Practitioner Spotlight--Pamela Gordon

Practitioner Spotlight--Pamela Gordon

February 16th, 2016

Name:

Pamela J. Gordon    

Office:

San Jose

Practice Area:

Sustainability and EHS Auditing and Compliance

Area(s) of expertise:

Creating and implementing profitable environmental sustainability strategies for products, services, and operations, with specialties in the electronics industry and supply chains.

Role:

To coalesce Technology Forecasters Inc.’s (TFI – the consultancy she founded in 1987) and Antea Group’s areas of expertise to bring more and more client organizations to higher levels of profitable sustainability.  

About Me in 140 Characters:

Professionally and personally, I am driven to help sustain the Earth’s natural environment in ways that also generate ethical livelihoods.

Favorite Thing about Being a Sustainability Consultant in the Tech Sector:

Working collaboratively with clients and colleagues around the world to bridge technology and business, profitability and responsibility, and competitive drive with measurable success for the environment and society.

What are the most interesting projects you’ve conducted?

Training international engineers and executives in Design-for-Environment (DfE) techniques; these are ways to design products and services with minimal harm to the environment -- while at the same time reducing costs, increasing reliability, generating new revenue streams, and gaining competitive advantage. The training, comprising plenty of hands-on team exercises, lights up designers as they realize they can give customers superior value through minimizing environmentally- and economically-intensive materials, processing, transportation, and waste. “I’ll never think of product design the same way again,” was one of my favorite quotes from a trainee. DfE “ah-hahs” start with product and packaging concept and extend through repurposing post-customer product and materials for profitable reuse.

What are some of your favorite tools/resources for professional development in this practice area?

(1) Inspiring clients to leverage Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools for choosing optimal design and supply-chain features for products and services’ environmental sustainability and cost-effectiveness. 
(2) Giving Climate Reality Project’s presentations (as a certified Climate Reality Leader) to connect the dots between adopting new technologies and reducing costs and carbon emissions alike. 
(3) Taking the Circular Economy 100 executive training and coaching clients in developing and marketing products and services that live up to the Circular Economy promise.

What is a key ingredient for success as a sustainability practitioner?

Think bigger. Mentor clients in creating wealth for shareholders while at the same time restoring environmental and human health through products, services, supply chains, and policies.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Helping corporations to significantly and measurably reduce environmental impacts to substantively do environmental good, and to profit from these activities.

If someone at a party asks what you do, how to you respond?

“I’m an environmental consultant for the Tech Industry.” People inevitably respond with pleasant surprise, then share their aspirations for making a positive difference in the world through their livelihood. 

What do you consider your biggest professional achievement so far?

I feel blessed to have started and grown Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI), and to have joined TFI with Antea Group to bring profitable sustainability to exponentially more clients around the world.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

From age 5 to 7 I wanted to become an astronomer. Maybe that was an early sign of my optimism that through far-reaching vision we can achieve lofty goals. Then at age 8 when my family started backpacking in the Sierra-Nevada wilderness, a love of and respect for nature took root. By middle school I couldn’t resist reprimanding classmates who dropped their empty lunch bags on the playground (“How could you DO that?”) and by high school I registered for environmental studies. 

If you had one month off, where would you go or what would you do?

Take my family on an organized bicycle trip in Eastern Europe, where my husband’s and my ancestors lived.

Is there something unique that people might not know about you?

Some of my happiest moments are while I’m hiking, bicycling, kayaking, singing, and being with family and friends.

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