for us it’s also all about collaboration and partnerships, so we have to be extremely careful and diligent in who we choose to work with and how we manage those relationships. Understanding how to detect attempts at greenwashing is going to be crucial.

What do you think are the greatest benefits of having a strong sustainability strategy?

It’s proven that companies with a strong sustainability strategy are more profitable and more resilient during crisis than those without. To succeed in the future, brands must actively demonstrate how sustainability is embedded into the business model. 

improve, loyalty grows, market share expands and turnover drops dramatically as employees preferences now sit firmly with employers who demonstrate a business model and culture built around ESG.

It’s a core necessity for a company’s ability to weather storms and more effectively return to business growth. It’s proven that companies with a strong sustainability strategy outperform companies lacking in every aspect – profits increase, reputation hjhj

What are some the wins you have achieved in your role?

Being a consultant it's often a bit 'soft', but I have spent countless  weeks and months helping companies recognise the need for a robust sustainability strategy and advise them through the steps of embedding purpose into their overall business model. A big win is always when our insights and strategy work helps companies see how purpose directly connects to profits. I have built up a culture internally of soft values introducing programs around NGO collaborations and in-office initiatives around mini-circular economies. Through webinars and lectures I have consistently worked to educate and engage leaders on the role of sustainability in employer branding, double-materiality assessment and stakeholder management. With Pla:ngo we're hoping to scale up planet positive partnerships that will have great impact on achieving the SDGs! 

What advice would you give for organisations looking to start or advance on their sustainability journey?

UN, WEF, GRI and sustainability councils, but also there are so many brilliant forums and organisations now facilitating discussion and knowledge sharing across markets and across the SDGs so I try to attend as many of these as I possibly can to expand my network. The more we talk and more we work together as sustainability professionals the more we can achieve.

Dream big, but start small and act smart. Sustainability is a huge concept and it can be daunting to find out what to focus on or how to implement change effectively. 

Ask yourself 'what is the one thing we can do right now to get started?' and then the next opportunity will appear on its own.   

To not overthink it. Dream big, but act small and act smart. It can be daunting to know where to start or how to change heritage processes or solutions, but it’s all about starting with what can we do right now, what the first step can look like, and then advance from there. If you make one change for better, other possibilities will make themselves known.

Who do you go to for inspiration in this space?

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- Petrichor Planet's founders on Turtle Island, Bali. -

How do you offset your own footprint?

I’m vegan, well at least 85%! Also our house is a green house with all solar, grey water recycling and composting. I try to avoid any single-use plastic and buy local produce as much as possible.

What is your one ‘guilty / non-eco’ pleasure? (that you can’t live without)

I have two I’m afraid. I do fly home to see my family and friends at least twice a year, which I think is ok, but then I also do love French wine so I admit I spend a bit of money buying imported fine drops!

If you had to choose one person to lead the world in sustainability, who would it be and why?

My brother. He’s a diplomat and works closely with the UN and other foreign offices, but more than that he’s a very unique combination of pragmatic, logical, spiritual and empathetic. I’d say he is a hippie in a nice suit though he wouldn’t like that much!  I think someone like him is young enough to get the voices of the Millennials, experienced enough to have the ears of the old raisins and creative enough to recognise the unconventional ideas and innovations that is needed to turn this ship around!

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Are you our next Leading Voice?

If you have a story to tell, we want to tell it…

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"If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it. In my lifetime I have witnessed a terrible decline. In yours you could - and should - see a wonderful recovery.”

 

-​ Sir David Attenborough