Green Career Resources

30 women shaping sustainable business

30 women shaping sustainable business

Clockwise from top left: Lisa Jackson, Apple; Lori Duvall, eBay; Hannah Hislop, Unilever; Helena Helmersson, H&M; Aida Greenbury, Asia Pulp & Paper; Kindley Walsh Lawlor, Gap.

From tech to finance to energy and beyond, sustainability touches many segments of the economy — and across the board, concerns still abound about leadership diversity issues related to both gender and ethnicity.

Fresh off of this year's International Women's Day, the UK's BusinessGreen has compiled a list of 30 women driving change in the low-carbon economy.

Here, in alphabetical order, is a list of leading women around the world making an impact across industries:

Nawal Al-Hosany — Masdar

(Twitter: @NAH_208)

Al-Hosany is the director of sustainability at Masdar in Abu Dhabi and director of the Zayed Future Energy prize. An architectural engineer by training and former deputy director of Abu Dhabi policy, she joined Masdar City in 2008, which has become one of the world's most sustainable urban areas, powered by renewable energy and passive heating and cooling technologies.

Kareen Boutonnat — Lightsource Renewable Energy

Boutonnat is managing director of one of the UK's largest solar panel installers. Lightsource Renewable Energy installs solar schemes across farms, rooftops and industrial units to power the equivalent of more than 300,000 homes.

Emma Howard Boyd— Jupiter Asset Management

(Twitter: @EmmaHowardBoyd)

As director of stewardship at Jupiter Asset Management, Boyd was in charge of sustainable investment and corporate governance. From April she will be chairwoman of responsible investment charity ShareAction. She was also chairwoman of the UK Sustainable Investment Forum (UKSIF) for eight years and a director of Triodos Renewables for eight years until June 2012.

Estelle Brachlianoff — Veolia

(Twitter: @Estelle_Veolia)

Brachlianoff is executive vice-president UK & Ireland at Veolia, where she has led work on reducing waste and boosting resource efficiency to create a circular economy.

Sarah Butler-Sloss — Ashden Awards

Butler-Sloss is founder and director of the Ashden Awards, a charity established in 2001 to champion organizations promoting and innovating in renewable energy. Sarah is also a member of the UN's International Sustainable Energy for All Practitioner Network.

Alex Cole— Bupa

(Twitter: @AlexCole71)

As director of corporate affairs for European healthcare giant Bupa, Cole reports to the chief executive and is responsible for media relations, internal communications, sustainability, government affairs and financial communications worldwide.

Kate Craig-Wood — Memset

(Twitter: @Memset_Kate)

Kate is founder managing director of green IT firm Memset, which is Britain's first carbon neutral internet service provider.

Juliet Davenport — Good Energy

(Twitter: @DavenportJuliet)

As founder and chief executive of independent supplier Good Energy, Juliet has been instrumental in helping to break the stronghold of the Big Six energy companies. Good Energy now provides 100 per cent renewable electricity to more than 50,500 customers from its two wind farms and three solar farms. It also works with a community of 73,000 small and medium-scale renewable electricity generators to source distributed power.

Sandrine Dixson Declève — EU Corporate Leadership Group

(Twitter: @SDDecleve)

Dixon Declève is director of the Prince of Wales's EU Corporate Leaders Group, working with businesses to drive ambitious environmental policies in Brussels. She is also director of the Brussels Office for the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership and previously advised a wide range of companies on sustainability issues at Hart Energy Consulting. She has advised a number of governments and UN bodies on sustainability issues and is currently a member of the EU's green growth group.

Joyce Dickerson — Google

Dickerson leads sustainability efforts at one of the world's tech giants. As head of Google's global datacenter sustainability program, she has led investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Dickerson was previously director of Sustainable IT at Stanford University.

Lori Duvall — eBay

(Twitter: @fiercefern)

As global director of green for eBay, Duvall has led on a wide range of initiatives, including launching the Digital Service Efficiency dashboard, which measures how many "buy" or "sell" business transactions are completed on eBay per kilowatt-hour of electricity.

Livia Firth — Eco-Age

(Twitter: @LiviaFirth)

As a campaigner and business women, Firth has worked to promote sustainable and ethical fashion. She is creative director of consultancy Eco-Age and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge.

Aida Greenbury — Aisa Pulp and Paper

(Twitter: @AidaGreenbury)

As head of sustainability for Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), Greenbury has transformed the company's reputation as a destroyer of rainforests to a leader in environmental protection. Under her leadership, APP ended all deforestation on its concessions and has been working with a range of NGOs including Greenpeace to call for governments and businesses to follow suit.

Julia Groves — Trillion Fund

(Twitter: @juliasgroves)

Groves is currently chief executive of renewable energy crowdfunding platform Trillion Fund, where she has helped raise millions of pounds for the development of new wind farms and solar projects. Prior to joining Trillion fund, she was commercial director at solar installer Engensa and commercial manager at small wind turbine supplier quietrevolution.

