Monday 8th March marks International Women’s Day 2021. The theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge and is something that we couldn’t get more behind.
Being communicators it’s in our nature to pipe up and speak out when we have an opinion, don’t agree with the status quo or generally just want to stand up for something we believe in.
Choosing to challenge norms shouldn’t be seen as something that only happens on the edges of society, it’s something that should be ingrained in each of us. Whether that is standing up for gender equality, racial equality or our planet, especially when so often these things are intertwined. Speaking out in favour of fairness and positive action should be something that is celebrated and encouraged for all generations.
To mark the occasion this year, we’re celebrating and shouting about some brilliant women in the sustainability world. They have each challenged the norms in some way, spoken up and made their voice heard when it was needed most and continue to do so. They’re legends in their own right and we are pretty in awe of each of them. Join us to celebrate some of our fave sustainability heroes.
Now, would it even be a sustainability hero list without including Greta? We don’t know about you, but for us she’s up there. Constantly challenging the norms and defining what it means to stand up for what you believe in and at such a young age too, pretty damn bold if you ask us. She spoke at the United Nations Climate Change Conference and has influenced many young people to stand up and fight for the planet with the Fridays For Future protests. To be honest we’re still stoked from seeing her talk at the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate in Bristol last year.
We couldn’t not include Sylvia Earle. One of the Enviral team is probably her biggest fan, mentioning no names, and really we’ve all grown to love her. If you haven’t heard of her then look her up now, oceanography and all round pioneer, lots of her work is ground-breaking. In 1970 she led the first all-female team of “Aquanauts” who lived for two weeks in an underwater habitat. If that isn’t breaking boundaries, we don’t know what is. So let’s hear it for Sylvia, the awesome cheerleader for our oceans.
Next up is another big Enviral fave. Mya-Rose Craig, or as you might know her, Birdgirl. Yet another young woman using her voice for good and just generally being pretty awesome. A leading ornithologist and the youngest person in the world to see half the world’s bird species. It’s not just her love of birds and nature that make her a hero, it’s what she does on top of that which makes her such an inspiration for us. She’s an active environmental campaigner and set up Black2Nature, which aims to give Visible Minority Ethnic communities’ equal access to our incredible natural world. She speaks up about her love of the outdoors, why it’s important and wants to do what she can to share it. The University of Bristol also awarded her a Doctor of Science honorary degree last year, pretty epic hey?!
With COP26 on the horizon, it seemed only fitting to include Christiana Figueres. She was executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and was a key part in making history with the Paris Agreement in 2015. Her skills lie in negotiations and making her voice heard. She is a Founder of the Global Optimism Group, fighting climate change with optimism, which we applaud. We know personally how much the climate crisis has the ability to cause anxiety and it’s only with optimism and positivity that we have a real fighting chance of being able to change the path that we are on for the better. She also last year published a book called The Future We Choose.
We know how much of a bad rep the fashion industry has in terms of sustainability, it has a hell of a long way to go. So it’s people like Stella McCartney that we can really get behind. She’s been in the industry for years and has strived to continue to learn about the impact the fashion industry has and what she can change to limit this. Her exploration into supply chain and materials has been a shining example for other brands in the industry and we are hoping they will follow suit in her pursuit of a more sustainable industry. She has also been using a tool called the Environmental Profit and Loss in order to measure her brands impact since 2012, looking year on year at where changes for the better can be made.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Marina Silva. Brazilian politician and environmentalist, she’s really shown over her career what it means to use your voice. Serving as both Senator of the state of Acre from 1995 to 2011 and Minister of The Environment from 2003 to 2008, she has been an instrumental part of highlighting environmental concerns in Brazil and fighting for the protection of the rainforest. She boldly speaks up for the planet when others are more concerned with simply boosting the economy and has won numerous environmental awards over the years. We’re glad the Amazon has her in its corner!