Leading Voices in Global Sustainability
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Director, Unbeatable You
10 Questions to Change The World
How do you think climate change and the global sustainability agenda will
impact your industry over the next 3-5 years?
As a Non-Executive Director and Advisor for several companies, climate change, sustainability and impact are constantly discussed and debated, ranging from definitional discussion, "what do we mean when we talk about sustainability", through to more meaningful debate on "are we doing enough, quick enough, in the right way, to materially move the dial on our sustainability priorities"?
Specifically, with EarthTech, a tech startup, our mission is to mobilise the financial and human resources needed to scale sustainable impact innovations globally, linking to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are achieving this through being an efficient mechanism, to help impact ventures, innovation programs and funds scale their impact using beautifully designed UX coupled with deep research, datasets, smart feedback capabilities and decision intelligence tools.
I believe this industry of technology enabled solutions for investing in people, purpose & planet, will significantly mature in the next 3-5 years, achieved by technical advancements and the explosion of data and analytics that will enable us to track and measure material sustainability actions and outcomes.
What is one ‘sustainability hack’ you’d recommend to an organisation wanting
to transform into a more sustainable operation?
You make what you measure, so as a priority, the sustainability hack I recommend is to agree across all levels of your organisation what your sustainable goals are and then implement meaningful measures and metric, linked to the UN SDGs, to drive the cultural change (and some healthy competition) required in achieving the commitments and goals. By gamifying the sustainability goals and showcases outcomes, it can create a mindset and movement across an organisation, required to balance impact with profit.
Our mission is to mobilise the financial and human resources needed to scale sustainable impact innovations globally, linking to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Why have you embraced sustainability in your professional career?
The facts speak for themselves, we are in a global environmental crisis, with rising temperatures fueling environmental degradation, weather extremes and natural disasters. As a mother of 2 children, I have embraced sustainability in my career as we owe it to future generations that we leave the world better than we found it.
It's reported that the next 4 decades will be critical in winning this battle, so by leveraging my global experience and tenacity to drive transformational outcomes, I plan to spend the 2nd half of my career, post the corporate world, focused on all things people and planet.
What are some of the wins you have achieved in your career to date?
The sustainability hack I recommend is to agree across all levels of your organisation what your sustainable goals are and then implement meaningful measures and metric, linked to the UN SDGs
In the sustainability space, its early days for me, however I am excited to be able to leverage my data and technology experience, partnering with organizations like Enterprise Data Management Council, to develop and implement best practices for accurate, timely, consistent, transparent, accessible ESG data, and supporting data management processes for all stakeholders in the ESG ecosystem.
Global ESG taxonomies and definitions, and standards on data sourcing, reporting and assurance, will be critical components in our ability to be fact based and providing all constituents, including consumers, stakeholders, regulatory bodies and governments, a "true and fair" view of their ESG commitments and progress, similar to discipline we have with Financial Accounting Standards.
What do you want to have achieved before you retire?
As part of the EarthTech family, our vision is to positively impact one billion lives by 2030, so I am all in on achieving that before I retire! Through the capability and capacity to match, deploy, measure and manage capital flow between impact ventures and impact investors, at a global scale, we will have the opportunity to significantly accelerate progress and impact of impact start-ups, including those with new technology solutions to reverse the current climate damage and stop future erosion. This will be a game changer!
What advice would you give for organisations looking to start or advance on their sustainability journey?
Be rigorous, cautious and selective in your career choices. The sustainability space is a very complex mix of scientific, social, economic and political agendas. As such, the true purposes and visions of organisations and businesses working in this sustainability space are often inadvertently (sometimes purposely) masked by grand ideals, emotive and powerful language, and aspirations of game-changing outcomes.
For those looking to work in this space, they need to be rigorous in determining the true agendas of potential organisations and that this agenda matches their own beliefs. They need to be cautious not to be seduced by the language and hype of potential sustainability outcomes and be clear about what the organisation does and how it does it. Finally, they need to be selective that the organisation they choose to work with is credible, authentic and realistic in what it wants to achieve in the short, medium and longer term
Who do you go to for inspiration in this space?
For those looking to work in this space, they need to be rigorous in determining the true agendas of potential organisations and that this agenda matches their own beliefs.
I am fortunate to have an incredible network of people that have chosen sustainability and impact as their career, so I am like a sponge learning from them constantly. I also get inspiration from my online research ranging from articles, reports, podcasts and YouTube speaker series. Starting with a simple google search like "how can we do more in the sustainability space?", I can spend hours absorbed and energized listening and learning from others, both in person and virtually!
How do you offset your own footprint?
Having young ones, I am proud to say our house is environmentally conscious, and heaven help me if I use single use plastics. We have recently installed solar panels and are relentless with recycling, however I still catch myself doing things counter to the mission due to convenience (and potential laziness) like using the dryer on a sunny day, using the air conditioner when the fan would suffice and finally getting onto compositing.
What is your one ‘guilty / non-eco’ pleasure? (that you can’t live without)
My convertible - I love it and enjoy driving but I nearly fell off my chair when I learnt that it causes potential emissions of ~2.4 tons a year! It also comes back to convenience, so we all need to put ourselves out of our convenient comfort zone and jump on a bike, public transport or walk.
If you had to choose one person, organisation or community to lead the world in sustainability, who would it be and why?
Jacinda Ardern the New Zealand Prime Minster. She has demonstrated her ability to lead with courage and drive significant change with the level of urgency required, evidenced with declaring a climate change emergency and passing the Zero-Carbon Bill. Watching her parliament address from December 2020 bought tears to my eyes and it’s that type of emotional connection we need in a leader to win the sustainability race.
"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