Helena Helmersson — H&M

Henderson has been global head of sustainability at H&M since 2010. She has played a central role in stepping up the retailers' commitment to sustainability, including garment recycling programs, water stewardship and the company's 'conscious collection'.

Hannah Hislop — Unilever

(Twitter: @hannahhislop)

As Unilever's global advocacy manager for the past three years, Hislop has focused on promoting the company's vision for tackling climate change, reducing deforestation and boosting recycling rates. She was previously a senior policy adviser for the think tank Green Alliance.

Lisa P. Jackson — Apple

(Twitter: @lisapjackson)

Since becoming vice president of Environmental Initiatives for Apple over a year ago, Lisa has pushed sustainability to the top of the agenda at the world's biggest company, boosting investments in renewable energy, resource efficiency and cutting air pollution. Prior to joining Apple, she was administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency in President Obama's first term, regularly battling against companies that wanted to block efforts to improve air quality and tackle climate change.

Hannah Jones — Nike

(Twitter: @hjones_nike)

Nike's chief sustainability officer and vice president of innovation has spearheaded the company's green initiatives, including reducing the use of toxic chemicals in the supply chain to tackle water pollution, and producing sports kits from recycled plastic bottles.

 Dame Ellen MacArthur — Ellen MacArthur Foundation

(Twitter: @ellenmacarthur)

After becoming the fastest person to sail around the world single-handed, Ellen started the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, working with businesses such as Unilever and Renault and producing research to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Maria McCaffery — Renewable UK

As chief executive of the trade association Renewable UK since 2006, Maria has consistently and passionately made the case for strong policies to support wind, wave and tidal power technologies. A chemist by training, McCaffery had a prestigious career in international trade before becoming a driving force behind the expansion of green energy in the UK.

Carmel McQuaid — Marks and Spencer

(Twitter: @MSPLANA)

As head of sustainable business at Marks and Spencer, Carmel has been instrumental in driving forward M&S' Plan A, helping to define what exactly it means to be a sustainable retailers and working with supply chains. She was previously a consultant in manufacturing, supply chain and sustainability for PA Consulting.

Deborah Meaden — WWF 

(Twitter: @DeborahMeaden)

Meaden, a British multi-millionair and star of the show Dragons' Den, has been an advocate of green technologies in recent years by protesting against government cuts to solar power subsidies. She also acts as an ambassador for WWF to encourage more businesses to curb their carbon emissions.

Christina Page — Yahoo

(Twitter: @greenumerations)

Christiana has been Yahoo's global director for energy and sustainability for nearly eight years. During that time she has been responsible for setting a 40 per cent CO2 reduction target at Yahoo data centres, and winning a $9.9m award from the US government for green data centre design.

Sandra Sassow — SeaB Energy

(Twitter: @sandrasassow)

Sandra has been chief executive of waste-to-energy SeaB Energy for the past six years, developing products such as the Muckbuster and Flexibuster which provide farmers and food industries with self-contained anaerobic digester units.

Lucy Shea — Futerra

(Twitter: @SwishingLucy)

Lucy is chief executive of green communications agency Futerra, and is the founder of "swishing", which encourages people to swap their used closed rather than buy new garments.

Nina Skorupska — Renewable Energy Association

(Twitter: @NinaSkorupska)

After joining the Renewable Energy Association (REA) as chief executive in 2013, Skorupska has taken the organization in a new direction by sharpening its focus on biomass, expanding into energy storage and splitting from the Solar Trade Association (STA). She is a chemist by training and has over 25 years experience working in the energy industry.

Sally Uren — Forum for the Future

(Twitter: @sallyuren)

Uren became chief executive of Forum for the Future nearly two years ago after serving as deputy CEO under Jonathan Porritt for four years. She works closely with a wide range of brands to develop environmental targets and strategies, with a particular focus on the food and energy sectors. Prior to joining Forum for the Future, she was director of environmental management and sustainability at consultancy Casella Stanger.

Kindley Walsh Lawlor — Gap 

Walsh Lawler is vice president of social and environmental responsibility at Gap Inc. She has been a driving force behind Gap's efforts to tackle some of the criticism the company has faced over its supply chain practices, setting new greenhouse gas reduction targets and over-seeing efforts to improve supply chain sustainability.

Louise Wilson — Abundance Generation

Wilson is managing director of renewable energy crowdfunding platform Abundance Generation. The former head of EMEA Equity Capital Markets at UBS helped to establish Abundance in 2010, which has become one of the UK's leading community investment platform.

Kate Wylie — Mars

(Twitter: @katewylie)

Kate is Mars' global sustainability director, leading development of the company's sustainable sourcing strategy, including recently working with Danone to launch a £79m ($86.1 million) fund to boost the productivity of small farmers.

This article first appeared at BusinessGreen.