Future Planet's Top Female Sustainability Leaders

Future Planet's Top Female Sustainability Leaders

As we mark International Women's Day, we salute top sustainability leaders.

To mark International Women's Day, Future Planet has compiled a list of just some of the female sustainability leaders who inspire us to build a better world for future generations.

Much of their work drives meaningful change in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they advocate for gender equality, climate change, a reduction in inequalities, peace, and so much more. 

If you think we've missed someone on the list, please do let us know by entering your comments at the end of this article. 


Mary Robinson

mary robinsson 2It has to be Mary Robinson; Ireland's first female President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She is a passionate advocate for gender equality, women’s participation in peace-building, human dignity and climate justice, and is a globally recognised voice on climate change and frequently highlights the need for drastic action from world leaders, as well as the intersectionality of the climate emergency. She also served as the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change (2014-2015) and UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate (2016), and is a founding member of The Elders. In 2018, she was appointed chair following the death of Kofi Annan. She also wrote the hugely acclaimed book Climate Justice.


Mitzi Jonelle Tan

Mitzi Jonelle Tan_Mitzi Jonelle Tan is a full-time climate justice activist based in Metro Manila, Philippines. She is the convenor and international spokesperson of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), and the Fridays For Future (FFF) of the Philippines. She is also an organizer with FFF International and FFF MAPA (Most Affected Peoples and Areas) making sure that voices from the Global South are heard, amplified, and given space. She is a strong voice on anti-imperialism, anti-colonization, and the intersectionality of the climate crisis, and she is committed to changing the system and building a world that prioritizes people and planet, not profit, through collective action.


Roberta Boscolo 

roberta_boscoloFor more than 10 years Roberta has been working as a science officer for the World Climate Research Programme, coordinating scientific efforts worldwide to address the knowledge gaps in understanding the Earth's climate system. She led a team of scientists advancing the application of climate change research to develop climate adaptation strategies, which contributed to shaping the vision of the UN-led initiative by the WMO – Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). The aim of which is to enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change through the provision of science-based climate information and prediction. Roberta currently leads the WMO effort in implementing climate services for the energy sector, particularly in developing countries.


Leah Namugerwa

Leah Namugerwa_Leah Namugerwa is a youth climate activist from Uganda. She is known for leading tree planting campaigns and for starting a petition to enforce the plastic bag ban in Uganda. Following inspiration from Greta Thunberg, she began supporting school strikes in February 2019 with fellow Fridays for Future Uganda organizers. Leah spoke at the World Urban Forum in 2020 and was a youth delegate at COP25.

She celebrated her 15th birthday by planting 200 trees instead of throwing a birthday party, and since then she has launched the Birthday Trees Project, to give out seedlings to those who wish to celebrate their birthdays by planting trees. Her major goal is to see the enforcement of current climate legislation (Paris 21 Agreement) and to attract more coverage of issues of climate change. Namugerwa has continuously called on the government of Uganda to fully implement the Paris Climate Agreement.


Ingrid De Doncker


Ingrid De Doncker is an international expert on sustainable procurement and supply chain. She is also the co-founder and Head of Research and Innovation at Future Planet. In her previous company, Ingrid built a leading strategic practice helping customers 'Buy Better' by achieving cost savings while building better relationships with suppliers and the planet. She is a highly sought-after speaker and lecturer in three of Ireland’s universities, while also supporting business and supply chain teams to drive sustainable change. A GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) certified professional, Ingrid sits on various advisory boards and ESG councils to bring the sustainable supply chain perspective into the discussion. She collaborates on various Innovation Procurement projects at EU level.


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaNgozi Okonjo-Iweala GCON is a Nigerian-American economist, who has been serving as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization since March 2021. Notably, she is the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization as Director-General, and took office in March 2021, becoming the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General. Her term of office will expire in August 2025.

She is an economist and international development expert with over 30 years of experience. Dr Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (2003-2006, 2011-2015) - and is the first woman to do so - and in 2020 she was named Forbes African of the Year. She has been ranked by Fortune as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders (2015) and by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World consecutively for four years. 


Musidora Jorgensen

Musidora Jorgensen_

Musidora Jorgensen is the Chief Impact Officer for World Wide Generation. Prior to that she worked with Microsoft as their Chief Sustainability Officer, and served as VP of sales for Salesforce where she oversaw the Energy and Utilities business; and for Oracle, where she led sales into the Telco, Media, and Utilities industries for human capital management.

Jorgensen further held sales leadership positions in Oracle's consulting branch, where she oversaw the UK Public and Commercials sectors. Throughout her career, she has held leadership positions at some of the biggest tech and telecom companies in the world, including Oracle, Salesforce, and HP, along with 20 years of experience selling and managing teams in the IT industry.


Shreen Daniels

Sheeren DanielsShereen Daniels' leadership career spans over seventeen years, working within companies with turnovers ranging from £100 million to £2.2 billion, such as Caffe Nero, Greene King, Hobbs, Gala Coral, Carphone Warehouse, Orion Publishing Group and Armor Group (now part of G4S).
Prior to 2019, Shereen embarked on an MP Leadership Scheme with the House of Commons and Operation Black Vote, which has an objective to increase representation within UK politics. A seasoned board director, Shereen has occupied previous roles for the Black Business Association, part of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry as Vice Chair, member of the Kent & Medway Economic Partnership Board, and Trustee to Endeavour Mat.


