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There is an increasing number of women who are in leadership roles in sustainability. As part of Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at 10 women who are making strides in sustainability and shaping ethical consumerism. Add women in sustainability that you admire to the list in the comments section.
by Aysu Katun, Green Economy Post
In their book “Women in Green,” authors Kira Gould and Lance Hosey argue that women are more likely than men to support environmental causes through voting, activism and consumer choices. Whether this argument is true or not, there is an increasing number of women who are in leadership roles in sustainability. As part of Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at ten women who are making strides in sustainability and shaping ethical consumerism.
As Director of Yahoo! for Good, the company’s Social Responsibility department, Carlson is responsible for leading Yahoo!’s environmental strategy and corporate social responsibility programs. Her primary focus is inspiring Yahoo!’s audience of over 500 million people to be more green in their daily lives through use of Yahoo! products. She helped guide the development of a new Yahoo! Green site to encourage people to take eco-friendly actions and has driven the creation of Yahoo! Earth Day sites since 2005. She also spearheaded Yahoo!’s worldwide initiative to become carbon neutral and rallied grassroots efforts by launching a Green Team of hundreds of employees across the globe.
Prior to joining Yahoo!, Carlson worked at Nike Inc. in Apparel Sustainability and at Business for Social Responsibility as Environment Program Manager.
Karen Flanders has 20 years of experience working on sustainability matters having worked domestically and internationally within corporations, NGOs as well as intergovernmental organizations. She is currently a Senior Associate at The Prince’s Rainforest Project responsbile for corporate outreach. Shea Senior Associate with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL). Through CPSL, she is a Senior Associate with The Prince’s Rainforest Project, where she is currently working to engage the support of corporate America to call for emergency action to help combat climate change by addressing rainforest destruction. She is also on the board of the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future.
Prior to joining CPSL, she served as the director of sustainability for the Coca Cola Company for eight years. Flanders lived and worked in Europe for 12 years and led European and global advocacy campaigns for WWF – the conservation organization. Fluent in French and Dutch, her affinity for cross-cultural communications dates back to her tenure with a pan-European agency, where she advised corporations such as Mars, L’Oreal and others on European CSR policies.
Hannah Jones holds the position of Vice President of Sustainable Business and Innovation at Nike and manages the company’s global corporate responsibility efforts, including responsible competitiveness, community investments, social innovation and considered product innovation. She has been working with Nike since 1998 when bad publicity surrounding labour issues was at its height.
Before joining Nike, Jones served as a consultant to Microsoft and Kimberly-Clark on both companies’ community affairs programs. She also worked as the European manager of Community Service Volunteers Media, an UK-based non-governmental organization, where she led pan-European campaigns centering on youth issues.
Diane MacEachern is a founding member of Green Moms Carnival, a blogging network of mostly moms who reach millions of consumers with their green lifestyle tips, product reviews and shopping suggestions. MacEachern is also the founder & CEO of Big Green Purse and publisher of the award-winning www.biggreenpurse.com; and she is the best-selling author of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World and Save Our Planet: 750 Everyday Ways You Can Clean Up The Earth. MacEachern is also a regular commentator on Martha Stewart’s Whole Living radio program.
In her current role as Director of Sustainable Development, Christina Nicholson is responsible for driving sustainability as a strategic agenda throughout both corporate and brand activities within Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma brands. She has also joined the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) board of directors.
Her background in finance, sustainable design and marketing make her uniquely qualified for this cross sector challenge and she is making great headway on materials and supply chain, energy use and both internal and external brand communications and education. You can watch a video about some of the actions she is taking at William-Sonoma here.
Bonnie Nixon and her green team of dedicated sustainability experts are responsible for the short and long term vision, strategy, marketing, messaging and stakeholder relations program for Hewlett Packard.
Over the last decade at HP, Nixon has worked with top level management on environmental, health, safety and social polices and procedures and designed and implemented a world class ethical sourcing and supplier relationship management program.
Prior to joining HP, as an experienced environmental mediator, she has spent more than 24 years working with business, government and non-governmental entities on environmental and social impact assessments and programs.
Environmentalist and Human Rights Activist, Dianne Dillon-Ridgley has worked for thirty years on issues of the environment and sustainability, and gender and CSR, both domestically and internationally. Since 1997 she has been a director at Interface, Inc., global manufacturer of modular carpet and a leader in sustainable design. She was a director at Green Mountain Energy for the first six years and still chairs the Environmental Integrity Committee for the company.
She was appointed by the White House to the US delegation for the Earth Summit in Rio, UNGASS-’97 & WSSD in South Africa, making her the only person to serve on all three US delegations. She was also appointed by former President Clinton to the PCSD, his council on Sustainable Development. In the recent US election she worked for 18 months on the Obama campaign from its earliest days in Iowa and was part of the P-CAP: Presidential Climate Action Project.
Emma Stewart, Ph.D., is currently the Senior Program Lead of Autodesk’s Sustainability Initiative. In this role, she leads the design software company’s efforts to optimize its environmental footprint and model sustainability best practices to its 9 million architect, engineer, manufacturing, and construction customers.
Prior to that, she founded and directed the Environmental R&D Division at Business for Social Responsibility, where her team designed corporate initiatives to analyze and adapt to ‘horizon’ issues such as payments for ecosystem services, water footprinting, carbon offsets and trading, climate lobbying, and sustainable product design.
Elizabeth Sturcken is the Managing Director of the Corporate Partnerships program at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) where she develops and implements joint projects with leading companies to create environmental change.
She is currently leading a team of people working with Wal-Mart to create broad environmental change in areas including climate change, China, seafood, and packaging.
In the past, Sturcken led a FedEx project to develop environmentally advanced heavy-duty delivery vehicles. She also led a project with UPS to create innovative changes in their express delivery packaging, resulting in environmental, business and customer benefits.
Kathrin Winkler is Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at EMC Corporation, where she is charged with providing vision and leadership in the development and implementation of EMC’s strategy for environmental and social sustainability. In her previous role as Sr. Director for EMC’s hardware engineering group, Kathrin founded the company’s Engineering Green Team and its Design for Environment program, which are driving leadership designs in environmental stewardship and energy efficiency throughout EMC’s product portfolio.
Kathrin joined EMC in 2003 as Director, NAS Product Management. Her past positions included Principal Consultant/Analyst specializing in enterprise management systems and service level architectures at Renaissance Worldwide, Vice President Technical Marketing in a Web services security startup, and Consultant Software Engineer in Network Systems Engineering at Digital Equipment Corporation. In addition to her work at EMC, Kathrin serves as a Director of EcoLogic Development Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to community-based conservation in Central America and she is on the board of The Green Grid, a consortium of IT companies and professionals seeking to improve energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems around the globe. She blogs her experiences working with sustainability issues at EMC, on her blog, Interconnected World.
You might also want to check out the rest of our Women’s History Month series:
Help us make this list more comprehensive. What women do you know who are making strides in sustainability?
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© 2010 – 2011, Aysu Katun. All rights reserved. Do not republish.
Author: Aysu Katun (18 Articles)
Aysu Katun is an associate editor at the Green Economy Post. She received her MBA degree from The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business, where she focused on sustainability, marketing and strategy. At Fisher, she was a leading member of Net Impact's OSU chapter, which won the Chapter of the Year Award in 2009 . Before beginning her MBA, Aysu worked at Hewlett Packard in Turkey. A passionate traveler, Aysu has been to 27 countries and worked in three. Due to her international experience, Aysu is able to bring a unique perspective to sustainability issues in business.