February 1st, 2021

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Women in Sustainability: Leading the Movement on Women’s Day

Zoe Wilkes | March 08, 2021

International Women's Day 2021

Businesses have a responsibility to reduce their environmental impact; something which women are proven to be more aware of than their male colleagues. As such, it’s no surprise that when it comes to sustainable business, female-led companies are guiding the way!

In light of International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate the inspiring work of women in sustainability who are pushing for a more planet-conscious approach in business.

Women in Sustainability: The Movement

Women are championing the movement when it comes to sustainability, in a way that far exceeds their male counterparts. In fact, research suggests that the number of women on a companies' board directly correlates with their sustainability efforts. The benefits don't stop there. A study from the University of Adelaide shows that ‘for every additional woman appointed to a corporate board’ the risk of being sued for environmental reasons is reduced by 1.5%. These statistics demonstrate the need for the gender gap to be closed, and for more female representation to occur across corporations. After all, sustainability should be a fundamental part of any business model, something to which women give higher priority.

So why are women more likely to prioritise climate change?

Women have an inherent social responsibility that aligns with long-term ethical visions, causing them to act as 'agents of change’. In contrast, men are more likely to act competitively on short-term goals, rather than considering the greater good. The difference in attitude between men and women, when it comes to the environment, has been referred to as the ‘eco gender gap’. Because of this, gender-balanced executive teams are more likely ‘to invest in renewable power, low-carbon products, and energy efficiency’. In summary, more women in business will help us to get closer to our sustainable goals.

Women Championing Sustainability

International Women’s Day is all about celebrating female achievement. Some inspiring women in sustainability, positively influencing our environmental actions, are:

Habiba Al Marashi

‘I think at the core of sustainability, women should be there’

Habiba Al Marashi is the founder and chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group: an NGO that raises environmental awareness in the community. Through her inspiring work, she has grown the organisation into one of the most prominent and influential environmental groups in the Middle East. In a country where the vast economy is built upon the oil industry, Habiba Al Marashi is a master at challenging the status quo and changing ways of thinking for the better.

Stella McCartney

‘The starting point is not design. The starting point is sustainability’

Famous British designer, McCartney, is turning the fashion industry on its head when it comes to sustainability. Whether it’s using recycled and recyclable materials or sourcing from sustainably managed forests, McCartney ensures that their company approach is ethical, non-exploitative, and sustainable.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

‘We cannot accept anything less than a path to save ourselves, which this is’

AOC is a US representative and an absolute trailblazer in the climate change and conscious responsibility sphere. What’s more, she’s doing it in a typically white, middle-aged, male world; something which isn’t stopping her when it comes to environmental reform. As a woman in sustainability, she leads the way with ‘The Green New Deal’: an environmental policy to decarbonise the U.S. and create jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Indra Nooyi

‘A sustainable model. That is what performance with purpose is all about’

The former CEO of PepsiCo, and one of the most inspirational women in sustainability, made PepsiCo a leader of environmental change. She successfully carried out a number of excellent sustainable initiatives. For example, reducing waste through package redesign, and reducing energy and water usage during production. The results speak for themselves: PepsiCo now sources 100% renewable energy during production in the U.S and is expected to stretch that to 15 more countries in the next year.

At Fyne Jewellery, we shape our business model on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With their 2030 agenda fast approaching, it’s imperative that more women are assigned to executive roles within corporations so that we can push for environmental change. Learn more about our female-led company and our conscious efforts to sustain, preserve, and protect the beauty of our planet.

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