Ali Sheridan

ali-sheridanAli Sheridan is a sustainability and climate adviser, lecturer, and the Director of Major Partnerships at Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. A committed sustainability advocate, she has worked as a sustainability practitioner across the private, public and NGO sectors in Ireland as well as the UK and Netherlands, providing expertise including net zero strategy development, policy support, natural capital solutions, circular design, reporting, stakeholder engagement, climate risk analysis, and sustainability communications. Ali has held a range of sustainability roles including at IKEA, Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), PepsiCo, and the Sustainability Agricultural Initiative.

Ali lectures and design modules for a number of universities in Ireland, sits on a wide range of sustainability working groups, and is a frequent speaker, panel member and media contributor. She holds a MSc Business Sustainability (UCD Smurfit School), MSc Management for Sustainable Development (DCU), and a BSc Environmental Management (TU Dublin). 


Animah Kosai

Animah-KosaiAnimah is a Governance and Compliance expert and advises on 'speaking up in organisations', specifically to break the silence on wrongdoing. She founded Speak Up At Work to diagnose the 'Speak Up Culture' in companies and assess their response to reports on wrongdoing, harassment, unsafe and unethical practices. Animah draws upon her 24 years experience as a lawyer and counsel in the oil and gas industry. She worked as legal counsel for Schlumberger and became general counsel of Carigali Hess, a joint venture between Petronas Carigali and Hess, which is a major gas producer in the Malaysia-Thai joint development area. She is now based in London where she writes, advises and speaks on Speak Up.


Elena Doms

Elena DomsElena Doms spent 18 years in the Arctic, where she saw climate change happen first-hand. As a leader, she's heading C-biotech and Earth Plus, and leads a team that are the first to prove that we can clean soils from pollution, capture CO2, and create a circular economy through nature-based solutions.

She works on projects in Europe and globally, is a speaker, interviews experts, and hosts a video series on LinkedIn.


Elin Bergman

ElinElin Bergman is known for being the 'Circular Economy Queen of Sweden'. She is one of the co-founders of the Nordic Circular Hotspot, and currently serves as the COO and spokesperson of the Swedish circular economy network Cradlenet.

For many years she worked as WWF Sweden’s circular economy expert, where she developed the international circular economy network Baltic Stewardship Initiative, to enable the recirculation of nutrients in the Baltic Sea region in the agri-food sector.


Sarah Daly

Sarah daly

A TEDx speaker and Top 35 LinkedIn Sustainability Influencer, Sarah earned a spot on the Unlock Net Zero Climate Champions' Power List 2023With an impressive 24-year tenure in the sustainability sector, she is an Associate Director of Sustainability with Turner & Townsend in the UK. She established the L&D, Comms, Market Engagement and Partnership workstreams for the Department of Energy Security & Net Zero's Technical Assistance Facility for housing decarbonisation, and also advises on the Greater London Authority's Retrofit Accelerator - Workplaces (RA-W) and the North East Public Estate Decarbonisation programmes. 


Naomi Ní Shícoháin

Naomi SheehanNaomi Sheehan is a sustainable development scientist, environmental campaigner, climate advisor and social activist. She has more than 20 years of experience in  Corporate Transformation Programs, Humanitarian Operations & Government Policy Strategy, and now works in sustainable development and is a member of Scientist Rebellion.

With first hand experience of witnessing some of the rapid environmental changes from European glaciers to the artic, Naomi is a leading advocate in this space. Check out this interview with Derek Cawley where Naomi discusses COP27.


Nahla Nabil

Nahla Nabil_Nahla is a sustainability and HSE professional with 17+ years of experience in leading the development and implementation of HSE management systems, ESG and sustainability strategies, and carbon emission projects in aviation, railway and construction. She is a strategic and innovative thinker who takes pride in their ability to develop effective strategies and solutions that are both practical and cost-effective.


Minou Schillings

Minou SchillingsMinou Schillings is the co-founder The Green Sprint, an innovation agency focussed on accelerating the global sustainability transition. She is dedicated to helping impact intrapreneurs and business leaders to shed old-school thinking and embrace a brighter, radically different and sustainable future. She’s a disarming speaker on a mission to make the complex accessible, the unimaginable possible and the future radically different and better for all life on earth, and is the initiator of the Shifting Horizons movement.


Heidi Hautala

Heidi 2Heidi Anneli Hautala is a Finnish politician and is Vice-President of the European Parliament, a member of the European Parliament in the Greens/EFA group, and former Minister for International Development and State Ownership Steering in Finland. She has a Master's degree in agriculture and forestry, and serves on the Committee on International Trade, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and as a substitute on the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament. In 2017 Heidi established a Working Group on Responsible Business Conduct in the European Parliament. She has complemented her extensive political career with her various voluntary work commitments related mostly to human rights.


Sophia Kianni

Sophia Kianni_Sophia Kianni is an Iranian-American social entrepreneur and activist studying at Stanford University. She is the founder and executive director of Climate Cardinals, an international non-profit with 9,000 volunteers in 40+ countries. She is the youngest person to ever serve as a United Nations advisor. She has sat on boards and advisory councils for The New York Times, World Economic Forum, Web Summit, Environmental Media Association, Ashoka, American Lung Association, and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. Sophia has been publicly commended by the Congressional Committee on the Climate Crisis and the United Nations Foundation for her advocacy. 


Amy Harder

AmyHarder_Amy Harder is executive editor of Cipher by Breakthrough Energy. Amy is one of the top national energy and climate change reporters, having built up a reputation of being a uniquely balanced and influential journalist with respect across the spectrum. She joined Breakthrough Energy in early 2021 to help launch Cipher, a publication covering the opportunities and challenges of the energy transition. Before joining Breakthrough, Amy was with Axios based in Washington DC. In that role, Amy reported on trends and exclusive scoops, while also distilling into understandable formats complex energy and climate issues.