copenhagen, denmark: copenhagen social
Before my Copenhagen trip, I was looking up social impact initiatives, as I do before every city. I was so excited to come across Copenhagen Social- a consultancy to measure social performance. http://copenhagensocial.com/ Although I have been familiar with responsible business in some capacity in the past, I had never heard of an organization with this type of specialty before.
I immediately cold-emailed the founder, Heidi, and with great thanks to her and Linked In, we set-up a time to meet for coffee. I am so grateful for Heidi's willingness to meet with me completely out of the blue and despite her busy schedule. It means so much to learn from industry experts, especially in areas that are newer to me. I am very appreciative of Heidi sharing her insights and experiences. After being at a large engineering company for 15 years, she decided to start her own business- hence the start of Copenhagen Social.
Since most of my experience is in Sales and Marketing, it was incredibly fascinating to learn more about the engineering and technical aspects of sustainability. Heidi has conducted extensive projects and reports on 'social impact, gender assessment, labor audit and more for international finance institutions, donor agencies and private clients.' By looking inside an industry and analyzing/providing recommendations for a project before the work takes place, Heidi is insuring sustainable practices and responsible business is taken into account from the beginning, rather than after the fact.
Since the concept of social impact assessments is fairly new, Heidi is paving the path for this to become even more common all over the world! An example of one of her projects we discussed was a gender assessment of clean technology in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, where she developed a toolkit for energy projects and brought it back to the business. Listening to Heidi's story and having dialogue via questions was an incredible way to learn and expand my horizons.
Also, after meeting, Heidi, my friend Natalie and I planned to rent bikes and ride around the city. Heidi gave us a great recommendation to ride around Kastellet (park/mote/star/castle). We loved it! The photo on the left shows the green capital of Copenhagen. "Recognized as the 2014 European Green capital, Copenhagen has set a prime example for investments in sustainable technology, urban planning and forward-thinking public policy. The Danish capital tends to be carbon neutral by 2025 and aims to become the world's most practical city for cyclists!" Great pattern to follow post-Amsterdam and an amazing sustainability-filled day!