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Names in the News

Hines creates the first chief carbon officer; Pollination, Google, Cargill make hiring moves

At the end of 2021, the food sector and automotive sector made important moves on sustainability hires.

Q4 names in the news

From top to bottom. First column: Tara Hemmer, Amy Dobrikova, Kathleen Cacciola, Brendan Edgerton. Second column: Tai Ullmann, Emanuel Faber. Third column: Helen Crowley, Suzy Monford, Veena Harbaugh. Last column: Seth Tebly, Christine Chow, Mike Izzo. Image via Jesse Klein.

Sustainability professionals are leveling up their careers and businesses are getting new faces into their ESG departments, just in time for the new year. Food, electric vehicles and investment management firms headlined the final quarter of 2021 with unique sustainability hires. 

Who’s news

In a first role of its kind, Hines promoted Mike Izzo, a former construction VP, to become chief carbon officer. Izzo will help the global real estate developer track its carbon emissions, develop a strategy attached to science based-targets and oversee the company's decarbonization. 

Pollination Group, the climate change investment firm, appointed Helen Crowley as its newest partner to oversee the expansion into the U.K. and Europe. Crowley comes to Pollination after 30 years working in biodiversity and corporate sustainability for name brands such as Gucci. Carbon Zero Financial, social impact fintech firm, announced Cathryn Peirce, at only 27, its CEO.

After 14 years with Aramark, Kathleen Cacciola is making the jump to Google’s food team as global sustainability lead. Tara Hemmer became senior vice president and CSO at Waste Management. Shauna Sadowski, a veteran in sustainability with roles at Simple Mills and General Mills is moving to Ikea to lead the sustainability development team in Sweden. 

Design firm Designit hired former World Business Council Director Brendan Edgerton as its head of sustainability. HSBC made several moves including appointing Christine Chow as its new head of stewardship and engagement, where she will focus on HSBC’s net zero transition, and moving Thomas O’Malley to head of policy under the newly created Sustainability Office.

Continuing on the policy front, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau appointed climate activist Steven Guilbeault as the new minister of environment and climate change, and former environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson moved into the minister of natural resources role. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is moving into energy storage advocacy with the addition of Jeremiah Miller as its new director of storage markets and policy. And in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom tapped Julie Henderson to be director of California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation. 

Ernest Moniz, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, moved away from policy and into business as he joined as an adviser to the board of Carbon Clean Solutions, a green technology startup.

KKR, a leading global investment firm, launched its Sustainability Expert Advisory Council, which comprises six ESG member experts: Robert Eccles, founding chairman of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), as chair; Alexandra Givens, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology; Nat Keohane, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions; Andrew Stern, senior fellow at the Economic Security Project and President Emeritus of the Service Employees International Union; Roy Swan, head of mission investments at the Ford Foundation; and Claudia Zeisberger, senior affiliate professor of entrepreneurship and family enterprise at the business school INSEAD. Finally, Josh Henretig left Higg, a sustainable insights platform, to join the nonprofit organization Rock Mountain Inistute as its climate intelligence managing director. 

Climbing up the food chain

The food sector had a busy quarter with hires. The 2016 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 honoree Tai Ullmann gained a top job as global sustainability lead at Cargill. Infarm, the vertical farm company, brought on former Kroger executive Suzy Monford as retail adviser for North America. The Kleenex of plant-based turkey, Tofurky, hired Gilad Kaufman as vice president of research and development. Tetra Pak named Seth Teply CEO after 20 years with the food packaging company. Emmanuel Faber became a partner of Astanor Ventures, which focuses on impact investing in agriculture and food tech.

Racing ahead

As electric vehicles are picking up the pace, Blink Charging, an EV charging infrastructure business, announced automotive expert Amy Dobrikova as vice president of fleet solutions. Enevate, a battery innovator for EVs, made two important hires: Yednesh Parnaik as vice president of sales and marketing and Lalit Savalia as vice president of manufacturing operations. On the fuel side, Fusion Fuel Green, an emerging company in green hydrogen, appointed David Lovell as CEO of its Australia arm. 

Other important hires

Shar Olivier became CSO of Ecoflix, a not-for-profit streaming platform. Natalie Prolman started a new position as community engagement and impacts manager at Everland, a portfolio of high-impact, forest conservation (REDD+) projects. Seattle Labor Leader Nicole Grant moved into the executive director role at climate justice nonprofit 350 Seattle. Veena Harbaugh became sustainability director of Sendle, a carbon-neutral shipping carrier for small e-commerce businesses. Apollo, a global asset manger, made Carletta Ooton head of ESG. And Rozina Kanchwala is director of energy justice partnerships at the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI). Cara Pratt became the new sustainability and resilience coordinator in Evanston, Illinois. EnergyRe, a developer of large-scale, renewable clean energy, announced Miguel Prado and Ryan Brown as CEO and COO, respectively. Adam Rutstein joined TD SYNNEX, the IT distributor, as director of global corporate responsibility and will lead the company's ESG team.

On the media side, former GreenBiz editor Jennifer Kho became the new president of JAWS, the women’s journalism association.

Finally, 2016 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 honoree Miguel Cuunjieng moved on from Wells Fargo to the Federate Hermes EOS team, where he is associate director of engagement.

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