Episode # 8: Sustainable and responsible business with Mari Puoskari

mari puoskari

Colleagues make a better Monday for Mari Puoskari, who works as a Group CEO of Finnish Consulting Group.

Mari is a mom of two and an active runner. She was one of the first directors of sustainability consulting in Finland and has worked with corporate social and environmental responsibility since 2009.

In the eight Better Monday podcast episode Milla and Mari talk about corporate responsibility. While building a strong career in the field of sustainability consulting, Mari has also managed to prioritise her own well-being and take care of her family life. In this episode Mari shares her tips on how to be a good parent and simultaneously have a kick-ass career.

Reports from IPCC have increased awareness of climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response options. In Mari’s opinion, this is one of the most important things having had an impact on people’s raising interest in sustainable future. The reports show the severance of climate change, which has gotten most of the citizens in western countries to ask for more information. The status is alarming and getting quite a lot of media attention.

Companies have also started to pay more attention to sustainability and responsibility. Thus, people have to face these questions at their workplaces. Big companies must take these questions seriously because of their brand image but some smaller companies also see the potential of being responsible.

Forerunner clients are asking for services that are sustainable, requiring minimum level of responsibility measures and actions. Especially in employer branding this is a great deal, since everyone wants to have a meaningful job, says Mari. It’s also good risk management to consider sustainability issues. Bigger companies have already established jobs around it and even in smaller companies it’s more or less normal to have at least a sustainability plan.

Both Sofokus and Finnish Consulting Group are following the UN sustainability development goals. We both try to do our best to support the society and the globe with our own actions. Although, having a sustainable and responsible business is an ongoing project requiring continuous attention and improvement, Mari states that it’s important to realise that also consulting and service companies can do their part and decrease their environmental footprint.

 

It’s good for your profitability too!

 

Mari points out that sustainable companies are more profitable as well.

How to create a sustainability program of your own?

  1. Make use of possible partners available, such as WWF
  2. Utilize the UN sustainability development goals as a framework
  3. Put it in the KPIs

What can organizations do to help their employees balance between work and life?

There is never a perfect balance between work can life, but they can be combined, says Mari. Flexible working hours, option for remote work and childcare services, for example, give employees the needed help. However, the most important thing is having good leaders and managers, who are willing to coach and give advice when needed.

How to be a good parent and simultaneously manage a successful career?

  1. Plan carefully
  2. Ask for help and use the services available (cleaning, nannies, cooking, laundry etc.)
  3. Get rid of being a perfectionist – it’s better to get things done than get them done perfectly
  4. Take care of yourself – plan and manage your well-being as you would plan your work
  5. Stay physically active

 

As a manager it’s part of your work to take care of yourself.

 

Mari’s choice of a happiness act that makes company a better employer than others:

  1. Open communication – share as much as possible with your employees (where are we now and how is this thing affecting us?)
  2. Frequent feedback – especially positive feedback makes people happy