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Virginia Cinquemani – Green Gorilla

Sustainability should be a no-brainer for everyone. We believe that the quickest way to get there is to empower sustainability professionals and advocates to make an impact. And because a commitment to sustainability and technical skills are not enough, we offer specific soft skills and leadership training and coaching to support you in your sustainability journey. We are Green Gorilla.

Hi! Tell us a bit about your backstory

I founded Green Gorilla in 2018 because in my 15-year-long career in sustainability as an architect first and as a sustainability consultant later, I realised that there are plenty of technical professionals in the sustainability sector, yet oddly sustainability isn’t as widespread as it should. The reason is that sustainability professionals struggle to connect with their audience, to communicate sustainability is an easy, understandable way, and as a consequence, they struggle to sell it to their clients. Until people with the technical knowledge learn how to communicate the benefits of sustainability with confidence, sustainability will still be a niche optional, not “business as usual”. I wrote a book about it (SustainABLE: How to Find Success as a Sustainability Professional in a Rapidly Changing World), and now I coach and train others to discover their most confident self, and to use the right arguments to sell sustainability ethically.

So why are you passionate about this aspect of sustainability?

As a technical person that used to struggle to communicate confidently with her clients, I’ve gone through this. I’ve seen the issue first hand, in both my career and in my peers’. I think communication is the basic ingredient needed to progress sustainability to the next level, the ‘no-brainer’ level, but it can only be done by focusing on the audience and their specific needs, not on our technical abilities.

What’s next for you?

As I develop more and more knowledge of this field, I’m planning to write another book focused entirely on selling sustainability ethically. It will be a practical guide for anyone struggling to get their voice heard on sustainability issues, both at work and in their private life.

One piece of advice for a sustainable future

Do a little analysis of your own life. What are the easy wins that you can adopt today to make an impact towards a more sustainable future? And most importantly, how are you modelling this for others (children, colleagues, friends…)? Do not underestimate the ripple effect of individual actions.

What would you recommend from RYVIAS for our audience?

Get involved. Everyone works better when they work together and realise that individual impact really is possible. It’s so simple to learn some of the essential points and then put them into practice so get involved and get others to do the same. We all want a more sustainable future.

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