Amanda Borneke, Sustainability Expert

Gothenburg, Sweden

“I grew up in the southern countryside of Sweden with big dreams. I am the first person in my family to ever go to college, graduating with a double major in environmental science and communication. During college, I founded two companies of my own and took the initiative to run several events and organizations. When I describe my job to people, I say this: “My job is to get people passionate about something they don't care about – our planet. I call myself a personal trainer in sustainability, helping companies to cut carbon emissions”. I also offer free business advice whenever I can and love to inspire other women to turn their hobbies into businesses.

But my journey to success and economic empowerment did come at a price. My boyfriend of five years started to notice how my career was advancing faster than his. He started to get jealous of my success. He gave me a choice – leave my career or leave him. I decided to believe in myself and continue with my career, heartbroken, but with more passion than ever. And I worked really really hard. Six months later, I became the first woman to be awarded the Environmental prize of the year 2019, a finalist at Environmental innovator of 2020 and nominee for Future Female Leader award in Sweden. All those awards motivated me to pursue a board position with a leading construction organization in Sweden, becoming its youngest board member. This has further empowered me to utilize my voice and leadership style to bring a change in a male-dominated industry. The construction industry has only seen one type of environmental leader,the woodpecker - the inspector who pecks on people and only measures what goes wrong. I knew that leadership style would not work for me. I was a woman supposed to coach men twice my age. So I created a new leadership style, the rooster - the coach that wakes you up in the morning with positive reinforcement, measuring what goes well.

Remember, when you stand out from the crowd, it's easy to annoy people. Your success is a reminder of their failure. Never listen to what others want you to be. Just listen to your own voice - it is the only one that matters. Keep your head high and be proud of who you are. Never give up on yourself.” - Amanda Borneke, Sustainability Expert


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