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PODCAST Karin Ekberg on Sustainability and How to Transform an Industry

Today, Jara Pascual, founder of Collabwith, had the pleasure to talk to Karin Ekberg.

Karin Ekberg is a true leader, owner and CEO of Leadership & Sustainability, former senior director consumer goods at thinkstep, former head of environmental services at adidas Group and former chair of board of directors at Sustainable Apparel Coalition and former executive management board member at Zero Discharge of hazardous chemicals group.

We were talking about the importance of making ambitious goals for sustainability and she has founded EWIVA in 1992 which was a Swiss project to develop and implement a Swiss rating approach to rate corporations, inspired by “Shopping For A Better World”. She was a pioneer in the fashíon industry. And of course, we discussed about what innovation is and collaboration for innovation in the sustainability sector.

“My mission is to create measurable results for sustainability in the industry”

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PODCAST Karin Ekberg on Sustainability and How to Transform an Industry
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“You don’t need only to clean up what is coming out from the pipe, but you can begin to think about your processes and reduce your impact before”

“You need to understand what change management is, in order to be successful with sustainability, and change management has to do with leadership as well”

“There are the same aspects indepently what type of organization you are, focus on the things which are very important, analyse the sustainability impact, describe risks you have and understand the opportunities (what is about innovation)”

“Make a five years plan with measurable and ambitious goals, measure your project results and measure your impact”

“You invest where you can do the biggest change”

“Governments can integrate sustainability by connecting loans with the sustainability performance”

“Innovation needs openness to let people to be inspired and express their passion, and then innovation comes and ideas flow”

Karin Ekberg
Managing Director at Leadership & Sustainability
Former Director of Consumer Goods at thinkstep
Former Head of Sustainability Services at adidas Group
Former Chair of the Board of Directors at SAC
Former Executive Management Board Member of Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group

Karin has more than 30 years of international consulting and industry experience in several sectors, based out of Switzerland, Brazil, Sweden, and Germany and with extended business projects mainly in North America, China and other countries in Asia. Karin has spent five years in the position as Head of Environmental Services at adidas Group, establishing and maintaining group-wide environmental strategies and programs for the company’s internal business operations and its global supply chain. adidas is one of the world’s leading sporting goods companies. Karin has spent six years in the position as Director Sustainability at ASSA ABLOY, developing and implementing Sustainability strategies for the group globally. ASSA ABLOY is the largest global supplier of intelligent lock and security solutions.

Furthermore, Karin has had the role of Chair of the Board of Directors at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (2012-2013). The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is a trade organization comprised of brands, retailers, manufacturers, among others, representing more than a third of the global apparel and footwear market and working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products. Karin is an approved SAC Higg FEM (facility environmental module) verifier (general and chemical specialist) and trainer as well as an approved ZDHC and SLCP trainer. Karin has also been engaged during the set-up and first years of the ZDHC, Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals, taking on several leadership roles within the ZDHC collaboration.

Karin was the Swedish industry representative to the global ISO 26000 process. Karin is also an experienced facilitator at workshops and keynote speaker at conferences. Karin has a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Chalmers, Gothenburg, and ETH Zürich technical universities and a Diploma from post-studies in environmental management at the University of Zürich. In June 2019, Karin was awarded the Higg Index Verification Leadership Award at the SAC Global Member Meeting in Barcelona for her commitment to the verification and her outstanding support for the SAC.

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