Celebrating Bad-Ass Women in Sustainability

  • 5 years ago
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This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the awesomeness of females all over the world by showcasing some of the women doing incredible, groundbreaking work within sustainability.


From fighting the issues of plastic pollution to helping negotiate the Paris Agreement, below are just a few bad-ass women who are helping to safeguard our planet for future generations by tackling climate change head on!


This 16-year-old Swedish political activist started the very first school strike for the climate in August 2018, which has now become a global movement. Not only this, but Greta has spoken at TEDxStockholm, addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference and was even invited to talk to the World Economic Forum in Davos. She warned global leaders that “Our house is on fire. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. We owe it to the young people, to give them hope”.




Franny is a British climate change documentary director, best known for her film ‘The Age of Stupid’ which warns of the catastrophic effects of climate change. The film’s UK premiere was held in a solar-powered ‘cinema tent’ in Leicester Square and conducted without the use of mains electricity. An independent audit found the premieres carbon emissions were 1% of those produced by a normal blockbuster event… epic!

Franny also founded the carbon reduction campaign ‘10:10’ which enables people to take practical and positive steps to help combat climate change.



Best known for her pioneering research on chimpanzees, Dame Jane Goodall is a primatologist and anthropologist who has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, a global wildlife and environment conservation organisation, and Roots & Shoots, which brings together youngsters to work on environmental, conservation and humanitarian issues. Jane has also served on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project since it was founded in 1996.




Dr Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She also founded the Green Belt Movement which works to promote environmental conservation, build climate resilience and empower communities, especially women and girls, to champion sustainable livelihoods. This movement has helped women plant over 51 million trees in Kenya.




Sylvia is a legendary National Geographic Oceanographer, who has led more than 400 undersea research expeditions. She also founded Mission Blue, with TEDs support, which aims to establish marine protected areas, or Hope Spots, around the globe. Sylia was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was named Time Magazine’s first ‘hero for the planet’ in 1998.




A native Amazonian, Marina fought for the protection of the Amazon during her time as a senator and as Brazil’s Environment Minister. She is still considered to be one of Brazil’s most influential environmental campaigners.



Christiana was appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010 and was dedicated to rebuilding the global climate change negotiating process. She was also one of the amazing influential women at the 2015 Paris conference and was instrumental in securing the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.



Dr Emily Shukburgh, OBE, is a climate scientist and deputy head of the Polar Oceans Team at the British Antarctic Survey. She leads the national research programme on the Southern Ocean and her work focusses on the role of the polar oceans in the global climate system. She has also acted as an advisor to the UK Government and frequently writes on the subjects of climate science, sustainability and women in science.



A fellow Bristolian and environmental campaigner, Natalie has spoken out about the issue of plastic pollution on TEDx and is the founder of City to Sea, a non-profit organisation dedicated to stopping plastic pollution at source. Last year City to Sea’s #SwitchtheStick campaign successfully called on all UK retailers to switch their cotton bud stems from plastic to paper, a move which will stop over 320 tonnes of single-use plastic at source annually.


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