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Leading Voices in Global Sustainability

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Vanessa Letizia

Executive Director, Greeneration Foundation

10 Questions to Change The World

February 2022

How do you think climate change and the global sustainability agenda will
impact your industry over the next 3-5 years?

Since our organization focuses on sustainability issues, we need to accelerate our work and impact because environmental deterioration is massive now and is projected to be even more devastating for the next 3-5 years. Even Ibu Sri Mulyani (the Indonesian Finance Minister) stated that we are currently facing the catastrophic challenge of climate change for less than one decade. If we don’t do enough change, the destruction will be irreversible; that is why our main focus for the next 3-5 years is to gather resources and accelerate.

What have you observed as being the biggest issues for organisations ability
to transform into a more sustainable operation?

During our operation for the last seven years, our main issue or challenge for our organization and other NGOs similar to us is financial resources. We need more sustainable financing that can support our program implementation and strengthen the organization itself.

We need to accelerate our work and impact because environmental deterioration is massive now

Why have you embraced sustainability in your professional career?

My educational background is biological science, which is my first introduction to environmental issues. After I graduated from college, I decided to join Greeneration Indonesia to learn and expand my knowledge and experience; unexpectedly, this issue kind of got me hooked. It became my passion and interest, so I decided to continue my path in sustainability work.

What are some of the wins you have achieved in your career to date?

Ibu Sri Mulyani, (the Indonesian Finance Minister) stated that we are currently facing the catastrophic challenge of climate change for less than one decade. If we don't do enough change, the destruction will be irreversible.

We have several flagship programs that have significant impacts, such as the Jambore Indonesia Bersih & Bebas Sampah, where we successfully create a network for grassroot communities that work on waste issues all across Indonesia. We also organized the Indonesia Circular Economy Forum, a platform to promote Circular Economy Implementation in Indonesia. Moreover, we also establish a waste management system in the tourism area for Pulau Merah, Banyuwangi through the Ecoranger program.

What do you want to have achieved before you retire?

I wish for my organization to create more impact while becoming the leading organization that works on sustainable issues in Indonesia.

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

In my inner circle, I talk to my friends. For work inspiration, I talk to our founder, Mas Sano.

We need more sustainable financing that can support our program implementation

Believe in this issue, we can make change through our work, and it gives us
fulfillment and a greater purpose for work.

Who do you go to for inspiration in this space?

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- Letizia in the 3rd Indonesia Circular Economy Forum -

How do you offset your own footprint?

I manage my waste, reduce my consumption, and make compost fromorganic waste. I also stopped using reusable menstrual pads for almost nine years.

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

Traveling. Living in Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, makes it challenging to travel. Of course, it costs a lot of carbon footprint to go from one island to another.

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

I have no name at the top of my mind at the moment, but this person should have the courage and influence because there will be a lot of obstacles and challenges to make a change and impact sustainability globally.

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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