Stockholm (NordSIP) – As she relocated to her native Malmö, in the South of Sweden, and took a decisive step in her career, we caught up with Karin Björk (pictured), who recently joined 2050 as project consultant. Previously, Björk worked as Associate Director at Sustainalytics and was the runner up in the 2019 edition of the IRRI Survey’s Nordic Cut, in the category ‘Best Client Relations, Salesperson or Product Manager‘. She told us about her new firm and what challenges await her.
“2050 is Sweden’s leading sustainability and climate change consultancy. The company is mission-driven with a vision to promote good business through sustainable business models,” Björk starts. “After leading Nordic business development for seven years at Sustainalytics, being part of growing the company’s presence there from scratch to being one of the largest ESG research and rating players, I felt my work there was done and I needed a new challenge.”
Björk spent some time thinking about what she wanted to do next while settling back in Sweden with her family after 10 years abroad. “What excited me was the idea to get closer to the corporate side. A former colleague introduced me to 2050 and it seemed like the perfect next step,” she recalls.
“2050 particularly focuses on helping companies integrate sustainability and climate risk thinking in their business model. I found that exceptionally appealing,” she continues. “The firm also helps companies with their reporting and calculating their scope 1, 2 and 3 intensity, advising them on sustainability issues, for instance, pre-M&As as well as working with thought leadership. Over the coming months, I will support 2050 with some larger projects, particularly focused on climate risk and the financial sector as well as on the business development side. Markus Ekelund, the CEO of 2050 and I hope to work together on more of a permanent basis after the summer when we hopefully live in less ‘interesting’ times and there will be more opportunity to plan more long term.”
Taking this new job after a seven-year stint in her previous position, Björk is quickly adapting to the new tasks at hand. “I think the challenge when starting at a new organisation is always to learn about the way the business operates, including its full offering, and from a business development perspective, link that to potential,” she says.
“The new job will also involve taking much more of a deep dive into sustainability issues and how they can affect companies on a much more granular level than in my previous role,” Björk explains. “It is really fun to be learning something new though, and I think, that in itself will drive me to further learning and progress. I have received a fantastic welcome from my new colleagues in the Malmö and Stockholm offices, who have been nothing but great in helping me get up to speed.”
Despite the current pandemic and its effects on the economy, Björn remains optimistic about the future of sustainability. “I think the spotlight will continue to shine ever more brightly on climate risk and sustainable business models long term,” she says. “The winners will be the institutions who think proactively around this from a business model perspective, whether investors, banks, ESG research providers or corporates. As the forever optimist, I also hope economic stimulus following the current dip will be directed towards, and maybe even conditioned on, sustainable business models. One very concrete consequence should hopefully be that there is less business travel by plane as people have gotten more used to online meetings.”
Looking to the future, Björk rolls up her sleeves: “I sincerely hope I can contribute to a lot more companies integrating sustainability and climate risk thinking into their business models, in Sweden and beyond,” she concludes.
Picture courtesy of Karin Björk