Interview with Alison Rowe

Interview with  Alison Rowe, Global Executive Director Sustainability, FUJITSU

As part of our series of Global Sustainability Leader Interviews, ALLEN & YORK were delighted to interview,  Alison Rowe, Global Executive Director Sustainability, FUJITSU  about how she became involved in Sustainability and what she believes are the major environmental challenges facing us in the future.

Who or what inspired you to go into a career in sustainability?

I fell into the area of sustainability when I was faced with a business risk. The more I learnt the more connected I became. Ten years later, I can’t imagine not having some element of sustainability in my future roles. For me my motivation and passion is about linking business outcomes equally with the contribution to environmental and social impact

What key advice would you give to a someone looking to enter a career in sustainability? 

Be clear about what areas of sustainability you want to focus on and understand its relationship to business. Making yourself niche is not the answer. Be prepared to be flexible and not get too hung up on job titles. It’s up to you to make your job link to sustainability and to make your job sustainable itself.

What are going to be the biggest challenges for sustainability in the next 5-10 years?  

Aligning to business success and myth busting the notion that sustainability costs.  I often think outlining the cost of doing nothing is a valuable baseline and from there presenting future scenarios as the way forward. Uncertainty of government policies and market levers delays actions in some businesses it’s only a few that can see beyond the short term and  develop a long term strategy.

What skills will be in most demand in the sustainability sector in the next 5-10 years? 

Transformation leadership, strategic change management, financial and organisational development. Also the ability to not just capture risks but to assess their impact and develop sound responses and opportunities to reshape business.

READ MORE - Global Sustainability Leader Interviews