These 3 leaders are transforming how Europe approaches climate change and sustainability goals

3 weeks ago

Transforming Business

The individuals featured in Business Insider's 100 People Transforming Business lists are driving change and innovation in their industries.  The list includes activists, entrepreneurs, and leaders shaping the future of sustainable business. See more of Business Insider's 100 People Transforming Business in Europe. Gabriela Hernandes Galindo Global Sustainability Director, Danone

Gabriela Hernandes Galindo is the global sustainability director for Danone, best known for its yogurts — but also a successful beverage business.

The company has said its water bottles in Europe will be made of 100% recycled plastic from 2025 onwards.

Business decisions like these are part of Danone's plan to spend 2 billion euros over the next three years to fight climate change, a significant pledge for a company with a 13 billion euro dairy business. 

"So in 2015 we made a committment as company to become carbon neutral end-to-end by 2050. This is a big, big effort that requires first reducing our emissions through investing in renewable energy. We are investing in regenerative agricultural practices everywhere," Galindo told Business Insider.

John Schoolcraft Global Chief Creative Officer, Oatly

In 2012, John Schoolcraft became Oatly's global chief creative officer. At that time Oatly was a small local producer of oat milk in Sweden. Today Oatly is a $2 billion company and can be found on supermarket shevles around the world. part of that success can be attributed to the company's willingness to take risks on advertising campaigns that poke fun at the very idea of sustainability. 

"Oat milk isn't that interesting and if you're going to explain why people should try oat milk, you have to do it in an interesting way," Schoolcraft said. 

And the dairy industry is noticing. Not just in Europe, but around the world.

"Three years ago in the US when we introduced oat milk there wasn't any oat milk. And now there's probably five or six or seven," Schoolcraft said. "Most of them are dairies who refused to make oat milk before because they wanted to sell their dairy products, but now are making oat milk. That's a good thing I think. I think that competition is great."

Francois Austin Partner and Global Head of Energy, Oliver Wyman

Francois Austin has been consulting for clients that most need to change. The oil and gas industry.

As Europe continues to build out carbon-free energy sources, Austin sees his clients aligning values and the bottom line.

"I think that people have historically thought there was almost a trade-off between profitability and sustainability. But as a number of people have said, sustainability is just good business," Austin told Business Insider.  

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