I was born in Marin County in the north-western part of the San Francisco Bay Area, but I’ve moved around a lot over the years. About 20 years ago, I relocated to Lake Maggiore for my ex-husband’s work. Initially, I commuted into Milan for three hours each day, but eventually decided to give up my job when I fell pregnant with my first child. I started working in consulting positions from home with US partners and eventually found a full-time role with Kline that allowed me to be based from home too. I’m fortunate enough to be able to continue my career while also raising my children in a beautiful, safe, clean place. I was attracted to Kline for their forward-thinking, progressive attitude which allowed me to work remotely and eventually move into a senior management role with a sales team of 20 spanning four continents – all from my rural Italian base.
Our company recently carried out an internal survey and found that most of our staff prefer to work from home, but also like to have the option of a smaller office space where they can meet and catch up with colleagues when needed. I believe this trend of smaller offices, more remote working and less commuting is here to stay. And this is another example of how the implementation of the right measures can help a company save money, offer a better quality of life to employees, and lessen the negative impact on the environment.
Multinational companies are shaping their business objectives around sustainable policy initiatives as well as focusing on increasing buyer demand for products and services that are kind to the planet. This is particularly pronounced in the energy sector, where we’re seeing a substantial shift by the oil and gas majors to add a significant mix of renewable energy to their portfolios, as well as make strong, tangible ESG commitments for the future. We’re also seeing this trend in the other industries we serve; cosmetics and toiletries suppliers are making significant shifts towards naturals, organics and green products. The common thread among many of our clients, regardless of industry, is the fact that they are now consciously and purposefully embedding the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their business models; this is a result of government policies as well as consumer demand.
The desire to ultimately build a division at Kline focused on sustainable business initiatives that support our clients was a key factor in me applying for the Sustainability Leadership and Corporate Responsibility (SLCR) online programme. I’d already attended another sustainable business strategy course, as well as a course on the GRI Standards – the first global standards for sustainability reporting. But I knew I needed something more in-depth and practical to move forward. Having taken a senior management course at LBS (Essentials of Leadership with Professor Dan Cable), I was really excited when I saw the school was launching a new leadership programme on sustainability. This was an opportunity for me to have another LBS experience and learn how to create a strong business case for incorporating sustainability into our business, a move that I believe is crucial if we want to thrive in the future.