”Actions are needed, not just words.”
”I definitely wanted to work for a company that genuinely works to combat climate change,” says Consultant Annastina Saari from D-Mat, an expert company for a sustainable future.
“Last summer, I graduated with a master’s degree from Aalto University School of Business and am now studying in a Master’s programme in forest sciences at the University of Helsinki. The main topics in my studies in the forestry sector are consumption, circular economy, and bioeconomy – I wanted to expand my studies toward sustainable development.
Environmental issues have been close to my heart since I first heard about global warming from my father when I was ten years old. I was also interested in recycling at the time, maybe even a bit too much: I took a casserole straight from the fridge, then threw the contents into the compost and the foil tin into metal recycling. I later realised it wasn’t quite what you should do, even though the idea was right.
My master’s thesis focused on a carbon footprint calculator.
I realised that every school subject or business studies concerning climate change interested me. As I thought about a topic for my bachelor’s thesis in business, my friend made a joke that I should study garbage. And so I did my thesis on recycling. My master’s thesis focused on a carbon footprint calculator, in the development of which my current employer, D-mat, has participated.
Just before graduating, I started looking for a job that would be really awake on climate issues and where I could learn more about the subject. D-mat is just that: it promotes a low-carbon world by exploring and enabling low-carbon lifestyles.
We do carbon and material footprint calculation and sustainability consulting. D-Mat also has a product called Climate Puzzle, guiding and helping consumers to plan low-carbon lifestyles.
I feel that my work is really meaningful.
In my work, I have been able to do, among other things, carbon footprint calculations and research for clients. I feel that my work is really meaningful, and I enjoy my work. The atmosphere is encouraging, and we all have a very strong climate agenda.
In everyday life, on the other hand, it’s sometimes hard to try to make better choices, as still, on a large scale, nothing changes and sometimes it feels like there is no basis for what I do. I am a positive person, and I always try to believe in a better future, but it is sometimes difficult when it comes to what is happening in the world.
Large companies, in particular, have the potential to influence consumption on a large scale.
My circle of friends has woken up strongly to climate issues. Many are vegetarians or even vegans and think about the fight against climate change and its effects on their daily lives. The state of the environment is being actively discussed. I also see the anxiety and powerlessness of young people as their opportunities to influence are so limited.
Businesses and governments have great power and potential to influence how effectively climate change can be tackled. I hope that, at this stage, when we are already talking about a climate crisis and the fact that current practices are not enough, companies would genuinely work on the issues and not just talk.
One should focus on doing, not just talking about long-term goals – which creates a feeling of green-washing. Climate issues should be given the highest priority, as large companies, in particular, have the potential to influence consumption on a large scale.
We don’t have an acute situation in Finland yet.
Making a big change is perhaps difficult because people don’t want to let go of their own status or the standard of living that is achieved through excess consumption. Climate change is also a very abstract and complex concept, and you may not understand or want to understand how huge the things are that will happen if a certain temperature is exceeded.
We don’t have an acute situation in Finland yet, but indigenous peoples are already suffering, for example.”