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GreenBiz Names Elizabeth Barthelmes '11 One of the Nation’s “Best and Brightest” Emerging Corporate Sustainability Leaders

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By BCEEAN Newsletter Staff.

What does it take to “make a difference” in corporate social responsibility?  Given the relative newness of the field, no primary route to corporate sustainability leadership has yet emerged.  As GreenBiz notes, emerging leaders “tackling some of the toughest challenges in business” took varied paths to their current job, finding niches in large companies, startups, and nonprofits.  Yet they share a common desire “for sustainability to be part and parcel of how every business operates.”

Elizabeth Barthelmes, Sustainability Manager at Etsy and one of the 30 young professionals honored by GreenBiz for being among the “best and brightest” in the field, is no exception. She credits experiences as varied as a seventh-grade science project, her junior year at Boston College – where she served as a student delegate to COP15, the United Nations climate meetings in Copenhagen – and her first post-college job with financial services firm Sungard, as inspiration for her career. 

Today, Barthelmes is helping Etsy and the craft marketplace pursue a Living Building Challenge certification, an international certification aimed at being the most advanced measurement of sustainability in the built environment.  She also founded the New York Area Sustainability Group, a local forum for discussing sustainable business best practices that numbers more than 300 members.   

Barthelmes observes that her career has required her to navigate “hard conversations with a lot of diverse stakeholders who don’t always believe in sustainability,” but she takes pride in rising to that challenge.

For the full article, see The 2016 GreenBiz 30 Under 30.


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