Alumni of the week

Green optimist

Kia Luise Klavenes

Partner & Senior Advisor

Pure Consulting

Executive Master of Management 2012

“It is all about shared value, creating value both in society and for the business.”

When the big companies are keen on going green, they call Kia Luise Klavenes.

‒ I am an optimist. With the measures we are taking towards sustainability, I think we humans will be able to live on this planet for quite some time, in spite of climate change. I could not work in this field if I was a pessimist. It would be pointless.

As partner and senior advisor in Pure Consulting, Klavenes works with preparing organisations for the future.

‒ Previously, sustainability was sort of an add-on, measures in the office like energy conservation and recycling. Now, companies see that they can attach it to their core business and create added value, either by outcompeting competitors, improving company effectiveness or by developing new solutions to concrete societal challenges.

Investors have woken up

In the past, she has helped everyone from large enterprises such as IKEA and DNB, to the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment with developing and implementing several environmental initiatives, such as the government campaign Klimaløftet (“The Climate Promise”). According to Kia, the market is already keenly aware of sustainability.

‒ The clearest sign of this is how investment banks are waking up and starting to make demands of the businesses they are investing in. This example is just one of many that shows how sustainability contributes to value creation, by making the companies that are sustainability leaders more sought after by the investors.

She makes her living giving advice to others, but the best advice she ever received herself has to do with listening. 

‒ You cannot just walk in and tell the client that they should do the opposite of whatever they believe makes sense. Something I learned from studying leadership, is to size up my surroundings and adapt myself to the people asking for advice.  By doing this, you create the necessary trust so that people will become inclined to listen and make changes.

A few years ago, she finished her Executive Master of Management degree at BI. Continually expanding her knowledge has always been important to Kia, even with her vast leadership experience.

Pioneers in their field

‒ The education gave me the necessary professional prowess to go out and talk to senior executives. It is so important to have a vocabulary and language that resonates with the people you are talking to.

Where many Executive students perhaps choose more traditional courses, Klavenes was determined to pick programmes she found inspiring, such as courses in sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship. At BI, she got to travel to places like Silicon Valley, Berkeley and Rome.

‒ I figured I was going to enjoy myself and absorb knowledge, tools and get to know new people. It was just as much a personal journey for me, and not just about documenting my own knowledge.

After her studies, Klavenes has also guest-lectured both older and younger students at BI. In addition, she has chosen to spend a lot of her time on social entrepreneurship, and she draws inspiration from smaller start-ups when working with adaptation in larger companies.

‒ It is all about shared value, creating value both in society and for the business. Social entrepreneurs are pioneers in their field and trendsetters who inspires the bigger ones to follow in their footsteps.