Top 10 Sustainability Influencers

By Becci Knowles
We take a look at the most influential voices in sustainability today

There are so many great advocates for sustainability it's (almost) impossible to whittle it down to just 10, but after careful consideration we are confident we have selected a group of people who's voices continue to make a difference. Find out who made the cut for Sustainability Magazine's Top 10 list of Sustainability Influencers.

Sams was an organic pioneer, opening Britain’s first natural food shop in 1969. Upon his quest for organic peanuts, he came across what was soon to be Green & Black’s - organic cocoa. He commissioned a sample of chocolate with 70% cocoa, real vanilla, and most importantly it was organic - a UK first. As a journalist his wife, Jo Fairley knew this chocolate had to be taken to market and in 1991 Green & Black’s was born.

Sams is also Executive Director of Carbon Gold and Director of the Soil Association

McKinney is an experienced project and programme manager with 25 years’ experience of helping businesses to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. He is Associate Director at The Carbon Trust and currently leads the £9.2m Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator programme for the UK Government, having previously led the research programme for the Government's Energy Technology List covering technologies ranging from motors and controls to boilers and refrigeration.

Henderson is one of 25 University Professors at Harvard, a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a fellow of both the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her research explores the degree to which the private sector can play a major role in building a more sustainable economy. Rebecca sits on the boards of Idexx Laboratories and of CERES. Her most recent publication is “Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire,” which was shortlisted for the  FT/McKinsey 2020 Business Book of the Year Award.

Rosberg became Formula 1 World Champion in 2016 with Mercedes AMG Petronas and has since embarked on a career as a sustainability entrepreneur and investor in green technologies.

Rosberg has invested in numerous successful start-ups such as Lilium, Volocopter, What3Words, Tier and Lyft. He is also an investor and shareholder of the all-electric racing series Formula E. Rosberg is also a co-owner of the German vehicle technology company TRE GmbH.

In 2019, Nico co-founded the GREENTECH Festival, a global platform for innovative and pioneering green technologies, which attracted almost 40,000 visitors at its premiere.

Lucas Joppa is Microsoft’s first Chief Environmental Officer. With a combined background in environmental science and data science, he is committed to using the power of advanced technology to help transform how society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth’s natural resources. Joppa founded Microsoft’s AI for Earth programme in 2017—a five-year, $50 million cross-company effort dedicated to delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges.

Zichal is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Clean Power Association (ACP). She has had a long career battling global climate change and brings deep experience in the public and private sector. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director of the Blue Prosperity Coalition, a global network of governments, NGOs, scientists, and ocean experts working to advance sustainable, blue economy goals.

She previously served as the Vice President of Corporate Engagement for The Nature Conservancy (TNC); as Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change during the Obama Administration and as Legislative Director to environmentalist and then-Senator John Kerry. 

A leading expert on corporate responsibility and sustainability, Palt is the current Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for L’Oréal. Also the Vice President of the L’Oréal Foundation, Alexandra is pioneering the future of the company’s sustainability to go beyond what is expected. 

Boscolo is lead of Climate & Energy at UN World Meteorological Organisation . Most of her work is in advising governments and businesses on setting science-based targets for transition to resilient and sustainable clean energy systems in line with the goals of Global Agreements. 

Boscolo has developed solid partnerships with United Nation agencies, public and private sectors, academia, civil society, media groups and associations through the organisation of global conferences and awareness raising events to facilitate cross-sector, transformative collaboration at the interface of climate science and energy industry. She has also lead multi-million projects in Africa, South America, Pacific and South East Asia (total portfolio USD 30 million).

Chief Sustainability Officer at Google, Brandt leads sustainability across its worldwide operations, products and supply chains. US based, previously she served as the Nation's first Federal Chief Sustainability Officer. In this capacity, she was responsible for promoting sustainability across Federal Government operations including 360,000 buildings, 650,000 vehicles, and $445 billion annually in purchased goods and services.

Prior to the White House, Kate held several senior roles in the U.S. Federal Government including Senior Advisor at the Department of Energy, Director for Energy and Environment in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and Energy Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy.

Kate is the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award the U.S. Navy can give to a civilian, for her work helping the Navy go green. Kate serves on the boards of EVgo, BSR, Restor, and the Corporate Eco Forum.

Blasi is Special Advisor to the International Energy Agency Executive Director.

At the age of 18 years old Blasi was working (while studying) for an oceanographic research institute travelling around the world and all oceans. After graduating in marine geophysics with honours, Blasi worked for Eni, one of world's leading oil and gas companies, in its offshore pipeline department. At 27, he decided that almost 10 years offshore was enough and after a Masters in Energy Resources, he joined the World Energy Council where he was soon appointed Operating Director of the Italian branch.

Blasi has been part of major international forums including G8 Energy in 2009. After a parenthesis working for the Prime Minister’s Personal Representative for Energy and Climate, he made the jump to the Global Energy Authority, moving to Paris to join the International Energy Agency.

His work at the IEA includes being part of the team preparing the ‘Energy Bible’ - the World Energy Outlook; analysis of the WEO and in charge of Special Reports in WEO series; leading the IEA’s work with global energy industry; co-leading the team responsible for a newly-established flagship publication ‘World Energy Investment Report’ and then Special Advisor of the IEA’s Leadership - the Executive Director.


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